Soy Sauce Chicken - Khin's Kitchen (2024)

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Classic Chinese soy sauce chicken recipe made with juicy whole chicken, aromatic herbs and spices and savoury soy sauce. This recipe needs minimum ingredients, and the chicken is braised to tender, juicy perfection.

Soy Sauce Chicken - Khin's Kitchen (1)

If you are a fan of poached Hainanese chicken, I'm sure that you'll love this soy sauce chicken recipe too. Aside from this whole soy sauce chicken, Easy Char Siu Chicken and Five Spice Chicken are also well-received Chinese chicken recipes on my blog.

Jump to:
  • What is Soy Sauce Chicken?
  • Ingredients you'll need
  • How to Prepare Chicken
  • How to cook this soy sauce chicken?
  • Expert Tips
  • Frequently Asked Question
  • Serving and Storing
  • More Fantastic Chinese Recipes
  • 📖 Recipe
  • 💬 Reviews

We’ve tried and tested this dish a few times, and this recipe is the most practical way anyone can recreate it easily without using gallons of soy sauce. The real-deal soy sauce chicken doesn’t need to look pretty perfect. What is important is the chicken should be poached to perfection, the taste, be cost-effective, and less hassle.

What is Soy Sauce Chicken?

Soy sauce chicken is called ‘ See Yao Gai ‘ ( 豉油鸡 ) in Chinese, and it's a popular Cantonese chicken dish. You can find it on the menu in Chinese restaurants and on their kitchen window display. Succulent whole chicken with appetising glossy brown skin is irresistible! The whole chicken is chopped into small slices just right before serving it with a delicious savoury dipping sauce. It goes really well with plain rice or noodles.

This dish is perfect for celebrations like Lunar New Year, Christmas, family feasts and gathering dinner parties.

Ingredients you'll need

Chicken, soy sauce, and water are the 3 basic ingredients you'll need, and the rest are pantry-friendly fresh herbs and spices. Following is a quick guide and please scroll down and find detailed measurements on the recipe card.

Soy Sauce Chicken - Khin's Kitchen (2)

Chicken - Use any good-quality large whole chicken; it doesn’t have to be free-range.

Braising sauce - Use a good amount of light soy sauce, dark soy sauce, and sugar.

Fresh herbs - I usually add ginger, spring onions, and scallions for this recipe. You can also add garlic cloves and shallots.

Dried aromatics - Star anise, bay leaves, and white pepper. If you don't have whole spices, you can add Chinese five spices powder.

How to Prepare Chicken

Rinse the whole chicken with water, including the cavity. If the cavity is clean, you can skip the washing chicken process.

Blanch the chicken in the hot boiling water for 1-2 minutes to tighten up the skin. Then, remove it from the water and pat it dry with a paper towel.Set it aside.

How to cook this soy sauce chicken?

  1. Heat the large, heavy bottom pot or narrow stock pot to medium heat. Drizzle oil and saute the ginger, star anise and bay leaves for a few seconds until fragrant. Next, add the spring onions ( scallions ) and continue saute for 1 minute.
  2. Add water, dark soy sauce, light soy sauce, Shao xing wine, and white pepper and bring it to a boil. Then, reduce the heat and simmer for 4-5 minutes.
  3. Now, bring the sauce to a boil and gently add the whole chicken to the sauce.
  4. Scoop the boiling sauce and pour it over the top part of a chicken that is not covered in the sauce. Let it boil for 4-5 minutes.
  1. Then reduce the heat, close the lid and simmer for 30 minutes. Gently flip the chicken every 10 minutes. ( If the pot you use is narrow and the whole chicken is fully submerged in the sauce, you can skip the flipping process. )
  2. After simmering for 30 minutes, turn off the heat, close the lid and let the chicken rest in the sauce for 10 minutes.
  3. Carefully remove the chicken from the pot and let it rest on the chopping board for 10 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, prepare the basting sauce. In a small pot, scoop a small ladle of sauce from the pot, cornstarch water, and a teaspoon of sesame oil. Stir well and simmer until the sauce starts to get thick and glossy.
  1. Brush the dipping sauce over the whole chicken for a shiny glaze.
  2. Chop the whole chicken to your desired size and transfer it to a serving plate. Serve together with rice, blanched vegetables, and an extra dipping sauce of your choice.

Expert Tips

Soy sauce chicken is usually served as a main dish, and it can be paired with different Asian appetisers and side dishes.

It is easy to make ahead and fridge and freezer-friendly. Leftover chicken can be added to stir-fried dishes like Special Fried Rice, Singapore Fried Rice, etc.

Do not over-braise the chicken. Trust me because I’ve done it! If the chicken is over-braised in the sauce, the skin can be too soft and easily torn apart.

It usually takes 20-30 minutes for the chicken to be cooked in the sauce, but it depends on the size of the chicken you use.

You can check whether it is cooked or not by using the food thermometer. When the internal temperature reaches 180°F ( 82°C ), it is cooked.

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Frequently Asked Question

Do I need to marinate the chicken?

Marinating is not necessary for this slow-braised chicken recipe, as you are poaching the whole chicken in the sauce.

Can I reuse the leftover cooking sauce?

Yes, do not throw away the leftover cooking sauce. You can reuse this sauce to make soy sauce chicken again or reuse it in various other dishes. This sauce is great for stir-fries, soups, and noodle dishes. I love to add it to my Chicken Chow Mein,

Let the sauce cool down completely, and discard the whole spices and fresh herbs by using a mesh strainer. Once the sauce is cool, transfer it to an air-tight jar or container and keep it in the fridge for later use. It usually lasts in the fridge for up to one week. You can also freeze it in the freezer for up to 2 months.

