Tag Archives: herbs

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.

Drunken Chicken with Herbs


Found this interesting recipe on wokkingmum.blogspot.com and would love to try it one day.

2 Chicken Drumstick, deboned

4 stalk Spring Onion, only the white part, bruised
2 slice Ginger
1 tablespoon Chinese Cooking Wine (like 绍兴花雕酒)
11/3 teaspoon Salt

300ml Chicken Stock
200ml Water
2 slice or 7g Angelica Sinensis Gui 当归, use as it is or grind into powder
6 Red Dates 红枣
10g Wolfberries 枸杞子
100ml – 300ml Chinese Cooking Wine 绍兴花雕酒, add according to your preference
Salt and Sugar to taste

How to do it:
Bring all except wine, salt and sugar, in seasonings to boil.
Reduce to a simmer and continue to simmer for 20mins.
Add salt and sugar to taste.
Add wine after the simmered seasoning has cooled.
Chill the seasoning for later use.
Meanwhile, flatten and tenderize the chicken using a mallet or the back of the knife.
Pat dry with paper towel before adding the marinade.
Marinate for at least 30mins.
Prepare a sheet of foil with baking paper for each piece of chicken.
Roll the chicken as tightly as possible.
Wrap with foil with baking paper inside.
Steam chicken roll for 25mins or till completely cooked.
Remove foil and baking paper.
Plunge steamed chicken rolls together with the sauce into the chilled seasoning prepared earlier.
Let it sit in the seasoning till completely cooled.
Refrigerate till chill or over night for better results.
Sliced and serve chill.

Herbal prawns


Here’s another favourite, from ellenaguan, it’s easy to whip up, though I need to pay attention to the time it takes to cook prawns. I’ve been over-cooking them the past few times!

Ingredients: (Serves 2)
300g of Medium Fresh/Live Green Prawn
5 – 6 Slices Of Dang Gui(当归)
5 Red Dates(红枣), seeds removed
1/2 Tablespoon Of Gou Qi Zi(杞子)
50ml Of Hua Diao Jiu

1. Pre-soaked the herbs in the hua diao jiu for at least 30 minutes to an hour for the wine to absorb the aroma of the herbs.
2. Trim and wash the prawns then pat dry and arrange them in a steam tray/plate in single layer.(do not overlay them as it will cause uneven cooking time during steaming)
3. Arrange the herbs on top of the prawns and pour over the remaining wine on it.
4. Steam over boiling water for about 4-5 minutes, remove and served immediately.

If your prawns are kept in the fridge before steaming, remember to remove it from the fridge at least 10 – 15 minutes before hand and to let it cool off and pour away any of the water in the tray or plate before arranging the herbs on top.