Tag Archives: chicken

warm salad with handpull chicken & vegetable with sesame dressing

Handpull chicken warm salad

I have been on the road quite a lot lately, just came back from Tuscany, had a really great time there but before I share my travel and gourmet experience with you (as I have to tidy up my photos first), I would like to share this simple and low-carb recipe with you.

Two weeks ago I made a chicken vegetable soup from scratch but I found using all meat in the soup was a bit too much so I kept some chicken meat for a warm oriental salad the following day and all of us like it a lot. If you like sesame sauce, you will surely like this.

I have managed to buy this French free range chicken which has a relatively bright yellow skin similar to the Chinese chicken I used to have in Hong Kong. And believe me, the chicken really had a much better taste than the normal ones. It really paid off! The chicken still tasted great after cooking for 1.5 hours for the chicken soup base.

How do you make use of your cooked chicken, please feel free to share, would love to hear : )



  • 2 handfuls of chicken meat kept from the chicken soup
  • 1 small cauliflower, wash and cut into pieces
  •  handful of Green peas, wash and drain
  • 1/2 cucumber, peel briefly, seeds removed & cut into strips
  • extra virgin olive oil

Note: feel free to add or substitute with your favorite vegetables 


Sesame Salad dressing:

The dressing is actually very similar to the one I used for my earlier recipe: Hiyashi Chika (Japanese Cold Noodle Salad)

  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce 
  • 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoons ground sesame seeds (you can use black or white or both)
  • 3 tbsp sesame paste chinese sesame paste or tahini
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil



  • With the chicken you saved from your chicken stock, hand pull the chicken meat into pieces, the texture by hand pull method is better than cutting with a knife !!!
  • Prepare the sesame sauce by mixing the above in a bowl and set aside.
  • Boil the cauliflower for a few minutes, not too long so they are still crunchy
  • Stir fry the green peas with a little olive oil for a minute or so and repeat the same for the cucumbers.
  • Let all cooked vegetables cool to room temperature.
  • Arrange the vegetables on a big round serving plate and the hand pulled chicken in the middle.
  • Garnish with some ground sesames and serve with the sesame dressing.


chinese roast chicken with red bean curd sauce (南乳吊燒炸子雞)


as seen in foodgawker #14400, 26.01.09

It’s Chinese New Year’s Eve today and the tradition is to have family reunion dinner together, it is one of the most important dinner in a year. Another one is on the Winter Solstice which is as important. For more Chinese New Year customs, please click here. Chicken is one of the dishes that cannot be missed in the dinner and in the old days, it is very important to have a whole fresh chicken (not frozen ones) freshly bought directly from the food market with the feet and head kept. Whole chicken symbolizes completeness. You can also cook a whole fish or whole prawns to symbolize completeness as well. However, with the recent outbreaks of avian flu, Hong Kong has banned selling of Live Poultry to combat this devastating disease. This is a very bad news to the Chinese as chicken is a very important dish in the New Year, also we have always believed that these fresh chicken taste much better than those centrally slaughtered.

Being abroad, this year, I tried to make a roast chicken in the Chinese way. The result was very satisfying, the meat was very tender, see the method below. This recipe was adapted from a Chinese cookbook I bought recently in Hong Kong from a home style cooking restaurant located in Central, Hong Kong called Snake Fen (蛇王芬) which has documented the valuable recipes of Paulina’s dad the founder of the restaurant. I was intrigued when reading the touching story behind of how this restaurant was started in the 40’s by the family and the passion and belief they have, with these two important elements, Snake Fen is able to sustain its business until today. I was lucky enough that that day I got a chance to have a little chat with the successor, Paulina and had made a new friend. If I haven’t talked to her I would have missed such a great cookbook.


Serves 4



  • 1 Medium sized chicken (approx 1kg)
  • Half handful “Golden Needles” (literally Chinese Translation of 金針), and day lilies in English; Fleurs de Lys Sechees in French
  • Half handful Black fungus (雲耳)



Sugary Vinegar water (this will help making the chicken skin more crispy):

  • 80ml Honey
  • 250ml water
  • 60ml White vinegar


  1. Prepare the sugary vinegar water by boiling the above together and set aside.
  2. Hydrate the Fleurs de Lys Sechees & Black fungus with hot water.
  3. In a bowl, mix the above seasonings together and then add in the hydrated Fleurs de Lys Sechees & Black fungus and then stuff into the chicken.
  4. Seal/ close the cavity with long bamboo sticks.
  5. Boil 1 litre of hot water, and pour into a big deep pan, place the chicken into the boiling hot water for about 20 seconds, this will help to make the chicken meat more tender and smooth when cooked.
  6. Take the chicken out and pour the sugary/ vinegar water onto the chicken for 2-3 times. This will help the chicken skin more crispy.
  7. Place the chicken onto a baking tray and let it air dry for at least 3 hours.
  8. Preheat the oven to 190 C for 15 mins. and then place the baking tray and bake for 45mins to 1 hour. Turn the chicken to the other side and let it bake for another 20 mins.
  9. Take the chicken out of the oven when cooked and empty the  Fleurs de Lys Sechees & Black fungus into a plate and pour the sauce into a small bowl.
  10. Add a cube of red bean curd into the sauce and stir until fully dissolve, heat in the microwave for 1 min and use it as a dipping sauce for the chicken.


