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Thursday, December 6, 2012

Steamed Chicken with Dried Lily Buds, Wood Ear Fungus and Mushrooms 金针木耳冬菇蒸鸡

Apart from the Peppered Pork Tenderloin 胡椒肉, this version of steamed chicken is yet another family recipe from my dad's side. I grew up having plenty of this especially at my aunt's place whenever we were over for the many lunches and dinners that we used to have together at her place. One brief glance at it, it does look simple enough, probably not even half as appealing as many others especially those with their vibrant colors or others with fancy ingredients incorporated. The name tells pretty much all what this steamed chicken is about. Dried lily buds, wood ear fungus and mushrooms trimmed and sliced and put to steam on a bed of chicken with a little extra touch of seasoning - as simple as that really. But this is one of the few times when look can really be deceiving. This is to me a masterpiece where simplicity is at its best. Have it served with a plate of  plain rice, and just that combination alone will be good enough to let the homey feeling contained within revealed at its best. Aunt's version came with some chopped birds eye chilies in it but I started without back when I first attempted making this a year or two back. It nonetheless shines like none other and if anything, it actually accentuates the natural flavors better, and so I have been sticking to this version ever since. A case where less is more? Maybe yea lol.  

Steamed Chicken with Dried Lily Buds, Wood Ear Fungus 
and Mushrooms 金针木耳冬菇蒸鸡  
Serves 4-5
4 chicken drumsticks and 1 chicken breast (or any other preferred parts), skinned and visible fat trimmed
5 shiitake mushrooms, rinsed and soaked to soften then sliced thinly
4 pcs wood ear fungus, rinsed and soaked to soften, hard ends trimmed off then sliced thinly
12 strands dried lily buds, rinsed and soaked to soften, hard ends trimmed off then tied into knots
5 slices ginger
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tbsp light soy sauce
1 tsp water
1 tbsp cooking oil
1 stalk spring onion (just the white section), chopped for garnishing

Chicken marinade
a few dashes of white pepper powder
2 tbsps light soy sauce
2 tbsps Shaoxing wine
1½ tbsps sesame oil

1. Begin with marinating the chicken slightly ahead of time. I usually get them started early in the day and leave refrigerated until cooking time.
2. Get the steamer ready with enough boiling water in it. Meanwhile in a skillet, heat up the cooking oil over high heat. Once well heated, add in the minced garlic and stir fry until fragrant and lightly browned. Add in the mushrooms, wood ear fungus and dried lily buds. Drizzle in 1/2 tbsp of light soy sauce and a tsp of sugar. Stir to mix well. Add in a tsp of water, cover and leave undisturbed for about 10 to 15 seconds, until the water starts drying out. Dish out and set aside.
3. In a steaming plate, spread out the ginger slices. Arrange the chicken pieces on top and cover the chicken all over with the mushrooms, ear wood fungus and dried lily buds.
4. Carefully place the steaming plate onto the steaming stand. Cover and let steam on high heat for about 20 minutes. Check for doneness at the end of it, adding a couple more minutes if necessary. 
5. Remove from heat, garnish with spring onions and serve hot with rice.


  1. looks delish! i'm loving your blog, the type of flavours i like! :)

  2. This dish always comes out dry when I cook it...so I altered it by making it similar to your bitter mellon dish. I used the gravy sauce and simmered it for 20 mins. Lots of juice and tasted like my grandmas!

    1. Hmmm, on the contrary mine usually comes out of the steamer with a good volume of juices from steaming; I wonder what we have done differently. Anyway, I'm glad you found a much better way of making this! Maybe I should try it someday too! :)


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