Monthly Archives: August 2013

Roast Herbal Emperor Chicken


After trying the previous recipe, I think I still prefer the tried and preferred rendition from wokkingmum. Here is her recipe!


  • 1 Chicken, cleaned
  • 500ml Water
  • Salt to taste

Assorted Herbs in approximate weight:

  • 24g Huai Shan 淮山 (Radix Dioscoreae Oppositae)
  • 18g Dang Shen 党参 (Codonopsis Pilosulae)
  • 16g Yu Zhu 玉竹 (Solomon’s Seal Rhizome)
  • 22g Long Yan Gan 龙眼干 (Dried Longan)
  • 10g Gou Qi Zi 枸杞子 (Wolfberries)
  • 6 Hong Zao 红枣 (Red Dates)
  • 3g Chuan Gong 川芎 (Szechwan Lovage Rhizome)
  • 5g Tang Gui 当归 (Angelica Sinensis)
  • 15g Bei Qi 北芪 (Astragalus Membranaceus)

How to do it:

  1. Place herbs in a oven-proof casserole and add water.
  2. Place chicken, breast side down, on top
  3. Place casserole on a stove and bring to a boil over medium-high fire.
  4. Remove from stove, cover with lid for 5 to 10 minutes so the herbs can softened.
  5. Carefully remove the chicken and stuff some herbs in the cavity.
  6. Return the chicken to the casserole and cover the lid.
  7. Roast in the oven for 1 to 1 1/2 hours at180C
  8. Check for doneness; juices would run clear when the thickest part of the thigh is pierced with a metal skewer.
  9. Remove the lid, season with salt.
  10. Baste the chicken with the soup sauce and continue to cook for another 10 to 15 minutes to brown the skin.
  11. Carve chicken or serve as whole.

Alternative Steaming Method:

  1. Steam all herbs with water for 5 minutes.
  2. Place chicken on a aluminum foil.
  3. Stuff some herbs in chicken and scatter the rest around the chicken.
  4. Pour the water used together with the herbs for steaming inside.
  5. Wrap and seal the foil.
  6. Place on a dish and steam for at least 2 hours.
  7. Add salt to taste and serve.


  • Remember to keep checking the water level if you are using the steaming method.
  • Keep a kettle of hot water ready; to add in if the water level is low.
  • DO NOT add cold water.

Empress Herbal Chicken


Once upon a time, I was searching for herbal chicken recipes to mimic this particular dish that I loved as a child, and could only find the one I liked in JB. However, even though that restaurant is still around, the quality of this dish seem to have deteriorated over the years. I found this recipe, which, while does not resemble the herbal chicken of yesteryear which I have been on a search for, is a great recipe nonetheless.

*edit: I realised that there were lots of missing steps and unexplained ingredients, so I have sinctndine tweaked the whole recipe to my own understanding.


  • 6 whole chicken legs, or 1 whole chicken


  • 3 tbsps oyster sauce
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 3 tbsp rice wine, or any wine
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper 

Other ingredients:

  • 1 whole bulb garlic, separated into cloves, skin on
  • 2 cups water (more if you like more gravy)
  • 3 tbsps cooking oil


  • 1 heaping tbsp “Chin Kung” (good for blood circulation, a blood tonic)
  • 3 slices of Tong Kwai (a blood tonic, good for those with menstrual problems)
  • 1 large handful of Tong Sum (improve one’s “chi” and stamina, good for those always feeling tired)
  • 3 tbsps wolfberries (high in antioxidants, good for improving eyesight and eyestrain)
  • 6 Licorice Root slices (good in soothing throats and reducing phlegm)
  • 1/4 cup dried longans (good for inducing restful sleep, for insomniacs)
  • 1/4 cup of dried Red Dates
  • 5 slices Wai San (Chinese Yam – good for kidneys and lungs)


  1. Clean and wipe dry chicken. Marinate with the ingredients mentioned above. Set aside for a few hours, if you have no time, then massage the chicken longer.
  2. Using the other ingredients in a wok, heat up the oil and put in the garlic cloves. Stirfry for 2 minutes. Do not add in water first, we are only sauteing the garlic at this point.
  3. Lower heat to medium and put in the herbs. Keep stirring to prevent burning as the herbs are dry and do this for about 2 – 3 minutes until the herbs are aromatic and have a “smoke” smell. *use VERY LOW heat!
  4. Add in the water, bring to a boil – then lower heat.
  5. Add in chicken and all the marinade, cover the wok and simmer for about 20 minutes. At this point, you can add more water if it dries up and check for taste by adding more oyster or soy sauce, a bit of sugar and salt. Thicken with some cornstarch-water mixture if you want a thicker gravy.
  6. Pour the herbal sauce over the chicken in a casserole,  and steam over high heat for 10 minutes, then reduce heat to medium and steam for a further 40 to 50 minutes, depending on how soft you like the chicken meat to be.
  7. Serve hot with freshly cooked white rice.

Meatballs with Spaghetti


Here’s a recipe that I’ve come up with on my own, after trying countless times to make spaghetti on my own. its full of shortcuts but its good enough for me.

