Every family that originates from South China has a version of a soya sauce braise recipe. And since most Singaporean Chinese families have their roots from Canton, Fujian or Teochew, almost every family has a unique recipe.
I have tried many versions of soya sauce braise recipes over the decades. Through those experiments, I find the Hong Kong recipe best for chickens, the Thai version the best for ducks and the Fujian version best for pork.
This version is the Hong Kong recipe, which is the best I believe for chicken, the sweetness is from the rock sugar, and the aroma from the wine (I use huatiao jiu – 花雕酒 though the recommended is Chinese Rose).
1 kg Chicken pieces (preferably thighs and wings from smaller chickens)
1/2 cup of stock (or 1/2 cup of water with 1 teaspoon of chicken buillon)
2 Tbsp Rock Sugar (or just white sugar)
1/4 cup Soya Sauce (or according to taste)
1/4 cup Black Soya Sauce
2 Tbsp Cooking Oil
8 cloves of Garlic (cut into slices)
5 shallots or 1 big onion (cut into slices)
1 thumbsize Ginger (cut into slices)
1 bunch Green Onions (white parts only)
2 Star Anise
- Scald the chicken with a kettleful of water. Do not cook the chicken.
- Fry the braising ingredients in the cooking oil until fragrant (about 2 minutes).
- Add the scalded chicken pieces.
- Add in the water, soya sauce, wine and rock sugar. Bring to a boil.
- Lower the fire to the lowest possible (the lower the fire, the more silky the chicken will be), and simmer till cooked. It normally takes about 15 minutes, and it depends on how large your chicken pieces are.
- Take out the chicken pieces and boil down the sauce. Add a hard boiled egg or two if you like.
- Serve the chicken with its sauce over rice or any noodle of your choice. Sufficient for 4.