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LF: Chinese Soy Sauce Chicken Recipe

I had this dish once but dont know where to find the recipe.

It was chicken boiled in a soy sauce...I beleive that the mixture can be reused over and over ~ anyone know what this is called or where to find the recipe?

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  1. See yu gai (soy sauce chicken) is pretty easy. First, you need a pot that is just big enough to fit a whole chicken. The cooking sauce is pretty basic: start with about half a cup each of soy sauce and sugar, along with a pretty good sized chunk of ginger, crushed to bruise it. Put all these ingredients into the pot, add about half a cup of water, and bring to a simmer to dissolve the sugar. Put the chicken into the pot, and add enough water to bring the liquids to immerse the chicken a little over halfway. Return to a boil, cover, and lower heat to a simmer. After 12-14 minutes, turn the chicken over. After another 12-14 minutes, remove the chicken and allow to cool a bit. Cut into serving pieces, and ladle some sauce over the pieces. The chicken can be served hot, at room temp, or even chilled. (If you're going to serve it chilled, tho, you should also chill the sauce so you can remove the chicken fat more easily.) My mom also throws in a green onion or two at the beginning, and sometimes I also toss in a couple of garlic toes, too.

    The sauce can indeed be reused, and also works for beef tongue (total cooking time should be a couple of hours, IIRC, but peel the tongue after an hour) or chicken wings. I don't reuse it, tho...I can't afford tying up the space in the fridge.

    1. I often make the "Poached and Roasted Chicken with Soy Sauce" from Mark Bittman's How To Cook Everything. Bring to a boil 1 cup soy sauce, 3 cups water, 3 tbsp sherry, 1 tbsp sugar, 1/2 chopped scallions, 5 slices of ginger, 4 cloves garlic smashed, 1 star anise. Place chicken in liquid and continue to boil over high heat, covered, for 15 minutes. Turn off heat and let chicken sit in liquid, covered, 20 minutes. Remove chicken and place on rack in roasting pan and roast 15 to 20 minutes at 500 degrees. The chicken stays juicy while the skin crisps up and comes out a beautiful deep brown. And yes, the poaching liquid is reusable -- he says to strain and freeze or refrigerate, adding fresh scallions, garlic, ginger each time.

      1 Reply
      1. re: akk

        In graduate school, I used to make this a lot on weekends. Generally, you're supposed to cook the sauce once a week but I've found freezing in mason jars works very well when it is too overwhelming.

        After cooking the chicken in the sauce, I like to put a couple of tablespoons in a wok/skillet, throw the chicken pieces in and reduce the sauce. You get a nice glaze and people call it red cooked chicken. A couple of tablespoons of the sauce is also good for other dishes if your stirfry is getting a little dry or needs a little something to jazz it up. The sauce gets better with each use!

      2. Here is a real easy one from Foster Farms: http://www.fosterfarms.com/recipes/de... I had it and asked for the recipe. Super easy and delicious. My kids love it too.

        1. You can also buy this ready made chicken marinade soy sauce by Lee Kum Kee.
          The directions on making soy sauce chicken is on the label. 1/4 cup soy, 1/4 cup water and 1 tbsp sugar and boil. Add chicken and simmer until done.
          It's real easy and it's delicious. You can buy this at any Asian grocery store.

          1 Reply
          1. I've tried cooking this several times with a very similar recipe to those posted here. But I never seem to get the same uniformly mahogany skin that the restaurant soy sauce chickens have. Mine is usually beige with dark brown mapping. What do the restaurants do that amateurs like me don't?

            1 Reply
            1. re: pilinut

              Most inexpensive fryers have awful looking skin. Those chicken are not well treated. My mom used to buy "fresh" chicken, then she would scrub the skin with a couple of tablespoons of salt as an abrasive. Chickens have a yellowish outer layer of dead skin (epidermis). If you don't uniformly remove the epidermis, the chicken will have a mottled appearance.

            2. There have been prior threads about this, under "master sauce". I recommend straining out the globs & leftover spices before putting it away in the fridge. The fat will rise to the top and help keep it sealed until next time.

              If you cook a chicken in it first, the marinade makes really tasty soy eggs on the next round. A great way make use of the dutch oven, or slow cooker. Then you can host a mahjong party and have quartered eggs to snack on.

              1. My family adds star anise to the sauce - equal parts soy sauce and water, plus sugar, ginger and garlic to taste. We sometimes also put white vinegar in there as well. We used chicken pieces - easier than a whole chicken. Also, my (personal) favorite part of soy sauce chicken (family style) are hard boiled eggs, peeled and placed in the sauce with the chicken for a couple of minutes. They soak up the soy a bit and turn a pretty brown color on the outside. YUM.

                3 Replies
                1. re: akq

                  Next time, don't peel the eggs, but tap them completely all over, so the shell will be 'spiderwebbed'. Then you put cracked eggs into the sauce, and the sauce will leave a really cool pattern on the egg, which you see after you peel it.

                  1. re: ricepad

                    Although it is tasty, isn't this not the same?

                    The Chinese marinated eggs (滷蛋) typically use a sauce of 滷汁 along with meats.

                    To put in Lee Kum Kee terms :) , it would be the difference between
                    this one:


                    and this one:


                  2. re: akq

                    Thank you very much. I have been looking for this recipe for ages. In the 70s I took a Chinese cooking class from a lovely bride to be. She offered a great cookbook from the San Francisco Chinese Women's Club and this was one of my family's favorite recipes in it. To my horror, I loaned the book to someone and they never returned it! Now I can't find it anywhere but your recipe is exactly like the one in the book.

                  3. I started throwing in some dried red peppers, too, to give it a bit of a kick....Same basics as the others: soy sauce, sugar, star anise, water, ginger......

                    1. Try using half double dark and half black soy sauce. THe usual soy sauce used for food flavoring is not as heavy or sweet as the double dark

                      1. I know this is very late but I can't thank you enough for posting this! I had this recipe in a cookbook bought from the Chinese Women's Cooking Club of San Francisco. Someone asked to borrow it and they never returned it. I've been on the search still after all these years trying to replace it. No luck :( But this recipe was a favorite and I've long forgotten the exact recipe. Thank you again and thanks to all members who responded.