Steamed chicken with mushrooms 冬菇蒸鸡 is a home-cooked dish 家常菜 popular among the Cantonese. 

It is quick and easy to prepare steamed chicken, and the gravy is the most satisfying part of the dish. Children can finish eating a bowl of steamed rice just with the gravy. The older adults will love the tender chicken meat with a velvety texture. I will attack the mushrooms that soaked up the gravy with all the flavors of other ingredients. 

I break down the steamed chicken recipe into three sections in this article.

  1. Three key points on how to prepare the chicken for steaming. 
  2. How to prepare the dry ingredients in the recipe. 
  3. How to steam the chicken

Let’s get started right away. 

Steamed chicken with mushrooms 冬菇蒸鸡 is a home-cooked dish 家常菜 popular among the Cantonese. It is quick and easy to prepare, and the gravy is the best part of the dish. Children can finish eating a bowl of steamed rice just by mixing it with the gravy. The older adults will love the tender chicken meat with a velvety texture. I will attack the mushrooms that soaked up the gravy with all the flavors of other ingredients

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1. Prepare the chicken 

Boneless or bone-in? 

The Chinese in Asia generally prefer to steam the chicken bone-in. You can remove the bone, or use chicken breast meat. However, the bones add some flavor to the gravy formed in the plate after steaming. 

Breast or thigh meat?

There is a significant difference between using breast and thigh meat. Since thigh meat is more juicy and flavorful, I am using chicken thigh on the bone cut into small chunks in this recipe.

Chicken skin

I prefer to remove any dangling skin on the chicken meat because it results in a very oily gravy after steaming. However, you can leave it on if you like the texture of the skin. 

Marinate the chicken

The main ingredients for marinating the chicken are the oyster sauce, light soy sauce, sesame oil, Chinese rice wine, and ginger. The first three are quite standard for marinating, but ginger is particularly suitable for marinating chicken and beef.

Blend the ginger into a paste and squeeze out the juice through a cloth bag. If you think making the juice is too troublesome, you can finely chop and mince the ginger. If you do this, use only young ginger which is not fibery.

Combine all the ingredients with the chicken and marinate for at least one hour. The best way is to marinate overnight in the refrigerator to let the meat has ample time to absorb the flavor. 

2. Prepare other ingredients

This steamed chicken recipe is unique because most of the ingredients are dehydrated, except the chicken.

Chinese dried mushrooms 

The dried shiitake mushrooms play a significant role in flavoring the chicken. As such, I do not recommend substituting them with other types of mushrooms.

The mushrooms taste best only when adequately hydrated since they are available in dry form. The best way is to soak them in water overnight. You can speed up the hydration by using hot water, which can cut the time required to about two hours. The actual time required depends on the size and thickness of the mushrooms. 

I quartered the larger mushrooms and half the smaller mushrooms. Squeeze out the water and set aside. 

Black fungus is not as common as dried-mushroom outside Asia but is widely used in Chinese culinary to prepare vegetarian dishes.

There are two common forms, the larger and thicker type called wood fungus 木耳, and the smaller and thinner type called cloud fungus 云耳. I prefer to use cloud fungus since I like the slippery and crunchy texture. 

Cloud fungus is sold in dried form. You need to rehydrate it in water before use. Since it is thinner than dried shiitake mushrooms, it takes fifteen minutes to rehydrate and expands quickly to three to four times of the original size. 

Remove the hard stem and rinse thoroughly to remove any sand and dirt. Cut them into smaller pieces if the size is too large. 

Check out how to prepae Hot and Sour Soup, an authentic Sichuan style soup with wood fungus.

Dried lily flowers (金针)

Dried lily flowers are the unopened lily flowers. It is also sold in dried form like the mushrooms and black fungus. 

Cut off both ends of the dried lily flowers. Tie a knob for those that are long enough to improve its appearance. 

Wash them thoroughly and soak with water for fifteen minutes and is ready to use. 

Check out how to prepare Buddha’s Delight (Lo Han Jai 罗汉斋), a full flavor Chinese style vegetarian dish with dried lily flowers.

Goji berries 杞子 and red dates 紅棗

Goji berries (also known as wolfberries) has a tart and sour note similar to cranberries, and red dates have a sweet taste.

The flavor of both ingredients complement each other and always paired together for making soup and desserts. 

Soak both items in water for fifteen minutes and are ready to use. 

