Soy sauce chicken
Make a homemade version of soy sauce chicken (see yao gai), a classic Chinese dish. This recipe has a less labour-intensive method that you can do at home
- Serves: 4 persons
- 1kg skin-on and bone-in chicken thighs (6-7 thighs)
- 1tbsp rapeseed oil
- 4spring onions, 3 cut in half, 1 finely sliced on an angle, to serve
- thumb-sized piece of ginger, grated
- 3star anise
- 2bay leaves
- 240ml light soy sauce
- 2tbsp dark soy sauce
- 1tbsp oyster sauce
- 2tbsp Shaoxing rice wine, or Chinese rose wine (or use sherry)
- 3tbsp dark brown sugar
- 1tbsp cornflour mixed with 1 tbsp water
- cooked jasmine rice and steamed greens (we used broccoli and pak choi), to serve
Step 1Season the chicken with salt and set aside. Heat the oil in a wok or large frying pan over a medium heat, add the halved spring onions, ginger, star anise and bay leaves. Stir-fry for 5 mins until fragrant and the spring onions turn slightly golden.
Step 2Pour in the light soy sauce, dark soy sauce, oyster sauce, Shaoxing rice wine, 2 tbsp of the sugar and 480ml water. Turn the heat up to high and bring the liquid to the boil.
Step 3Slide in the chicken thighs, skin-side down, arranging them in a single layer. Add water if needed to just about cover the chicken.
Step 4Turn the heat down low, cover the wok or pan and simmer for 35 mins. Turn the thighs over and cook covered for another 10 mins.
Step 5Remove the chicken to a plate. When the thighs are cool enough to handle, remove the bones and slice into pieces about 1cm thick. Arrange on a serving dish.
Step 6While the chicken is cooling, strain 150ml of the braising liquid into a small pan and discard the solids. Put the pan over a medium heat and just before it starts to boil, add the cornflour mixture and remaining brown sugar. Once the sauce reaches your desired thickness, remove from the heat. (It should be thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.) Pour it over the sliced chicken or serve in a bowl on the side for dipping. Garnish with the sliced spring onion. Serve with jasmine rice and steamed greens, or vegetables of your choice.