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Steamed Chicken with Chinese Sausage: A Delicious Cantonese Delicacy

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Steamed chicken with Chinese sausage, known as 腊味蒸鸡 (Là wèi zhēng jī) in Mandarin, is a traditional Cantonese dish that showcases the delicate flavors of chicken and the savory richness of Chinese sausage. This dish is beloved for its simplicity, yet it delivers a complex blend of flavors that reflects the essence of Cantonese cuisine. Typically served as a main course or part of a larger meal, steamed chicken with Chinese sausage highlights the use of fresh ingredients and gentle cooking techniques to preserve the natural taste and texture of the meat.

Origins and Culinary Heritage

Originating from the Guangdong province of China, Cantonese cuisine emphasizes freshness and minimal seasoning to allow the natural flavors of the ingredients to shine. Steaming is a popular cooking method in Cantonese cuisine, as it retains the moisture and tenderness of meats while preserving their nutritional value. The combination of tender chicken and aromatic Chinese sausage in this dish exemplifies the balance of flavors and textures that Cantonese cuisine is known for.

Ingredients

To prepare steamed chicken with Chinese sausage, you will need the following ingredients:

  • Chicken Thighs or Chicken Breast: 1 lb, boneless and skinless, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • Chinese Sausage (Lap Cheong): 2 links, thinly sliced
  • Ginger: 1-inch piece, thinly sliced
  • Green Onions: 2, chopped (white and green parts separated)
  • Soy Sauce: 2 tbsp
  • Oyster Sauce: 1 tbsp
  • Chinese Rice Wine (or Dry Sherry): 1 tbsp
  • Sesame Oil: 1 tbsp
  • Cornstarch: 1 tsp
  • Salt: 1/2 tsp
  • White Pepper: 1/4 tsp
  • Sugar: 1/2 tsp
  • Water: 1/4 cup

Cooking Instructions

  1. Prepare the Chicken:
    • In a bowl, combine the chicken pieces with soy sauce, oyster sauce, Chinese rice wine, sesame oil, cornstarch, salt, white pepper, and sugar. Mix well and let it marinate for about 20-30 minutes to allow the flavors to absorb.
  2. Assemble the Dish:
    • Arrange the marinated chicken pieces in a heatproof dish suitable for steaming. Scatter the sliced Chinese sausage, ginger slices, and the white parts of the chopped green onions over the chicken.
  3. Steam the Dish:
    • Fill a steamer or a large pot with water and bring it to a boil over high heat. Place the dish with the chicken and sausage into the steamer basket or pot. Cover tightly and steam over medium heat for about 15-20 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through and tender.
  4. Garnish and Serve:
    • Remove the dish from the steamer and garnish with the remaining chopped green onions. Drizzle a little more sesame oil over the top for extra flavor. Serve hot with steamed rice and vegetables.

Tips for Perfect Steamed Chicken with Chinese Sausage

  • Chicken Selection: Chicken thighs are preferred for this dish due to their tenderness and juiciness, but chicken breast can also be used if preferred.
  • Chinese Sausage: Look for Chinese sausage (Lap Cheong) in Asian grocery stores. It adds a unique savory flavor and a hint of sweetness to the dish.
  • Steaming Time: Adjust steaming time based on the size of your chicken pieces to ensure they are fully cooked without overcooking.

Serving Suggestions

Steamed chicken with Chinese sausage is traditionally served hot alongside steamed white rice and a side of steamed or stir-fried vegetables. It pairs well with other Cantonese dishes such as stir-fried greens or braised tofu, creating a balanced and satisfying meal.

Conclusion

Steamed chicken with Chinese sausage exemplifies the elegance and simplicity of Cantonese cuisine, offering a harmonious blend of tender chicken and savory sausage flavors. By following this straightforward recipe, you can recreate the authentic taste of this traditional dish at home and enjoy its comforting flavors with family and friends. Embrace the essence of Cantonese cooking with steamed chicken with Chinese sausage and savor the delicate balance of flavors that define this classic dish.

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Written by Robert Zelesky

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