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Feb 23, 2005 11:06 AM

Dim Sum Foil-Wrapped Chicken

  • c

I'm looking for a recipe for the standard dim sum foil-wrapped chicken. We've tried to figure it out ourselves...but no luck....and I've had no luck elsewhere.


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  1. I remember trying to recreate these myself a few years ago. I took boneless skinless chicken thighs (NOT breast) and cut it into small pieces and mixed it with chopped water chestnuts, scallions, and tiny bit of garlic and ginger. Then added mirin and soy sauce and let marinate for a few minutes.

    Then took a square of aluminum foil and folded it in half twice to make a smalleer square and put a heaping tablespoon of the mixture into the foil and folded it on the diagonal and sealed the edge.

    I then put the foil packs on a broiler pan and broiled for a few minutes on each side and served. They came out great.

    I put excess uncooked packs in the fridge and freezer and cooked some the next day (from the fridge) and some a week or two later (from the freezer) and they came out just fine.

    1. 2-2.5 lbs boneless chicken thighs
      1T Dry Sherry
      1t sugar
      2T Oyster Sauce
      3T Hoisin Sauce
      1T oil
      1 clove garlic, minced
      2t grated ginger
      1/4 cup shoyu
      2-3 stalks green onion, minced
      1T cornstarch

      Chop chicken in 1/2-1" pieces, mix all ingredients together, let marinate for a couple of hours to overnight. Wrap and steam. Gee Bow Gai.

      8 Replies
      1. re: Alan408

        The oyster and hoisin sauces in your recipe are the key.

        I also think this tastes much better when sauteed in a wok over the highest heat you can crank up at home, rather than baked or steamed. The sugars carmelize, the flavor of the chicken is deeper, and the texture of the meat will be firmer with less juice oozing out. But it's a pain to make for a crowd - then I resort to broiling - but it's second best.

        1. re: Melanie Wong

          Maybe I'm misremembering, but I could swear that when I was a kid, that the chicken was wrapped in parchment paper (not foil). Of course, I also remember dan tarts and char siu baos being bigger too when I was young!

          1. re: No.19

            Yep, parchment paper, and it got kinda translucent after frying. But foil is cheaper and easier to wrap, which makes a big difference when you're making a big batch. One of my cousins was involved in making these for a community fundraiser and she found some foil that was precut to the right size.

            For a big-sized, and superlative, dan tat, try the ones from Golden Gate Bakery in SF Chinatown.

          2. re: Melanie Wong

            So these are cooked BEFORE wrapping.... or after? They sound terrific, propable be good just wokked and served over rice, not even wrapped. unless the aluminum give off some flavor too. :(

            1. re: Karen

              Traditional foil wrapped chicken is cooked while inside the package. But, as you noticed, the ingredient is marinated chicken and can be prepared many different ways. I occasionally thread the chicken onto bamboo sticks and put the on the bbq.

              Shoyu is also known as soy sauce.

            2. re: Melanie Wong

              I'm not terribly familiar with asain ingredients: what is SHOYU, the above recipe calls for 1/4 c. not an insignificant amount of stuff for a recipe of this size.

              1. re: Karen
                Caitlin McGrath

                Soy sauce.

              2. re: Melanie Wong

                My wife has the poultry man cut the thighs in half then mixes them in the marinade (leaving the bone in makes them much jucier because I've had her try it bopth ways). She then places them on foil, adds a dollop of the sauce seals them and depp frys them. You would almost think you were at the Yank Sing.