Steamed chicken with ginger – garlic sauce

I’ve mentioned before that we have this Sunday arrangement — my husband does the cooking on Sundays. There are times when he makes palusot (headache, don’t know what to cook or he just takes us out for the day) but there are occasions when he surprises us with really, really great home-cooked meals. Yesterday was one of those days. I didn’t get to bed until around 4.00 a.m. (working on a big education-related project which I will announce before the end of the month) and when I got up at noon, the stove was on and the aroma of dill and oregano was all over the house. Nothing left for me to do but prepare the sauce to go with his Chinese-style steamed white chicken. steamed chicken with ginger-garlic sauce

Believe me, when I walked into the kitchen and lifted the cover of the steamer and I saw the sprigs of fresh dill (plucked from our garden) on top of the chicken, I was so proud of Speedy. He had graduated from grilled and fried chicken and pork to something really creative and exotic. Doesn’t that look gorgeous? That’s Speedy cutting the split chicken in half prior to serving it for lunch. steamed chicken with ginger-garlic sauce

To cook the chicken, split it in half not all the way through but just to open it up. Rub inside and out with salt, pepper and crushed oregano. Place on a heatproof plate then put the plate in the steamer over briskly boiling water. Top with lots of fresh dill. Steam for about 45 minutes. To test for doneness, pierce the thigh of the chicken with a sharp pointed knife. If the juices run clear, the chicken is done. ginger garlic sauce for Chinese style steamed white chicken

The sauce I prepared for the steamed chicken is similar to the kind served with “white chicken” in Chinese restaurants. The only difference is that I used cilantro (also called wansuy or coriander leaves) instead of onion leaves.

Peel two thumb-sized pieces of fresh ginger and four segments of garlic. Grate them finely (a cheese grater works well). Finely chop a few pieces of cilantro (I used about 10 leaves of Vietnamese coriander).

Place the grated ginger and garlic in a bowl. Pour in about half a cup of peanut oil (no substitute). Season with salt (to taste). Stir in the chopped cilantro. Let sit for about 10 minutes to allow the flavors to develop.

Enjoy your steamed chicken while still hot with the ginger-garlic sauce and have a great meal. :)

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The Author

Hello, my name is Connie Veneracion. I cook, I shoot, I write. But I don't do the laundry. I don't like housekeeping very much either... (more about me)

37 Responses

  1. carol says:

    I love Hainanese chicken. I remember wanting to try an authentic one on my first visit to Singapore, and my hosts didn’t know what I was talking about. It turned out, the dish was simply known as “Steamed Chicken.” :grin:

  2. Britannia says:

    Usually make my own sauce to accompany the chopped up store bought soya chicken. Comes with the sauce (grated ginger/finely minced green onions in EVOO and salt) but not enough for the whole chicken. Will try adding the cilantro next time see how it goes with us. Thanks for the idea.

  3. Rose says:

    This may be a stupid question, but how do you manage to chop your herbs so finely? Mine usually ends up as gigantic bits unless I use a blender (not ideal obviously cos everything disintegrates).

  4. ria says:

    hello po… ganito rin yung sauce nung white chicken sa kinainan namin na chinese restaurant yung Luk Yuen… sarap pala ng ganitong sauce salamat for sharing the ingredients gawin ko po ito sa bahay, madalas po ako nagexperiment sa cooking and na – try ko na rin po maggawa ng ganito but not exactly similar yung mga spices lang hehehehehe. try ko rin po itong white chicken… lam ninyo po natuto po akong magcook dahil sainyo salamat po hirap po kasi ng di marunong magluto i really love this website its cool….

  5. conf says:

    just like luk yuen

  6. peterb says:

    The chicken really looks delicious! However, the ginger-garlic sauce is the one that really caught my eye. I just love that combination! I can imagine using that sauce on other dishes. Of course, chicken remains a favorite. I remember eating grilled chicken at Congo Grille when they still had it in the menu, they also served it with ginger sauce. Now, i can try this on my own. Thanks! :mrgreen:

  7. malu says:

    Hi Connie,

    Galing galing naman ni Hubby!!!


  8. Shoshana says:


    Do you mind linking your chicken recipe to this site?

    It’s perfect for this week’s chicken theme.

  9. anna says:

    Hainanese chicken is one of my four lunch options during the week (the other options are soy chicken, duck and roast pig). I work in Chinatown so I get to have these choices.

    I noticed that butchering styles differ. Your hubby’s version is butterflied. They have quarter of an inch thick slices here in the US Chinatown and the bones get to be in the middle which makes it easier to eat it with chopsticks. Americans usually don’t like bones in their chicken and most would prefer boneless chicken breasts:(

  10. ria says:

    rose, try cutting the herbs by using scissors ive tried it pero oks naman siya…. hope it helps

  11. Jo says:

    Hi connie!

    Where do you usually buy your peanut oil?

    Thanks a lot for sharing all your recipes. Like I always say to you.. Keep on cooking and sharing….

    I really love this site…..”,)

  12. Connie says:

    Jo, my husband buys it from a Chinese store in Banawe.

    Shosana, I’ll put a link at the end of the entry. Maya-maya.

