I don’t steam much, and when I do it usually involves a lot of crabs or, more likely than not, vegetables. It’s an underused technique in my household, besides one that doesn’t pop up very often in the materials I read. My connotation of steaming is a bad one, for it’s one that health food magazines recommend to help cut fat, but I know many cuisines regularly use steaming without a healthy thought in their minds. I’d have to give it a try.
I found this recipe for steamed chicken with ginger and scallions in Chinatown, New York: Portraits, Recipes, and Memories by Ann Volkwein. The real reason I picked this was because of the sauce, which I ended up having a little trouble with the consistency—perhaps I cooked it too long—but the chicken was surprisingly good. Tender and perfumed from the mixture spread on top, it was more than worth the effort.
- 1 small chicken, cut into breasts and legs
- 6 tablespoons ginger, shredded
- 6 scallions, chopped
- 3 tablespoons peanut oil
- 1 tablespoon white vinegar
- 4 teaspoons sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 2/3 cup chicken stock
Bring a large pot of water to boil. Meanwhile, mix together 2 tablespoons of ginger, 2 chopped scallions, 2 tablespoons peanut oil, 1 tablespoon white vinegar, 2 teaspoons sesame oil, 1 teaspoon sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Coat the chicken pieces with the mixture.
Set a steamer basket over the boiling water. Set the chicken pieces in and cook until done, about 45 minutes to 1 hour.
When the chicken is almost done, heat up a large skillet over medium high heat. Pour in 1 tablespoon of the peanut oil, then add 4 tablespoons of ginger, 4 scallions, 2 cloves garlic. Cook for 30 seconds or until fragrant.
While that is quickly cooking, mix together the cornstarch and chicken stock. When the 30 seconds is up, add the mixture. Stir constantly until the sauce has thickened. Pour in 2 teaspoons of the sesame oil, and turn off the heat.
Plate the chicken and pour the sauce on top.