Super easy Chinese steamed chicken with ginger and green onion which only requires 10 minutes of preparation. Matched with a fabulous oyster sauce-based sauce.
Steaming might be the easiest way of cooking chicken. Steaming is a really popular cooking method in every Chinese kitchen. Steamed dishes are simple, quick, and always tender in texture. Simply marinate the chicken chunks for minutes to obtain a basic flavor, then transfer them to a steamer and steam. That’s so simple. I have made this steamed chicken recipe several times this summer.
People in Guangdong and Guangxi provinces love to serve this chicken directly since the steamed chicken keeps the natural taste of a high-quality chicken. There are lots of unami components in chicken meat. Steaming can preserve the flavor to the maximum.
- Organic younger chicken: younger chicken is commonly used in steamed dishes, stir-fried or poached chicken.
- green onion: also known as spring onion. It helps to enhance the flavor and move the raw taste of the chicken. Green onions can be replaced by scallions.
- ginger: ginger is an important aromatic for food that use fewer seasonings. It helps to remove the raw taste.
- Shaoxing wine: also known as Chinese cooking wine. It is widely used in meat dishes. You can substitute with dry sherry if desired.
- salt to taste: since we will serve with a dipping sauce, spare the salt amount to make the chicken meat refreshing.
- light soy sauce: light soy sauce gives a basic Unami flavor to the chicken.
The oyster-based sauce
I developed this oyster-based dipping sauce for this super simple steamed chicken. Oyster sauce is a savory, thick paste sauce popular in southern China. It goes super well with blanched vegetables and proteins. The reason why I choose an oyster sauce-based sauce is because of the thick paste texture, making it working not as a regular dipping sauce but as a lovely thick coating. This will form a very strong comparison with the juicy and tender steamed chicken.
Spread the marinating sauce evenly on the cleaned chicken—every place. Put ginger and green onion shreds on top and marinate at least for 30 minutes. If you are not in hurry, I would suggest preparing the chicken in the morning and making this as lunch or dinner.
- If you get a rice cooker, you can choose to steam this along with the steamed rice. Simply get a rice cooker steamer. It's a lovely idea to save energy and time.
- Or you can also choose to steam this in a regular steamer for around 20 minutes.
Chinese Steamed Chicken Recipe
- Half of a whole chicken , around 1 and ½ pound
- 1 tbsp. ginger shreds
- 1 tbsp. green onion shreds , white part
- 1 tbsp. light soy sauce
- 1 tsp. Chinese cooking wine
- ½ tsp. salt
- 1 tbsp. oyster sauce
- 1 tbsp. light soy sauce
- 4 tbsp. water
- 1 garlic clove
- 1 tbsp. chopped green onions
- 1 tbsp. sesame oil
- Clean the chicken and then spread the marinating sauce evenly on both sides.
- Lay ginger shreds and green onion shreds over to marinate at least 30 minutes. Then place in your steamer. I am using the steamer of my electric rice cooker. If you are using a steamer with wok or pot, steam with high fire around 20 minutes until soft (or you can easily insert a chop sticker in). Transfer out and cut into chunks of your favorite size. Decorate with green onions.
- In a sauce pan, heat up 1 tablespoon sesame oil and stir fry chopped garlic and green onion until aroma. And then add oyster sauce, light soy sauce and water. Mix well and bring all the content to a boiling. Transfer to dipping bowl and cool down a little bit.
- Serve steamed chicken with dipping sauce.
A simple and delicious recipe! I used a few pieces of drumsticks instead of 1/2 of a whole chicken. The dipping sauce was a winner too. Thank you for sharing this.
Thank you, Nicole!
I actually don't use the dipping sauce and just spread the marinate sauce over my steam rice. Simpler and still very tasteful. I also steam Chinese mushrooms with it. Do you cut a chicken Chinese style first or just use bought chicken parts. If you use a whole chicken, do you cut it first or steam it as a whole chicken and then cut it?
I suggest cut chicken into larger pieces to flat them because steaming is slightly different from poaching. Then cut the large pieces into serving sizes after steaming. But it is ok to cut the chicken firstly before steaming.
I have been watching your steamed recipes and I would like to know, can I generally use a bamboo steamer? (Including this recipe)
tried it & loved it!
Do you steam the chicken while the rice is cooking?
Yes. Using the steamer of rice cooker.
Can I steam in a Bamboo Steamer, as well? I think your recipes are the best! Chinese recipes without Any Sugars added. Just as all Chinese say "No Sugars Please".
Sure, Bamboo steamer is a great tool for this one too.
When you steam rice in a rice cooker, when do you add the chicken onto the top of the rice while it is cooking?
There is a steamer for my rice cooker and I place the chicken on the steamer.
Hiya Elaine. Tried out with more ginger shreds & Shiao Xing wine during the steaming. No dipping sauce for us, it was just as good with white rice. Thank you yah for sharing.
I know how it taste with steamed rice. Enjoy!!
Elaine, since you have published this recipe, way back in 2014, today June 1, 2020, was the 100th time I made this chicken. On a bed of white rice, put the steamed chicken, steamed Chinese broccoli, and one half a duck egg.
Very easy to make, yet very healthy. THANK YOU 100 thousand times....
Thank you for the sauce recipe - used it with cold poached chicken and it was delicious. Revived flagging appetites on a hot summer night!
Thanks Christina for the lovely feedback!!! Yes, tender chicken is so comforting in summer.