  13. Luzi says:

    looks good! I am looking for the recipe of KALBI CHIM, Korean Beef stew. Please post it if you have. Thanks

  14. Dot says:

    Connie, that dipping sauce is awesome. I made some roast chicken and served it with the sauce–ang sarap! I also made the cassava bibingka with the frozen/grated stuff–yummy!
    Thanks a bunch for the recipes. :mrgreen:

  15. Rizza says:

    Ah, peanut oil pala ang ginagamit sa ginger sauce. Thanks so big :)

  16. Connie says:

    Luzi, if you search Google for “korean beef stew”, my recipe is on top of page 1 of the results.

  17. Eva says:

    Have you tried whole grain dijon mustard with soy sauce and slivers of green onion as the accompaniment for steamed chicken? My kids enjoy it.

  18. Chef Tom says:

    Chicken has got to be the most common meal in my house. At the same time….someone always replies “chicken again????” lol We love chicken…but you gotta keep it exciting. This recipe sounds pretty simple yet tasty! I’m going to make this tomorrow night…I’m sure the response will be “Please pass me more chicken!” ….lol


    Chef Tom Cooks – Recipe Blog


  19. joy says:

    Ms. Connie,
    This might sound silly, but is peanut oil the same as groundnut oil? I am in Singapore where Chinese ingredients abound, but I can’t seem to find ‘peanut oil’. I have gathered all the ingredients for this recipe but I dont want to make a mistake on the dipping sauce, so I just needed to make sure.

  20. Connie says:

    joy, sorry, am not familiar with groundnut oil.

  21. elit says:

    ms. connie, we had a great lunch last easter and of course, the star of the meal was this steamed chicken. we paired it off with fresh veggies and enoki mushrooms. Yum! I’d like to share too a sauce that also complemented this steamed chicken for those who wants it on the “sweet” side. Actually, it was intended to be the dressing for the salad but it also worked good with the steamed chicken. This is not my original recipe, I just got it from the internet when I was searching for an asian dressing that I tasted in one of my friend’s house. so, i take no credit for this recipe but sorry i don’t remember na where i got it (hope am not violating anything here) here it goes:
    2 tablespoons White vinegar
    1 1/2 tablespoons Soy sauce
    1 tablespoon sugar
    1 1/2 teaspoons Asian sesame oil
    1/2 teaspoon Ginger — grated
    1 tablespoon Cilantro — chopped
    A few drops — of hot chile oil (this i omitted kasi ayaw ng spicy sa house)

    In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, soy sauce, sugar, sesame oil, and ginger. Just before serving, stir in the cilantro and chile oil.

    This dressing is ideal for leafy greens, steamed vegetables, and cold meats.

    Sarap kumain no? Have a nice week ahead!


  22. Rica says:

    hi miss connie! im trying to look for dill in SM supermarket, I cant seem to find one. any alternatives? and where could i find some dill seeds so i can just pick one in my garden if i want some. thanks!

  23. Connie says:

    rica, vegetable seeds are sold in supermarkets. try shopwise. or you can try potted herbs.

  24. elit says:

    hi ms connie, i made a post here re:our easter lunch and waited for it to be moderated till it get posted pero i didn’t see it pa din so i am posting it again :grin: (kulit no?)

    anyway, we had a wonderful easter lunch with my family. The star of the lunch is speedy’s steamed chicken and we paired it with fresh veggies with enoki mushrooms. I made an asian dressing for the veggies and my mom liked it too with the chicken so I am sharing it here if some would like the sweeter dip for the chicken. I got this recipe from the internet too but forgot na which site, so here it is:
    2 tablespoons White vinegar
    1 1/2 tablespoons Soy sauce
    1 tablespoon sugar
    1 1/2 teaspoons Asian sesame oil
    1/2 teaspoon Ginger — grated
    1 tablespoon Cilantro — chopped
    A few drops of hot chile oil ( this i omitted kasi they don’t like it spicy dito sa house)

    In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, soy sauce, sugar, sesame oil, and ginger. Just before serving, stir in the cilantro and chile oil.

    This dressing is ideal for leafy greens, steamed vegetables, and cold meats.

    That’s it! Wala lang…. me masabi lang he he he

  25. Connie says:

    elit, both your comments landed in the Spam filter. I de-spammed it just now. Thanks for sharing your Easter lunch. Speedy will be so thrilled hehehe

  26. mar says:

    Ms. Connie
    Is there any substitute for Dill?

  27. Connie says:

    Try thyme or tarragon, Mar.

  28. John Jester Ching says:

    thank u very much miss connie! i learned how to cook because of you :)

  29. pinky says:

    Thank you for sharing this recipe; I didn’t think it was so easy to make. I made it for dinner this evening with some chicken fillets I had on stock.

    I used cayenne pepper for the chicken flavoring with salt and oregano.
    I didnt have dill so i used thyme and marjoram instead.
    I used olive oil for the peanut oil.

    It turned out as I hoped. This will surely be a regular in our family menu.

    For the Ginger-Garlic sauce, can I stock of on them? If ever, how long is its approximate shelf life?