Soya sauce chicken is a tasty dish that is from Hong Kong. It's something that sounds very simple, but it requires a lot of cooking arts to create such a fantastic recipe. Chicken is marinated and braised in soy sauce, cut into pieces, and served with delicious soy mixture sauce.
Probably the most famous chicken dish that comes from Asia is Hainanese chicken rice. And the second place would belong to this famous Soya sauce chicken dish. Asian always have so many methods to cook chicken, and I must say not a single one is disappointed (even with the pickiest palate on the planet).
Where can I find the best soya sauce chicken?
Singapore One Michelin Star Hawker Chan has the best soya chicken in the world; If you haven't known, I immensely love Singapore. There was a time when I traveled to Singapore 4 times a year, not this 2020, of course; thank you, Covid-19. For the record, every time I visited Singapore, I had to eat at this famous place at least once.
All ingredients are primarily found in Asian cuisine because this is a straight Hong Kong-style recipe. So you'll need to make a short trip to your Asian market before prepping and cooking this delicious soya chicken. Here is a list of ingredients that I used in this soya chicken recipe:
- Dark soy sauce: the one ingredient that you MUST have if you want to make it right. This is where the appealing color of the result comes from.
- Honey: using honey instead of sugar brings out the natural sweetness of the dish. And make sure your honey is pure & unfiltered.
- Light soy sauce: A mixture of light and dark soy sauce helps make the chicken's color stunning after cooking. You can buy them separately or in bulk to save more money.
- Cinnamon stick, star anise, shallot, ginger, and bay leaves.
- Kosher salt: if you haven't used Kosher salt in your cooking, you should start now. I always (like most the famous Chefs) use Kosher salt in my recipes. According to Bon Appetite, Kosher salt is the MVP of our seasoning game.
What part of chicken did I use?
I used chicken leg quarters. You can also opt in for: whole chicken, drumsticks, and chicken thigh. I would recommend you steer clear of chicken breast because of how fast it is cooked before having time to absorb all the flavor. If you must eat chicken breast, you can cook a whole small chicken and separate each part before serving.
Chicken related recipes
- Marry me chicken
- Soy sauce chicken thighs
- Asian style roasted duck
- Sriracha char siu chicken
- General Tso's chicken
- Super crispy sesame chicken
How to make soya sauce chicken
In order to have such moist and super flavorful chicken meat, it is best to follow these steps orderly:
- Marinade chicken for at least 30 minutes (maximum 4 hours)
- Boil chicken with water only for 10 minutes, then put in an ice water bath immediately to temper chicken skin. Temper chicken with hot soy mixture
- If you are using a whole chicken, you need to hold the chicken by its neck or hang it onto a hook for this tempering process. Ladle hot soy mixture all over the chicken (make sure to cover all surfaces).
- If using other chicken parts, carefully hold it on the top and dip it in the hot soy mixture multiple times. Or you can also spoon the mixture all over chicken leg quarters/thighs/drumsticks. Don't burn yourself.
- Continue cooking chicken in hot soy mixture (partially cover) for 20 minutes (or 30 minutes if using whole chicken)
What to do with the left over soy sauce mixture (Master stock)?
You'll have plenty of soy mixture left over at the end of the cooking process. Use a small part of this to serve as a sauce on the side. The rest of the mixture should be strained carefully, put in an airtight container, and refrigerated. This soy-based mixture is good for as long as you keep it in a chilled environment, and you can use this as a base for the next cooking.
Master stock is used frequently in Chinese/Hong Kong-style cooking. Master stock is a mixture of spice and liquid used repeatedly to braise or poach meat. The longer the master stock stays, the better its flavor is developed.
What to served with?
This famous soya sauce chicken and a hot bowl of steamed rice are the best combo. If rice is not available, you can also serve it with baguette or any kind of bread. Even better, as the holiday is coming, this can be a good alternative for your yearly Thanksgiving turkey. Lets replace the regular roasted turkey for this soya chicken. No need to spend extra time to make gravy because you can use the master stock as a sauce on the side too.
It's still a few month away so you have plenty of time to master this recipe. Soya sauce chicken for Thanksgiving dinner, why not right?
Soya Sauce Chicken - Hong Kong Style
- Ice water bath pot
- 2 big stock pots
- 5 chicken legs quarters
- 1 tsp salt
- ¼ c dark soy sauce
- 2 tbsp honey
- 1 dash black pepper
Soy sauce mixture (Master stock)
- 5 piece star anise
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 5 shallot smashed
- 1 medium ginger cut into slices
- 5 bay leaves
- 2.5 oz sugar
- ¼ c dark soy sauce
- ½ c light soy sauce
- In a big mixing bowl, combine all marinade ingredients and whisk to combine. Add chicken legs quarters and let them marinade for at least 30 minutes (max: 4 hours).
- In the first stock pot, fill the water high enough to cover the chicken (eye ball). Bring to boil then add chicken in. Simmer chicken legs for 10 minutes (on medium high heat).
Ice water bath
- Make a big ice water bath pot. After 10 minutes, take the chicken and submerge them entirely under the cold water to temper them. Keep 2 cups of the temper broth to make master stock..
- In another big stock pot, add 3 tbsp vegetable oil. Heat medium-high heat, then add star anise, cinnamon stick, shallot, ginger, and bay leaves. I sauteed for 5 minutes or until their fragrance was released.
- Add sugar, dark soy sauce, light soy sauce, 2 cups of temper broth, and 2 cups of water. Stir to combine everything. Bring to boil then reduce the heat to medium high, simmer for 10 minutes.
- Continue simmering master stock. Hold chicken leg at the top of the leg, ladle boiling soy mixture all over chicken leg. Set aside. Continue doing the same thing for the rest of the chicken legs.
- When all chicken legs are all coated with soy sauce mixture (master stock), return them to the pot and simmer for another 20 minutes, partially cover the pot. Adjust the heat high enough to simmer the whole pot.
- Chicken legs quarters should be done cooking after 20 minutes in master stock. If you're using whole chicken, it should be 30 minutes to cook in master stock.
- Turn off the heat and let the chicken legs steep inside the pot for 15 minutes before serving.
- Take chicken legs out of master stock and rest at room temperature for 10 minutes before breaking down into pieces. Carefully work on each section so they are not falling apart.
- Strain master stock and discard all ingredients inside the store. Take about 1 cup of master stock and serve as a sauce on the side. Refrigerate the leftover stock in an airtight container.
- Serve with steamed rice, baguette, or any kind of bread, or by itself. Enjoy!