When I saw Facebook member preparing this dish, I always hesitated to steam meat dishes (except minced meat). I have a phobia that meat steaming will provide tough meats and this is probably because of the wrong perception that one will need long hours to cook meat until it is soft and falls of the bone.
After preparing this recipe and steamed pork ribs recipe (Classic Steamed Pork Ribs with Fermented Black Beans (豆豉蒸排骨）), I am now more convinced that meat steaming does not necessary provide tough meat if your steaming time is correct. Over steaming will make the meat fibres contracts and hence the meat is hard. Therefore, in order to have very soft fall off the bone type of texture, you will need to break the meat fibre structure via long hours of boiling or pressure cooking such that it falls of the bone. While the meat from steaming is cooked and soft, however, most will not fall off the bones.
Therefore, be it stir frying or steaming meat, the critical success factor is the correct cooking time. I did my homework by reading quite a number of recipes and comes to the conclusion that the ideal steaming time will be about 15 minutes. But this will also depend on the size of the chicken. You will need longer steaming time for bigger piece of chicken and it is also for steaming purposes, the meat pieces shall not be too big a piece..
I know this is a common recipe among many households but i cannot trace the origin. I believed it is a Cantonese cuisine by origin. As for the side ingredients, it can be black fungus, mushrooms, dried lilies, red dates and others. Some even added dangui (当归） to the dish.
For me, the preparation of this dish is very elementary. As long as you marinated your chicken long enough and steam at the right timing, you will be able to provide a delicious plate of steamed chicken to go with steaming white rice.
WHAT IS REQUIRED
Servings: 3-4 Adult Servings
- 3 pieces of chicken tights （about 500 grams)
- 2 tablespoons of ginger garlic paste
- 3 tablespoons of Chinese cooking wine
- 1 tablespoon of light soya sauce
- 1 tablespoon of oyster sauce
- 1 tablespoon of sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon of corn starch
- 5-6 pieces of red dates (soaked)
- 1-2 pieces of honey dates
- 5 cm long ginger
- 20 grams of black fungus (soaked) – can be substitute with some shitake mushrooms
- 20 grams of dried lilies (soaked)
- Some gojiberries
- Few sprigs of spring onion
STEPS OF PREPARATION
- Cut the chicken into smaller pieces (recommended size about 4 cm cubes). Soak and tie the dried lilies (金针菜/黄花菜). Shred the ginger into thin stripes and cut the spring onion into big chunks.
- In a big bowl, put the chicken and all the marinating ingredients. Stir until well mixed and let the chicken marinate for a minimum of 1 hour. The longer the marinating, the more tasty is the chicken meat.
- Brush the steaming plate with some oil. Lay some soaked lilies, red dates, shredded ginger, black fungus and honey dates. Put the marinated chicken pieces on top and put all the remaining ingredients on top of the chicken. Steam the chicken under high heat for 15 minutes and ensure that there is no blood water. If your chicken is of bigger pieces as suggested, you may need to extend the time for another 5 more minutes.
- Before serving, garnish with some gojiberries and cut spring onion. If preferred, additional cooking wine or some sesame oils can be drizzle on top of the chicken dish.
I hope those who have phobia of steaming chicken can try this recipe and let me know if the meat is tough.. Remember that the longer the marinating process, the more tasty will be the meat.
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