Easy Chinese Soy Sauce Chicken

Easy Chinese soy sauce chicken with only several ingredients and super easy steps!
Chinese soy sauce chicken is known as 豉油鸡 and it is a featured dish from Chinese Cantonese cuisine. I have been living in Guangdong province around 4 years and this soy sauce chicken is always on our dinner list.  The traditional way uses boiling the whole chicken in water with relatively large amount of soy sauce.

soy sauce chicken

One of the essential key step for this easy and brilliant chicken recipe is to purchase high quality soy sauce. In Chinese, we name this type of soy sauce as 豉油 but not common 酱油. By the way, we will also need dark soy sauce to adjust the color of the chicken. The more dark soy sauce, the darker the final chicken meat will be.

Firstly, remove the chicken feet and head, clean the main body. And then spread soy sauce evenly on the surface. Add ginger shreds and spring onion shreds to marinate for around 2 hours.  Besides I cut one side of the whole chicken apart because I pan to cook it with a pan. If you are using a pot, you can just use a uncut whole chicken.

soy sauce chicken

Prepare a pan, add dark soy sauce, soy sauce, green onion, star anise, ginger slices, bay leaves, chili peppers (optional), sesame oil and water in.  Bring this to a boiling and then slide the chicken in. Be carefully during the process.

soy sauce chicken

When the chicken is well colored, turn the fire to middle fire and cover the lid to cook for around 10  minutes until you can easily insert a chop sticker in. For chicken under 800 grams, 10 minutes will be enough.

Then turn up the fire to thicken the sauce. During the process, turn the chicken over twice and scoop the liquid to chicken meat if necessary. Then here we are!

soy sauce chicken

soy sauce chicken

Cool down a little bit before cutting and serving. Serve with steamed rice!

soy sauce chicken


Easy Chinese Soy Sauce Chicken

Prep Time: 4 hours

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 4 hours, 10 minutes

Serve: 4

Easy Chinese Soy Sauce Chicken

Easy Chinese Soy Sauce Chicken, traditional version


  • 1 whole chicken under 800 g
  • Marinating sauce
  • 1 inch root ginger, shredded
  • 1 spring onion, cut into sections
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • For simmer
  • 2 inch root ginger, sliced
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon dark soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon cooking wine
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 cup water (you might need to adjust the water amount if you are using a deeper pot)
  • 1 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3-5 star anises
  • 3 dried chili peppers
  • 1 spring onion
  • 1 cinnamon bark
  • Coriander for decorating
  • steamed rice for serving


  1. Clean the chicken carefully. Set aside and drain.
  2. Spread soy sauce on both sides of the whole chicken and do a little message. Add ginger and spring onion shreds. Reset for 2 hours.
  3. In a sauce pan, add all the ingredients for simmer and discard the ginger and spring onion in marinating sauce and then pour the soy sauce back to pan too.
  4. Bring all the content to a boiling and then slide the chicken in. Be carefully about the hot sauce during the process.
  5. Cook for around 2 minutes until the chicken is slightly colored. Lower the fire to medium fire, cover your lid to cook for around 10 minutes or until you can easily insert a chop sticker in. Turn the chicken over twice during the process.
  6. Turn up the fire to chicken the sauce. Scoop the sauce and pour over the chicken to make sure it is evenly colored.
  7. Cool down slightly and then cut into chunks and serve with steamed rice.


Do wait until the chicken is cooled down slightly for smooth cutting edges.

Enjoy and happy cooking ahead! Besides, I would also like to recommend this Chinese steamed chicken with ginger and spring onion if you love tender chicken recipes.

soy sauce chicken


  1. bryan flake says

    I am a super big fan of Shredded Ginger Fried Chicken. The ginger has to be just right. I am new in Kamloops and looking to find a great Chinese place to replace the one I had in Chicago. Any great priced places in town?

    • Elaine Luo says

      I am sorry Bryan, I have not been Kamloops so I cannot provide any useful information and the restaurant. Wish you good luck on the following search.

    • Elaine Luo says

      Hi there,
      Shorter time is to make sure the chicken as tender as possible. 12 minutes will be great for chicken under 800g. For larger ones, cook it for another 2 to 4 minutes.

  2. Dan says

    Love your passion for good food….Need your guidance…I am in the US and in my china town I see lot of soy sauce brands …lee kum kee, prb, kimlan , koon chun , kikkoman , japnese tamaris and even korean soy sauces… ..Please recommend the best light and dark soy that I can buy for chinese cooking and I plan to use your site to start learning chinese cooking ……I prefer soy sauce with just soy, water ,salt and a little wheat …Please let me know. I am really scared of added sugars and msg and like it to be naturally fermented.

  3. says

    Do you have the video of this ?

    and one more question: what is the difference between light soy sauce and dark soy sauce?

    and what is the cooking wine that you are using?

    • Elaine says

      Light soy sauce(生抽) has a lighter color than dark soy sauce and it mainly used for adding the flavor. So for most Chinese stir-fry recipe, if only soy sauce is called, use light soy sauce!
      Dark soy sauce(老抽) is the common soy sauce with caramel. So the color is darker than light soy sauce. It is mainly used for adding the color of the dish. For the red-cooking dishes, dark soy sauce usually is used.
      And basically, I am using Shaoxing cooking wine. You can use any type available in Chinese gourmet store.

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