BOOK COOKING: soy chicken

this is not a quick dish... this takes... well, at least the entire day of marinating and slow cooking. is it worth is? YES!!! the best soy chicken i've ever tasted it. give this a try if you have time. the best part is the sauce... just a little of the magic essence over noodle or rice makes it worth all the trouble.

make it again?
YES, but i want to try it with chicken legs instead of the whole chicken.
did i change anything from the original recipe?
Yes, i increased the amount of grated ginger and sichuan peppercorn.
any mistakes or difficulties?
it's my first time frying anything... i was a little intimidated frying the whole chicken.
any adjustments for the next try?
will use chicken legs instead of the whole chicken.
what did i serve this with?
for dinner with MS H, we had pan fry dumplings from scratch, cantonese pickle, yard long beans with chili anchovies, cucumber hinoki salad, cherry tomato salad with ginger soy vinaigrette, cilantro fish soup and white rice.
for lunch the next day... with somen noodle topped with finely chopped scallion... so good.
we loved it... especially the noodle. the sauce is amazing, super flavorful.
if you have any sauce left over, freeze it as master sauce for next time. find the best soy sauce and chicken possible. crappy soy sauce = crappy soy chicken. note: choose a soy sauce that does not stain the bottle that it's in. staining is from food coloring.


soy chicken

1.5 kg chicken
3 TB ground sichuan peppercorns
5 TB grated ginger
2 TB sugar
3 TB shaoxing rice wine or rice wine
300 ml dark soy sauce*1
200 ml light soy sauce*2
600 ml oil for frying
450 ml chicken or meat stock
2 tsp sesame oil

rinse the chicken, drain, and dry the chicken.
rub sichuan peppercorns and grated ginger all over the chicken (inside too).
combine the sugar, rice wine and soy sauces, add the chicken and marinate in the fridge for at least 3 hours or overnight.

heat the wok over high heat, add the oil and heat until very hot. drain the chicken, reserving the marinade, and fry for 8 minutes until browned all over. put in a clay pot or casserole with the marinade and stock. bring to the boil then simmer, covered for 35 - 40 minutes. leave off the heat for 2 houses, transferring to the fridge once cooled. drain the chicken, brush with sesame oil and refrigerate for 1 hour. cut the chicken into sections and serve with some sauce over.

cook some soman noodle or asian white noodle. serve with a few ladles of sauce and tons of scallions finely chopped.

*1 DARK SOY SAUCE is aged much longer than light soy, it has a slightly thicker texture. dark soy sauce is used in red-cooked dishes and often used for marinating meat.
*2 LIGHT SOY SAUCE is a younger soy sauce, slightly lighter color than the dark soy sauce. the light soy sauce is saltier. remember light soy sauce ≠ low sodium soy sauce.


  1. sounds amazing. i love the photo of the whole chicken and the flower. very creative

  2. Hello there!

    A lot of nice stories/recipes! And especially nice photos "everydayish/simple" and clean photos - often the best ones!

    Keep up the good work!

    / john

  3. thx kèra and john! will keep it coming. : )

  4. jelal addin25/4/09 01:22

    is that a pyrex chicken roaster in the bottom picture? where did you get that?

  5. Anonymous17/4/10 12:01

    love the way you stand the chicken...