Red-Cooked Chicken 紅燒雞

The Other Important Chicken
Typical Family Cooking

How to use Soy Sauce

Soy Sauce

This is the other important Chinese Chicken recipe you need. Red-Cooking 紅燒 is the Chinese name for a cooking method that involves slow stewing of dishes flavored with Soy Sauce and usually other ingredients.  Besides White-Cut Chicken, Red-Cooked Chicken is probably the most common Chinese way of preparing Chicken at home.

Such dishes are called Red-Cooked because the Soy Sauce is thought to impart a reddish color to the dish.

Red-Cooking is typical family cooking.  Restaurant cooks do not favor it, because they need to produce dishes in a hurry, typically by stir-frying.  Red-Cooking tends to be a slow method.

Every region in China has its own version of Red Cooking.  This version of Red-Cooked Chicken is typical of the southeastern cuisine of the Shanghai, Nanjing (Nanking) and Yangchow regions.

Red-Cooked Chicken 紅燒雞



Using garlic to make Nasi Minyak, Savory Rice


3 tablespoons Peanut Oil or other Vegetable Oil
1 Broiler-Fryer Chicken, about 3 pounds

The Mixture:
1 cup Chicken Stock or Water
1 cup Light Soy Sauce
1 cup Dark Soy Sauce
1/4 cup Sugar
1 tablespoon Shao Xing Chinese Wine or Dry Sherry
1 large clove Garlic
1 Star Anise
1 piece fresh Ginger root, about an inch long
3 Green Onions


Shaoxing WineFirst clean the Chicken well inside and out, wiping it dry and set aside.

Crush the Garlic clove.  Mince the Ginger root finely.  Slice the Green Onions crosswise finely.  Set these ingredients aside.

Next make the Mixture, combining the Stock, both Soy Sauces, Sugar, Wine, Garlic, Star Anise, Ginger and Green Onions and set these aside in a bowl near the stove top.

When time to cook, heat a wok or large saucepan over big fire.  When it is hot, put in the Oil.  When the Oil is hot but not smoking, put in the Chicken, whole, and brown well on all sides.  This will take about 3 minutes.

After the Chicken is brown, pour over the Mixture and continue heating until it boils.  Reduce the fire and simmer, covered until the Chicken is tender to the fork.  It will take about 30 to 35 minutes.

The Chicken is now ready to serve and is also good to serve any left overs cold.  Total cooking time is about three-quarters of an hour.

This method of Red-Cooking is quite good, and is somewhat quicker than some other styles of Red-Cooking.

The Dark Soy Sauce is flavored with Molasses is thicker and sweeter than Light Soy Sauce.  It helps impart the reddish color to the Chicken.  The Light Soy Sauce is saltier and used to balance the sweetness of Dark Soy Sauce


 China - Shanghai 2

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