It’s going to be Chinese New Year again in two days’ time.
Time passes by so quickly. Last year this time, I was still waiting impatiently for the little one to be born. This year’s Chinese New Year would be the first one that the ten-month old is going to have.
It is definitely a happy occasion for many of us to have the little one celebrating Chinese New Year with them this year, especially the two sets of grandys. I thought it would be most apt to cook a dish that symbolises family togetherness this time round, and what better dish to do than steamed chicken to bring in prosperity and strengthen family ties. I also took special attention to make sure that I bought a really fresh chicken with both its head and tail intact – the Chinese believe that this is what symbolises completeness and a family with tight bonds.
Hopefully, this dish will bring all of my family members into the new lunar new year in the most auspicious manner possible. Happy Chinese new year to all of you out there too.
- Warm water: 1.5 liters
- Red date: 10 + 5
- Mushroom: 10, stem removed, soaked in water for 1 hr
- Wolfberry: 2 tbsp + 1 tbsp
- Ginseng root: 1
- Yang shen (American ginseng root): 3 slices
- Ginger: 1 thumb length, sliced thinly
- Chicken, 1 whole (about 1.5kg)
- Oyster sauce: 6 tbsp
- Light soy sauce: 6 tbsp
- Sugar: 2 tbsp
- Corn starch mixture: 4 tbsp cornstarch + 6 tbsp stock
- Fa cai: 10g
- Spring onion: 1 stalk, chopped into 5cm lengths
- Place water, 10 red dates, 10 mushroom, 2 tbsp wolfberries, ginseng root and yang shen slices into the lower deck of the steamer.
- Stuff 5 red dates, 1 tbsp wolfberries and ginger slices into the cavity of the chicken.
- Place chicken into the upper deck of the steamer.
- Steam chicken for 50 min on high heat.
- Remove chicken from heat. Leave to cool before chopping into serving slices.
- Place steamed mushroom, red dates and wolfberries onto serving plate. Place chicken slices on top of them.
- Pour remaining stock from the steamed chicken and mushrooms into a wok. Add oyster sauce, light soy sauce, sugar and corn starch mixture. Stir till evenly mixed.
- Mix in fa cai. Cook for another 1min before switching off heat.
- Pour gravy over chicken. Garnish with spring onion sprigs to serve.
- I don’t have a multi-layer steamer. The guy actually taught me to use a baking tray to place the stock at the lower deck, place a steaming rack inside this tray, and then the plate of chicken on top of this rack – all inside a wok. It worked really well!
- We accidentally took some skin off the meat while chopping the chicken into smaller chunks, which is why they look so naked in the pictures! 😳