Friday 13 January 2012


Chinese Herbal Imperial Chicken/药材鸡

Serves 4

- 1 fresh whole chicken or 800-1000g of chicken pieces or chicken fillets (The Chinese prefer to cook with a whole chicken as it is tastier)
- 3 dried or fresh shitake mushrooms sliced (optional)
- 1 cup or 250ml water
- 1 large aluminium foil sheet (to wrap the chicken)

Chinese herbs - clockwise from left starting with the flat white sticks:
- 5 sticks of dried Chinese yam (Flat white sticks on picture) (淮山)
- 1 handful of Goji berries (also called wolfberries)   (杞子)
- 4 Dang Gui (当归)
- 2 Dang Sheng (当参)
- 1 Huai Shan (淮山)
- 3 Bei Qi (北芪)
- 4 Yu Zhu (玉竹)
- 5 dried longans
- 8 dried red dates (红枣)
- 1 honey date

- 1 TBS light soya sauce
- 1 TBS sesame oil
- 1 TBS Chinese rice wine
- 1 tsp brown sugar
- sprinkle of pepper
- 1 pinch salt

1. Mix sauce ingredients in a bowl and marinade chicken.

2. On a large aluminium foil, place 1/3 of the herbs in the chicken, 1/3 of the herbs at the bottom and place the chicken on the top.

3. Pour the remaining marinade over the chicken and the rest of the herbs over the chicken.

4. Half wrap the chicken with aluminum foil and put it on the steaming rack in a wok.

5. Pour in the 1 cup water and then fully wrap up the chicken with the foil.

6. Add some water in the wok, cover and steam on medium high heat for 2 hours. Check occasionally to make sure that the water for steaming does not dry up. Add more water if necessary.

7. Open the foil and serve with white or brown rice.

Additional Information:
As the name of this Chinese dish suggest, it is fit for Emperor. It is also a very healthy dish. I like it with a little bit of soup after it is cooked, and thus I added 1 cup water.

We had this dish during our recent home visit Singapore and decided that I will try to make it myself when we are back with Denmark. I made it today. We had Yang Li and Amy over for dinner after daycare. Amy remarked that it tasted really good (though she did not finished her portion). Joshua (2Y10M9D) did not really say if he liked it, but he ate up all his portion and asked for more. We were just laughing that Amy expressed that she liked the dish in words, and Joshua expressed it in action.

Do not fret if you could not gather the number of Chinese herbs listed above. It is a full list, but it is not necessary to have every one of them. Just do in the herbs that you have at home or could find and it will still taste good. You also do not really need to follow the quantity of each herbs to be put in. Just an estimate would be fine.

Some people wrap the chicken with an inner plastic sheet as well, but it is not necessary.


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