Can I use chicken pieces instead of whole chicken?

You can also try this recipe with chicken pieces instead of using the whole chicken. Cut the chicken into large pieces and you might want to reduce the simmering time as the chicken pieces cooked faster than the whole chicken.

I’ve tried it with chicken pieces in my Soy Sauce Chicken Noodles recipe. The whole cooking process is similar in general, and the main difference is the use of chicken pieces and noodles.

Soy Sauce Chicken - Khin's Kitchen (4)

Serving and Storing

Serve it with plain rice, garlic egg fried rice, blanched vegetables, or plain chow mein. Add your favourite appetizers and dipping sauces like leftover cooking sauce, sweet chilli sauce, ginger scallion sauce, or chilli garlic sauce.

Soy sauce chicken tastes best when freshly cooked. However, you can easily store the leftovers for later use. Cool the chicken down completely, then transfer to an airtight container and store it in the fridge. It usually lasts in the fridge for up to 3 days. Or you can keep the freezer in a freezer-safe bag for up to 3 months.

To reheat, brush the basting sauce or leftover cooking sauce over the chicken and reheat it in the microwave until hot.

More Fantastic Chinese Recipes

  • Easy Chinese Steamed Fish
  • Salt and Pepper Fish Chinese Style
  • Easy Chicken Congee ( 鷄粥 )
  • Pak Choi with Garlic Sauce

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📖 Recipe

Soy Sauce Chicken - Khin's Kitchen (9)

Soy Sauce Chicken

Classic Chinese soy sauce chicken recipe made with juicy whole chicken, aromatic herbs and spices and savoury soy sauce. This recipe needs minimum ingredients, and the chicken is braised to tender, juicy perfection.

5 from 2 votes

Print Pin Rate

Course: Main Course

Cuisine: Chinese

Prep Time: 10 minutes minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes minutes

Servings: 6

Calories: 427kcal

Author: Khin

Equipment

  • Heavy bottom large pot or stock pot that can fit the whole chicken.

Ingredients

  • 1.6 kg Whole chicken Skin-on whole chicken or cut
  • cup Regular soy sauce Or light soy sauce ( About 350ml )
  • 1 cup Dark soy sauce ( About 250ml )
  • 1 cup Brown sugar About 200 grams
  • 3 tbsp Shao xing wine Chinese cooking rice wine
  • 4 cup Water About 1 litre, Add more water if needed
  • 2-3 Star anise
  • 3-4 Bay leaves
  • ½ tsp White pepper powder
  • 4-5 slices Ginger
  • 2-3 Spring onion cut 4" pieces
  • 1 tbsp Cooking oil Sunflower, canola, vegetable, or neutral flavour oil
  • 2 tsp Sesame oil
  • 1 tsp Cornstarch mix with 2 tbsp of water to make slurry

Instructions

  • Blanch the chicken in the hot boiling water for 1-2 minutes to tighten the skin. Then pat dry it with a paper towel.

  • Heat the large, heavy bottom pot or narrow stock pot to medium heat. Drizzle oil and saute the ginger, star anise and bay leaves for a few seconds until fragrant. Next, add the spring onions ( scallions ) and continue saute for 1 minute.

  • Add water, dark soy sauce, light soy sauce, Shao xing wine, and white pepper and bring it to a boil. Then reduce the heat and simmer for 4-5 minutes.

  • Now bring the sauce to a boil and gently add the whole chicken to the sauce.Scoop the boiling sauce and pour it over the top part of a chicken that is not covered in the sauce. Let it boil for 4-5 minutes.

  • Then reduce the heat, close the lid and simmer for 30 minutes. Gently flip the chicken every 10 minutes. ( If the pot you use is narrow and the whole chicken is fully submerged in the sauce, you can skip the flipping process. )

  • After simmering for 30 minutes, turn off the heat, close the lid and let the chicken rest in the sauce for 10 minutes.

  • Carefully remove the chicken from the pot and let it rest on the chopping board for 10 minutes.

  • Meanwhile, prepare the basting sauce. In a small pot, scoop half cup of cooking sauce from the pot, cornstarch water, and sesame oil. Stir well and simmer until the sauce starts to get thick and glossy.

  • Brush the bastine sauce over the whole chicken for a shiny glaze. Chop the whole chicken into bite-size pieces by using a sharp knife or cleaver. Transfer to a serving plate and drizzle the prepared basting sauce over the chicken pieces or serve it as a dipping sauce in a bowl. Serve together with rice, blanched vegetables, and an extra dipping sauce of your choice.

  • To serve with rice, place the rice in the bowl, top with chicken pieces, and blanched pak choi or a choice of veggies. Pour the sauce over the chicken and rice.

Notes

  • Can I reuse leftover cooking sauce? Yes, you can reuse this sauce to make soy sauce chicken again or reuse it in various other dishes. This sauce is great for stir-fries, soups, and noodle dishes.
  • How do you store the sauce? Let the sauce cool down completely, and discard the whole spices and fresh herbs by using a mesh strainer. Once the sauce is cool, transfer it to an air-tight jar or container and keep it in the fridge for later use. It usually lasts in the fridge for up to one week. You can also freeze it in the freezer for up to 2 months.
  • It usually takes 20-30 minutes for the chicken to be cooked in the sauce, but it depends on the size of the chicken you use.

Nutrition

Calories: 427kcal | Carbohydrates: 23g | Protein: 30g | Fat: 23g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 6g | Monounsaturated Fat: 9g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 96mg | Sodium: 3344mg | Potassium: 413mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 19g | Vitamin A: 223IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 52mg | Iron: 3mg

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Soy Sauce Chicken - Khin's Kitchen (2024)
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