To many who appreciate traditional Cantonese fare, the Cantonese-style steamed chicken with Chinese sausage stands as a cherished culinary memory. Simple in its preparation yet incredibly delectable, this dish perfectly complements both leisurely weekend gatherings and swift weeknight meals.
The Marvels of Steamed Chicken
Steaming chicken isn’t just a cooking technique but an art form in Cantonese cuisine. Achieving the coveted “waat” texture, akin to silky smoothness, is possible through marination, primarily using tapioca or cornstarch. What’s more? As the chicken gets steamed, it lets out juices that mingle with the seasonings, resulting in a thin sauce bursting with flavor – perfect to drizzle over steamed rice. When it comes to chicken type, while bone-in variants or chicken breasts can be used, boneless skinless chicken thighs emerge as champions in flavor and texture. Remember, bone-in variants need some extra steaming time.
- 10 medium dried shiitake mushrooms (soak overnight or at least 2 hours in hot water)
- 1 pound boneless skinless chicken thighs (trimmed and cut into generous bite-sized pieces)
- 1/3 cup water
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1/4 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon Shaoxing wine
- 1 tablespoon oyster sauce (for gluten-free, choose GF oyster sauce)
- 1/4 teaspoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon white pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon ginger (grated)
- 1 scallion (separate white and green parts)
- 1 tablespoon tapioca starch (or cornstarch)
- 1-2 links Chinese sausage (lap cheung/lop cheong) (ensure no gluten for a gluten-free version)
- Clean and slice the rehydrated shiitake mushrooms thinly.
- Combine chicken, mushrooms, water, oils, wine, sauces, sugar, salt, pepper, ginger, and the white scallion bits in a sizable bowl.
- Mix well so the chicken absorbs most of the liquid. Preserve the scallion greens. Allow the mixture to marinate for at least 2 hours, or better, overnight.
- Before cooking, ensure the chicken reaches room temperature. Add and mix the tapioca or cornstarch well, so no excess liquid remains.
- Fill a steamer with around 3 inches of water, and let it boil vigorously.
- Pour the chicken blend into a deep dish, adorn it with diagonally sliced Chinese sausage bits, and then steam for about 10 minutes over medium-high heat. Turn off the heat and let it sit for another 2 minutes in the steamer.
- Garnish with green scallions, and it’s ready to be savored with some aromatic rice!
Nutritional calculations are based on 1 Chinese sausage link.
Cantonese-style steamed chicken paired with Chinese sausage offers a taste that transports you straight to the bustling streets of Guangdong. So, the next time you want to journey through flavors, you know which dish to prepare! Enjoy the experience.