Thursday, 10 October 2013

Steamed Chinese Herbal Chicken

Nomsies Kitchen Steamed Chinese Herbal Chicken Recipe
Steamed Chinese Herbal Chicken from Nomsies Kitchen

Hello everyone!

Yes, I am back after a long absence! Not sure whether that is a good thing or not for you, but I am hopeful that it is good. 

After a splendid 6-weeks with family and friends in Malaysia where I was truly spoilt rotten, I am back in the UK. The first week was downright busy, just trying to clear stuff and organise our storage space as well as doing some gardening. I planted some bamboo as well as some winter violas. I am now willing them to grow and flourish. 
On top of all these activities  I am nursing a cold as well as had to experience a bit of misadventures in the kitchen, though not of the cooking variety. In the midst of putting up some kitchen shelves, we drilled through a water pipe. That caused the kitchen to flood in the 5 minutes it took for us to turn off the main water supply. It also caused the electricity to trip. I am really grateful that we are surrounded by such kind people and neighbours who helped us to resolve the matter expediently and had our water connected again by noon the next day. Thankfully we did not suffer major water damage too. Phew! At the time of writing this post, I have yet to test the microwave to see if it is still functioning. The water was gushing directly into it, so I am unsure if it has survived this ordeal.

Steamed Chinese Herbal Chicken from Nomsies Kitchen

To nurse me back from all these going-ons, I wanted something wholesome and nourishing, not to mention, I am missing my mother's cooking already. As such, I decided to cook this really simple and traditional Steamed Chinese Herbal Chicken. This recipe uses only Dong Quai (Angelica Sinensis/ Chinese Angelica), Red Dates and Goji Berries. I think Red Dates and Goji Berries are quite common, however I would like to share a little background information about Dong Quai with those who may not be familiar with this herb. 

A photo of some pre-sliced Dong Quai root
Dong Quai is a herb that is native in China, Korea and Japan. It is also commonly and colloquially referred to as the "Female Ginseng". This is because it is often used as a tonic to alleviate women's ailments including Pre-Menstrual Syndrome and Menopause. The part that we are using is the root of the herb. Also, the Dong Quai I bought has been pre-sliced and packed in 40gm packets. So convenient for fast and easy cooking. I think the best way to describe the taste profile of Dong Quai is that since we are using the root, it naturally has a slightly earthy smell and mildly bitter taste. When boiled with Red Dates and Goji Berries it results in a sweet and very mildly bitter tasting soup. 

The original recipe for this dish calls for it to be double boiled. As I do not have a double boiler, I improvised and steamed it for an hour. It works just as well. It's so easy and gives you an end result of super soft chicken in a nourishing broth. I could have written the method for the recipe in a paragraph but I thought I would break it up for your ease of reading and also really, to make me feel that I am actually doing some work! This dish can be served with some steamed rice or just as it is with a side of vegetables. I skipped the rice and had this with some stir fried kale.

So tell me, what do you eat when you are having a cold? Until next time, take care and I will keep you posted on whether my microwave survived.

Steamed Chinese Herbal Chicken from Nomsies Kitchen

Recipe for Steamed Chinese Herbal Chicken
Prep Time: 10 minutes / Cooking time: 1 hour / Serves 2

1/2 a small chicken (skin and excess fat removed, and chopped into medium sized pieces)
40gm Dong Quai (pre-sliced)
10 Goji Berries
8 Red Dates (pitted and halved)
300ml Water
1 tsp Salt


1. Give the Dong Quai, Goji Berries and Red Dates a quick rinse. Then, place Chicken pieces and all the ingredients in a deep dish.

2. Steam over medium heat for an hour. Serve hot.

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