I have searched in the internet to see if it was better to truss the chicken and I found out that with trussing, you may require extra cooking time which may make the chicken meat taste drier and tougher. Personally I think trussing is probably more useful if you are using a rotisserie oven.


Wish you all a Healthy, Prosperous and Happy Year of the Ox!!!



Snake Fen Restaurant

G/F, 30 Cochrane Street, Central, Hong Kong


Snake soup (蛇羹)


Glutinous Rice with Chinese sausages (臘味糯米飯)


Paulina and me

chinese chicken congee with a little twist (雞粥)

Fig. 1 Chinese Chicken Congee with a little twist served in a ceramic pot bought in Kyoto, Japan


In Hong Kong, my mom and dad make the best congees (rice porridges), we have it very often at home and always served with stirred fried noodles.

Chicken congee is my all time favorite. This is a very nice comfort food especially after having too much alcohol or if you are not feeling too well. A lot people always said the chickens in Western countries are not tasty enough but today I could proof this is wrong. I bought this French Free Range Chicken, it has yellow skin like the chicken we have in Hong Kong, the white skin ones I admit that they are not so tasty. This time, shortly after boiling for roughly 30 mins, I could tell this congee would be much better than the ones I made before. The chicken flavor was coming out so quickly that I could just tell by the smell it came out. Just finished a big bowl and it triggered me to blog it immediately.

Fig. 2 Commonly used Dried Ingredients in Chinese Cooking: Dried Mushrooms, Dried Scallops and Dried red dates (Jujube); as seen in #8072 foodgawker, 28.10.08

This time I was inspired to infuse some Korean cuisine elements into this congee by adding a few red dates (jujube) and garlic which they are used in preparing the Ginseng Chicken Soup (Sam Gae Tang in Korean). Chinese also use red dates a lot in soup but not in congee. I was curious of how it would taste and the result came out just nice and the ingredients blended very well to each other without anything being overpowered.


Serves 4


  • Half fresh chicken (normal size), best used yellow-skinned chicken
  • 1 small cup long grain rice
  • 6-8 dried red dates stoned (Fig. 2)
  • 2 dried scallops (Fig. 2)
  • 6 dried chinese mushrooms (Fig. 2)
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 small piece of peeled ginger, about 2cm x 2cm
  • approx. 1500 ml water
  • Japanese tea filter sachets x2 (optional) (Please click to see image in my other post)


  1. In separate small bowls, hydrate the red dates, dried scallops and dried mushrooms by soaking in hot water for about an hour.
  2. Using a sharp knife, remove the skin and trim off the fatty tissue from the chicken except for the chicken wing.
  3. Wash the rice and put into a large pan
  4. When the dried ingredients are hydrated, discard the water.
  5. Place the dried scallops into a teabag. The reason why I did this is because I find dried scallops will break into small pieces while cooking, they usually sink to the bottom of the pan, and may stick to the bottom making the congee get burned more easily. I find the Japanese teabags are very useful and served more than one purpose for making tea. You can use any filter cotton bag of course.  
  6. Cut the hydrated mushrooms into slices.
  7. Also place the 2 cloves garlic in another teabag, as I want to keep them in whole piece when cooked.
  8. Place the chicken into the pan, followed by all other ingredients. Pour in the cold water and bring it to boil in high heat for 10 mins (Fig. 3).
  9. Skim off any scum (the foam and fat) that rises to the surface of the liquid using a big flat spoon*. This step is important to ensure you get nice clear broth for the congee.
  10. Then turn into medium heat and let it cook for about 1 hour and 30 mins. Stir from time to time to avoid sticking at the bottom.
  11. When the congee is cooked**, take the chicken out and remove the bones, then put the chicken pieces back into the pan. You can decide how big pieces of the meat you like. Take out the garlic and dried scallops, put aside and allocate to the bowls when serving.
  12. Season the congee with some salt and serve immediately when hot.

Fig. 3 Chicken Congee with ingredients added, this is how it looked after cooking for the first 30 mins




*An alternative method to step 7 is to briefly cook the meat in a separate pan of boiling water, in Chinese terms it’s literally translated as “fly with water” 飛水. Let it boil for 5-10 mins, you will find the scum coming out, discard the liquid and tranfer the chicken back to the cooking pan. This method is particularly useful when you use meat that has been kept in the freezer. Somehow frozen meat tends to produce more scum I find. As I described above, this step or skimming is important to give you a nice clear liquid in whatever dishes you cook. 

