If you like mushrooms or have discovered the amazing benefits of funghi, this dish is for you! One of my daughter's LOVES mushrooms and she could probably eat this dish every week! Every time she visits, this is one of the meals she requests. This homestyle Cantonese steamed chicken with mushrooms can be prepared in advance, stored in the refrigerator and then just steamed before serving.
I add either vegetables or mung bean noodles as the base to this steamed dish. The vegetables and noodles absorb all the flavorful juices of the chicken and mushrooms which makes these accompaniments extra tasty.
Mushrooms and funghi have lately been shown by Western research to be very healthy. A few years ago, mushrooms were considered nutritionally poor. However, as more research is being done, there are many benefits to mushroom and funghi consumption. The Chinese have for centuries used various funghi for medicinal purposes to treat everything from asthma, cancer, dementia to gout. I am a strong believer in adding mushrooms to the diet and any recipe. Not only are there medicinal benefits, but there are also "umami" benefits which is one of the five basic tastes.
Tips for making homestyle Cantonese steamed chicken with mushrooms.
Boneless chicken thigh pieces are ideal for this dish as it is steamed for 20 minutes. White chicken meat, like chicken breast will be tough and dry after being steamed for that long. Marinate the thigh pieces for at least one hour or overnight for best flavor. If you've made my bulk basic Chinese meat marinade, add a few tablespoons of the marinade with a little cornstarch.
This is where you can go to town! Walk along the dried Chinese mushroom aisle of any Asian grocery store and you will see a wide variety of mushrooms. Sometimes, I prefer choosing mushrooms that are similar in size and use them whole. If I cannot find small mushrooms, slice the mushrooms into bite-size pieces.
For the black fungus or wood ear mushrooms, there are brands that have large pieces and others that are smaller and thinner. The wood ear mushrooms rehydrate and get very large. For this dish, find the smaller, thinner wood ear mushrooms which tend to be easier to manage! Soak the dried mushrooms into a soy water solution for additional flavor.
Fresh mushrooms can also be added such as enoki, seafood, maitake and beech mushrooms.
Homestyle Cantonese Steamed Chicken with Mushroom Accompaniments
I like to steam a vegetable (if I'm making rice) or noodles (if I'm not making rice) together with this homestyle Cantonese steamed chicken with mushrooms dish. I like to use napa cabbage because it is fairly flat, compact and absorbs the flavor of the chicken, mushroom mixture, making it very tasty. Cut the napa cabbage into one inch (2.5 cm) strips and layer it on the bottom of the container.
When steaming this homestyle Cantonese steamed chicken with mushroom dish with noodles, use a noodle type that WILL NOT disintegrate with the liquid. Rice noodles and wheat-based noodles are not good choices. Mung bean noodles or potato starch noodles are much hardier and will keep their integrity during the steaming process. Rehydrate these noodles in a chicken stock to enhance their flavor. The noodles will continue to absorb the water and chicken, mushroom marinade during the steaming process
Before steaming, combine the chicken and mushrooms together and add oyster sauce to the mix before steaming. Layer a heat-proof dish with either vegetables or noodles (optional) and the chicken mixture. DO NOT compact the chicken and mushroom mixture as this will prevent some of the chicken pieces from being cooked. Steam for 20 minutes.
After steaming, if the chicken appears too pale, add a teaspoon of dark soy sauce to darken the chicken. Garnish with cilantro or chopped scallion for color. This is purely for aesthetics! Enjoy!
STEAMED CHICKEN WITH ASSORTED MUSHROOMS
Mung bean (optional)
- 1½ cup boiling water
- 2 tsp chicken bouillon powder
- 150 grams mung bean or potato starch noodles Avoid rice noodles as they disintegrate
- 150 napa cabbage
- Wash and soak dried mushrooms and funghi.30 grams dried shitake mushrooms, 20 grams dried woodear mushrooms, 10 grams dried black fungus
- Combine boiling water with soy sauce.1½ cup boiling water, 2 Tbsp soy sauce
- Soak mushrooms in soy sauce mixture until hydrated. At least 1 hour.
- Combine chicken with marinade ingredients and cornstarch. If you have a bulk meat marinade, use 2 Tbsp of meat marinade with 1 Tbsp of corn starch.454 grams chicken thighs, ½ tsp sea salt, ¼ tsp white pepper, ¼ tsp sugar, 1 Tbsp light soy sauce, 1 Tbsp whiskey, 1 Tbsp corn starch, 1 tsp sesame oil
- Marinate for at least 1 hour.
Prepare noodles or vegetables (optional)
- Soak mung bean noodles in boiling water and bouillon powder until noodles are soft. (At least 1 hour.)1½ cup boiling water, 2 tsp chicken bouillon powder, 150 grams mung bean or potato starch noodles
- If using napa cabbage, wash and cut into 1 " strips.
- Mix mushrooms together with chicken.30 grams dried shitake mushrooms, 20 grams dried woodear mushrooms, 10 grams dried black fungus, 150 grams fresh enoki / seafood mushrooms, 150 grams beech mushrooms
- Add oyster sauce and combine.2 Tbsp oyster sauce
- Layer the bottom of a glass or metal container with either noodles or vegetables.150 napa cabbage
- Loosely add chicken mushroom mixture on the top. Do not compact mixture to allow the steam to cook the meat.
- Steam for 20 minutes and serve.