My boy has a very good memory of the food that he liked when he dined at restaurant. He will reminding me on and off to cook the food that he liked. He has been asking me to cook this Hakka yellow wine chicken since June 2016 when we were having our holiday at Malacca. It is because of his request that I have decided to research and cook this famous Hakka dish.
The name of the dish in the restaurant menu is the same name as this recipe called Hakka yellow wine chicken. But the presentation are totally different though the taste is almost the same. This is a restaurant setting and it seems that they have boiled/steamed the chicken, cut into pieces and drizzled with some Chinese wine. This is totally different from the famous confinement dish wine chicken.
If you Google Hakka wine chicken, you will see images like the one posted above. The broth is yellowish and milky with some sesame oil floated on top. I have seen Facebook members posted their home cooked chicken and it is just like the picture above.
This is a confinement recipe and I have studied many recipes to come out this recipe. i have been delaying to prepare this dish because I cannot find the right wine. Hakka uses glutinous rice wine which is sweet and in Malaysia, most of the hakka families prepared the wine themselves at home setting.
To me, I am unwilling to try or share a recipe on any homemade wine because of the probable legal implications and potential health risks. Both Malaysian and Singapore government prohibit wine making at home. Wine making at home need expertise and experience. While it may sound easy, improper preparation of home made wine can have too high an alcohol content that can leads to intoxication. It happens many time in the Malaysian estates where coconut water was used for wine making.
This morning when I was shopping in Sheng shiong, I found legal glutinous rice wine being sold. It is rather costly, about S$7.80 for such a small bottle but it is precious as I have no other choices. It does not label as Hakka glutinous rice wine but instead Fuzhou glutinous rice wine. I looked at the ingredients and I knew it will yield the same taste. I could not care much and I bought the bottle . This glutinous rice wine is different from other Chinese cooking wine because it is sweeter in taste. As a respect to the traditional recipe, since I have this legally sold glutinous rice wine in Singapore, I can formally issue this recipe.
All confinement dishes basically used the same type of ingredients, chicken, wine, ginger and sesame oil. The main purpose is to provide nutrients to the weak body and enhance blood circulation. Usually for confinement dishes, no water is being used. Only wine and chicken juices. Possibly that combination make it a very strong flavoured meat broth that make many people like confinement dishes.
Surprisingly, most confinement recipes do not use salt as salt will delay the removal of water retention problems in the body. For this recipe, water and salt is omitted but if you are preparing this dish for normal consumption especially if you have small kids, you can always use less wine and add salt if you wish. There is no sweetening seasoning required also as the wine are supposed to be sweet.
The recipe is straight forward and rather fast. It yields a very aromatic dish and in some Hakka community, fried eggs are added to this special dish. Eggs will provide additional protein to the weak body. As for the glutinous rice wine, I have used the legal avenue but you can always get the one from the household production if you trusted the preparation and have the avenue. But mind you, some of the glutinous rice wine purchase from home are not delicious. It is sour instead of sweet. It can still be consumed but it implied that the glutinous rice wine is not properly prepare at home setting.
It should be noted that though this is a Hakka confinement dish in many regions, the Sarawakian Hakka has opted out cooking this dish for confinement. Instead, motherwort’s chicken is used for the dish. This hakka dish has become so popular that almost all dialects are using this dish as standard confinement dish in Sarawak. If you are interested, you can click the picture above or click on this link: An Uniquely Sarawakian Confinement Dish–Motherwort Chicken or Kacangma (益母草姜酒鸡）
WHAT IS REQUIRED
Servings: 4-6 adult serving
- 1 medium size chicken cut in medium chunks
- 2 cups of sweet glutinous rice wine
- 1 tablespoon of gojiberries
- 5-6 red dates aka jujube, soaked
- 50 grams of wood ear fungus, soaked
- 6 cm long ginger, sliced into thick pieces
STEPS OF PREPARATION
- Cut the ginger in big pieces, set aside.
- In a wok without any oil, pan fry the chicken until the external are light brownish in colour. In the process of pan frying, chicken oil will be excreted from the chicken skin. Transfer out and set aside.
- Use the same wok, add sesame oil, pan fry the ginger until aromatic. Add the wood ear fungus, red dates, gojiberries and wood ear fungus. Stir fry for 2-3 minutes until well combined. Add the glutinous rice wine and bring to boil. Once it boils, reduce the heat to medium and let it simmer until the meat is soft which took about 25 – 30 minutes. If the rice wine evaporates too quickly, you can always add more rice wine. Chicken juices will be excreted during the process.
- If preferred, you can pan fry some eggs using sesame oil and add to the soup and let it simmer together.
- The dish is best served with white rice. If preferred, you can add additional glutinous rice wine immediately before serving.
Though the recipe is for confinement, however, you can always prepare for normal consumption. Remember that if it is for normal meals, you can use less wine, add water and salt for flavouring, use less ginger and sesame oil. Any chicken dishes with ginger, wine and sesame oil will not go wrong. You can even add soya sauce if you wished. Once again, the Fuzhou glutinous rice wine is the only glutinous rice wine I found in Singapore Sheng Shiong. i do not have contacts for homemade wine and in fact and not all homemade wine are delicious. If you used glutinous rice, a well prepare glutinous rice wine should be sweet and not sour..Therefore, you need not add in any seasoning.
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