**Do NOT overcook. You have to turn off the heat when the congee is cooked, it will get burned easily if overcooked. Of course you can reheat, what I mean is not to keep it boiling for excessive time once it’s cooked.

I personally like having food served very hot so I have used my favorite ceramic pot which I bought in Kyoto, Japan (Fig. 1). I like this pot very much as it can be used on both electric stove or gas stove, it’s worth carrying all the way back. I transferred a portion to the pot, brought it to boil and served.

Hope you enjoy this norishing congee!

easy prepared korean chicken BBQ

BBQ is very popular in the summer but sometimes you may just feel like to have a bit of meat but at the same time, do not want the hazzle of setting up the BBQ. Then what would you do? I have an electric party grill which serves perfectly my need: last week, I had a very nice Korean BBQ in our garden terrace.

Another point is if you are tired of the traditional marinated BBQ meat, you should try the Korean BBQ . I learnt some great marinades from Home Cooking Diary, if you have tried Korean BBQ in a restaurant, you would find Peter’s recipes taste just like those in the Korean restaurants. They are so easy to prepare that you can prepare in advance, the day before, leave them overnight and cook them the following day. This is also ideal to invite a few friends over for a small dinner party, they will certainly be impressed.


I actually had Korean BBQ for two dinners in a row as they were so good, esp when I cannot find a Korean restaurant in my surroundings. The first night I had Korean Beef BBQ and the second night, I had Korean Chicken BBQ as I found the marinade sauce can be resued for one more time.

Ingredients for basic chicken marinade:

  • 2-3 boneless chicken thighs cut into pieces
  • teriyaki sauce (you can find this even in normal supermarket these days)
  • a few cloves minced garlic
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce
  • 2 tbsp sesame oil
  • chili powder or chili flakes (optional)

For a more advanced marinade, Peter suggests on top of the above, you can add grated pear and onion. I will surely try next time and give you some feedback.

It’s a little difficult to describe exactly the quantity of the amount you need for the marinade as it depends the amount of meat you use and your taste. The above is just a rough guidance. For full recipes, please click the links below:

To accompany, I prepared a simple refreshing salad with our own garden tomatoes and lettuce and Italian dressing.




You can also grill some vegetables such as onion, mushrooms, courgettes, etc.

I also like eating with a piece of lettuce, a small piece of raw garlic around the cooked meat.

It looks like foie gras to me but it is actually chicken!!!

restaurant Säge, basel, switzerland



 * zur Säge means next to the saw-factory; wirtshaus means inn                      —>i.e. the inn next to the saw-factory



On my actual birthday this year, my hubby took me to a haute cuisine restaurant as a treat. I had been there once for a christmas party from work but this time was a private occasion, it indeed felt more special.

This restaurant is not located in the city centre (13 km outside centre of Basel) but can be reached by tram easily from town in 15 mins. It is well-known in the neighbourhood and I later found out that it is awarded with one Michelin star but the owners which are a young couple are pretty low profile about it as I did not see anything when I entered the restaurant.

You will not expect to have any menus hand out to you. Sandra Marugg Suter, the co-owner had detailed their menu of that day carefully to us. For the main course, there were two different meat to choose from. In case, you don’t like anything, you can just let them know to change to something else.

So this is what we had that day:

 Greeting Starter: White asparagus soup & salad with white aspagus & local ham from Flüh.


2nd Starter: Herb mousse with herb brioche, small salad & grilled perch & scampi. The scampi cooked just right!


1st Main Course: Grilled Lamp Chop from Scotland. The lamb was great, the meat was rosé.


Accompanies: Rosemary new potatoes & broccoli mousse. I am fond of potatoes normally but with new potatoes, it’s a different story. Whatsmore: Rosemary & potatoes are just perfect match. How can I resist!


2nd Main Course: Lasagna with garlic and chicken. I was surprised of how the chicken came out as they have been able to cook it just right. It was so tender and looked a little pink but not undercooked. If you don’t like garlic, you can ask them to leave out but I love garlics.


1st Dessert: Fresh Strawberries in Rosé Champagne with Peppermint ice-cream. Because it was my b’day, I had a special treat & had taken an extra dessert from their list.


2nd Dessert: This was the dessert that originally went with the menu: Quark with fresh apricots, on the side was flaky pastry. What was written on the plate—Gute Geburgtstag means happy birthday.


Final round: Cappuccino; the swan-shaped aluminium foil was a special patisserie to take away. Too full to eat more …. 


This is what’s inside the swan-shaped aluminium foil: Rhubarb Kugelhopf. We had it for breakfast, making us recalling the lovely dinner. 


Wow, 6 courses dinner: 2 starters, 2 main courses and 2 desserts. And of course, good food cannot go without wine, we had a bottle of wine from Gaja, Toscana. This restaurant is certainly recommended for special occasions. I am very pleased that you could find restaurants in Switzerland that served contemporary dishes.


Wirtshaus aur Säge

Steinrain 5, 4112 Flüh SO

Tel: +41 61 731 1577