(A) Meatballs

  • 200g of beef
  • about 5 tablespoons of bread crumbs
  • any type of steak seasoning you have, OR simply pepper and salt

(B) Spaghetti sauce

I don’t make my sauce from scratch, even though I’ve tried (its too much work!). Will upload the recipe some other time. I use Prego’s Traditional Sauce, and add in maybe 2 cubed tomatoes, and some tomato paste if I’m in the mood for a more sour sauce. I would also add in any mushrooms if I was in the mood, into the sauce.

(C) Spaghetti

  • half a packet of any instant spaghetti


  1. Prepare the meatballs  first. Mix everything up in a bowl, and shape into small balls (I prefer the meatballs to be bite-sized for my daughter to eat). Set meatballs aside.
  2. Put the spaghetti into a pot of boiling (slightly) salted water. Put a little olive oil and stir spaghetti around so as to prevent them from sticking together. Leave to boil gently till al dente.
  3. Saute a bit of mashed garlic and some mushrooms in a pot if you want them in your sauce.
  4. Put the spaghetti sauce into the same pot and heat it up. Add in tomatoes, let it simmer gently. Add in cheese if you want!
  5. Now, heat up a non-stick pan and drizzle a little olive oil in it. It should be on medium-low heat. Put in meatballs one by one. Be sure to turn them quickly to prevent them from going out of shape. This normally takes about 7-10 minutes.
  6. Once meatballs are brown, take them out and drain the oil before putting meatballs into the sauce.
  7. Place cooked spaghetti on a plate, any amount of spaghetti sauce over it, and there’s dinner served!

柳橙香鸡肉Orange-flavoured Chicken


Another one of those surprisingly delicious dishes that I’ve tried and tested.

Serves 2


  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 1 orange
  • 1/2 teaspoon 五香粉 five spice powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 tablespoon oyster sauce
  • 2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon light soy sauce



  1. Marinate both chicken breasts with all the condiments. Set aside for about 1/2 hour to marinate, and go about preparing other dishes first.
  2. Drain the marinade from the chicken pieces and set it aside.
  3. Pan fry the chicken in a medium heat pan with a drizzle of oil. Cover the pan with a lid for about a minute before flipping the chicken and covering again for another minute.
  4. Make sure both sides are slightly brown, pour in the marinade. Cover the pan, gradually turn up the heat to lessen the sauce. Takes about 2 minutes.
  5. Remove chicken from pan, cut to check that it is thoroughly cooked, cut into slices to serve.
  6. Drizzle the sauce on the chicken slices. Add diced canned peaches if desired.

青菜豆腐鸡蛋汤 Tofu and Veggie Egg Drop Soup


A simple recipe that I’ve had for quite awhile and tried out once. Turned out pretty good. Loved it actually. =)

Simple ingredients, simple cooking.


  • Chicken stock
  • 1 tomato
  • 1 tofu
  • 小白菜 Bak Choy
  • sprinkling of salt
  • 1 egg


  1. In 1/2 a pot of simmering chicken stock, put in tomato and tofu, let it sit for awhile. Allow soup to boil.
  2. Place bak choy into soup. Add sprinkle of salt.
  3. Beat up egg and drizzle into soup in a figure 8 pattern. Stir well and serve.

Vinegar trotters


I’ve been recently having a craving for all things confinement food, and have been wanting to experiment with cooking vinegar trotters on my own. I looked on the trusty ol’ www, and these are a few recipes I’ve found, that I would love to try soon. This weekend, maybe?


All the recipes I’ve found, point to a few similarities:

  • They use trotters, of course. But I’ve also learnt from eating my mom’s rendition of this dish that lean pork can be used in the dish as well, for the more health-conscious.
  • Most of the recipes recommend the Dog or Bulldog brand, even my mom asked me to go for that brand.
  • All recipes use brown or dark brown sugar (molasses, i believe its called).

Sesame Oil Chicken recipe


I love this dish, simply because it brings back childhood memories and is so yummy! Its also a confinement food for mothers who have just given birth, and I guess the dish prepared for confinement would include a heavier hand on the D.O.M, for its nourishing properties.

Having tried another recipe for this before, I felt that the chicken needed to be marinated before cooking, so that the taste is much improved, instead of just stir-fried. I found a new recipe for sesame oil chicken on Mummy, I can cook! and can’t wait to try it out this weekend! The recipe from her blog is as follows:

Mum’s Sesame Oil Chicken
serves 2
2 chicken legs, cut into thighs and drumsticks (you can use whichever parts you like, but they must be bone-in)
1 tbsp ginger juice (peel, smash/grate ginger, squeeze. reserve the ginger.)
2 tbsp toasted sesame oil
2 tbsp soy sauce (traditionally brewed and fermented)
1 tbsp Shaoxing rice wine
1 tsp unrefined cane sugar
1 tsp white pepper
1/2 cup water
1 tbsp olive oil


1. Marinate the chicken in the ginger juice, sesame oil and soy sauce, for about 1 hr, or even longer.

2. To a medium hot wok/pot, heat the oil, and add the reserved ginger, fry till aromatic.

3. Add the chicken pieces, drained of their marinade, to brown slightly, about 1 min, then add in the Shaoxing wine, followed by the marinade, and cook for a few more min.
4. Add in the water, cover and let simmer on low heat for 30 minutes. Serve warm with rice.