Steamed Chicken with Chinse Red Dates and Mushrooms枣姑蒸鸡zǎo gū zhēng jī

cover.JPGI believe the recipe originates from the Hakka food,客家菜kè jiā cài or “guest families”. Unlike most cuisines in China, Hakka food is defined by a group of people rather than a geographical region. The Hakka had to make do with whatever unclaimed territory they could find, so frugality became a defining characteristic of their food. This lovely, lightly seasoned dish comes together so easily that some Chinese families adopt it as a staple. I will certainly scoop up spoonfuls of savory, earthy and yet subtly sweet sauce to put over mounds of jasmine rice,

Serves 2-4

  • 400-500g (two bone or boneless chick thighs), cut into small pieces
  • 3g                        ginger, thinly sliced姜片
  • 2 sprigs               spring onions, separate green and white parts, green part for garnish only,香葱
  • 3 to 5                red dates (remove the seed and split the date in half)
  • 3 to 5               dried shiitake mushroom 香菇, dehydrated, stalk removed (soak in the water for 30 minutes)
  • ½ cup              dried black wood wears 黑木耳, dehydrated (soak in the water for 30 minutes)


  • ½ teaspoon     salt
  • 2 tablespoons   light soy sauce生抽
  • 1 tablespoon     corn starch淀粉
  • ¼ teaspoon        ground white pepper 白胡椒粉
  • 2 tablespoons     Chinese cooking wine 料酒IMG_7510


  1. Cut the chicken into small pieces. Separate green and white parts of spring onions.IMG_7637.JPG
  2. Place chicken, spring onions (white part only) and ginger in a mixing bowl. Add in all the seasonings and mix well. Allow it to marinate for half an hour. Then add dried dates and soaked mushrooms.  Mix well. IMG_7638.JPG
  3. Place the marinated ingredients in a shallow, heat proof bowl. Prepare the steamer and bring the water up to a rapid boil. Cover the bowl with a plate or aluminium foil. Steam the chicken over high heat for 15-20 minutes, making sure it is thoroughly cooked. Remove from steamer and sprinkle on spring onions (green part) before serving.IMG_7639.JPG




2 thoughts on “Steamed Chicken with Chinse Red Dates and Mushrooms枣姑蒸鸡zǎo gū zhēng jī

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