Tuesday, 22 March 2016

Braised Chicken with Soy Sauce and Tong Kwai

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There are some recipes that you fell in love with instantly.  These recipes use simple, everyday ingredients, are so incredibly easy to cook, smell awesome and taste amazing.  Oh, it's good for adults and kids alike.  Ticks every box doesn't it!  

This Braised Chicken recipe is one of them.  It is firmly entrenched in my personal list of Top Five Ultimate Fuss Free recipes.  One of the ladies in my bible study group taught me how to cook this ridiculously easy and appetizing dish.  This is one of those precious, failproof recipes that any noob cook can pull off.  It reminds me of a simple soy sauce chicken dish that my mum used to cook when we were kids, and one that I have cooked countless times during my Uni days especially when I was homesick.  Yes, this is definitely one of those recipes one would collect for a child leaving abroad for studies and need some simple homecook recipes to survive.  

In short, this recipe is a keeper.

Braised Chicken with Soy Sauce and Tong Kwai
Serves 3-4

  • 3 whole chicken legs, skin on
  • 5g tong kwai (about 3 large slices)
  • 1/3 cup of good quality soy sauce (I swear by Orchid brand premium soy sauce from Ipoh, available in most supermarkets.  If unavailable, I recommend Poh Poh light soy sauce)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tbspn Chinese cooking wine
  • 45g rock sugar (about the size of a ping pong ball)

  1. Prepare a wide saucepan that can fit three chicken legs in one layer side by side.
  2. Put the slices of tong kwai at the bottom of the pan, followed by the chicken legs, skin down.  Arrange in a single layer.
  3. Add in all the other ingredients.  The liquid should cover almost the entire surface of the meat. 
  4. Cover and bring to a boil.  Turn down to a gentle simmer for 15minutes before turning to the other side and braise for another 10-15minutes.
  5. Switch off the fire and let it cool, covered for at least 1 hour so the sauce will gradually thicken.
  6. Remove the meat and chop into bite size pieces, garnish with coriander or spring onion and serve together with the sauce.

My family loves this dish so much that we always have a whole leg to each person, served chopped ontop of a mound of steam rice and flooded with the sauce.  SO GUUUUUUD!

Note: If you or a family member is not a fan of Chinese herbs/tong kwai, feel free to omit it.  The dish will still turn out tasty, akin to a simple version of Si Yau Kai. Check out THIS LINK for a true blue Si Yau Kai recipe.


  1. Esther, the chicken looks good! I love the color and it looks moist and tender.

  2. Yes, I totally agree with you. This is a delicious dish that everyone will love.


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