I 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,
- 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
- Cut the chicken into small pieces. Separate green and white parts of spring onions.
- 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.
- 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.