Note: Both items are optional in this steamed chicken recipe, but it adds some additional flavor and color to the dish

Steamed chicken with mushrooms 冬菇蒸鸡 is a home-cooked dish 家常菜 popular among the Cantonese. It is quick and easy to prepare, and the gravy is the best part of the dish. Children can finish eating a bowl of steamed rice just by mixing it with the gravy. The older adults will love the tender chicken meat with a velvety texture. I will attack the mushrooms that soaked up the gravy with all the flavors of other ingredients

3. To steam the chicken

Combine a tablespoon of cornstarch with the chicken right before steaming. I do not add the cornstarch to the marinade because it is pointless to do so. The amount of cornstarch I add may potentially hold back the flavor and hinder the absorption of the flavor during marination.

The cornstarch serves two purposes. It thickens the gravy and coats the chicken to make it taste velvety smooth

Here are the steps on how to steam the chicken 

  1. Squeeze out as much water as possible from the soaked ingredients. Excess water will dilute the gravy formed during steaming. 
  2. Mix all the ingredients and place it in a stainless steel plate. Stainless steel is an excellent heat conductor, which is ideal for steaming. You can also use a ceramic plate if you want 
  3. Arrange the chicken chunks single layer to ensure even cooking. 
  4. Sprinkle some finely julienned ginger on top. 
  5. Place in a covered steamer. Steam for ten minutes over high heat, then turn to low heat for another six minutes. 
Yield: 2 servings

Steamed chicken with mushrooms

Steamed chicken with mushrooms

Steamed chicken with mushrooms 冬菇蒸鸡 is a home-cooked dish 家常菜 popular among the Cantonese. 

It is quick and easy to prepare, and the gravy is the best part of the dish.

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 16 minutes
Total Time 36 minutes

Ingredients

Ingredients A

Ingredients B

  • 10g dried cloud fungus
  • 15g dried lily flowers
  • Five dried red dates (optional)
  • 1 tbsp goji berries (optional)
  • 30g dried shiitake mushrooms, soaked until reconstituted

Ingredients C

  • One scallion, chopped (white and green portions divided)
  • 10 g ginger - peeled and julienned

Instructions

  1. Marinate the chicken with all the ingredients A except the cornstarch for one hour (overnight if time permits). Remove any skin dangling onto the meat. 
  2. Rehydrate the Shitake mushrooms, black fungus, dried lily flowers, red dates, and goji berries. 
  3. Cut the mushrooms and black fungus into small pieces. Tie the dried lily flowers with a knot. 
  4. Squeeze out as much water as possible from the soaked ingredients. 
  5. Add the cornstarch to the chicken before steaming. Mix with the soaked ingredients and scallion sections. 
  6. Arrange the chicken to a single layer on the plate. 
  7. Sprinkle with finely julienne ginger. 
  8. Steam for ten minutes over high heat, then another six minutes over low heat. Serve.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

2

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 634 Total Fat: 29g Saturated Fat: 7g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 21g Cholesterol: 305mg Sodium: 1188mg Carbohydrates: 35g Net Carbohydrates: 0g Fiber: 4g Sugar: 14g Sugar Alcohols: 0g Protein: 64g
This data was provided and calculated by Nutritionix on 9/28/2019

    8 replies to "Steamed Chicken with Mushrooms"

    • KP Kwan

      Hi, this is KP Kwan. I am happy to see you in this comment area, as you have read through my recipe. I am pleased to reply to any questions and comments as soon as possible.

    • Giulio

      Just like my mother used to make. So easy n delicious, thanks for reminding me

      • KP Kwan

        You are welcome. My mother used to make this too. Now it is time for us to cook for her.

        • Harriet

          Thanks for posting this recipe. I remember it from childhood at my grandparent’s house. Theirs also had brown square noodles. Do you know what the noodles were? Unfortunately no one bothered to write the recipe down but I recognized it by the ingredients.

    • Deborah Ng

      I tried cooking this tonight
      Thank you! It was really good!!

      • KP Kwan

        You are welcome an hope you like the chicken 🙂

    • Harriet

      My grand parents made a version of this when I was a child but it had brown square noodles in it. Do you have any idea what these noodles were called? Thank you for posting the recipe. I have long wanted to make this but no one in my family wrote the recipe down for future generations.

      • KP Kwan

        Hi Harriet,
        Not very sure what that brown square noodles are, but I am glad that you like this recipe.
        KP Kwan

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