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Syrupy Soy Sauce Chicken

Sticky and sweet with flavour-soaked aubergine chunks

In Cantonese we have a name for those who simply love eating rice.

Faan toong literally translates to ‘rice bucket’… though for us it’s more like a shovelling action!

Why do we love those fluffy white grains so much? For us, the answer is usually in the sauce…

Just picture it: after a hard day at the library you retire to your cold student flat with a rumbling belly. Upon opening the creaky pantry doors there’s a sigh of despair: soy sauce, stale cornflakes, and a half a bag of rice. The fridge is no better: two chicken thigh cutlets left over from last night’s stir fry, a lonely sprig of spring onion on its last legs, half a bottle of cheap white wine, and something that looks suspiciously like pizza, only more furry.

What on Earth will you have for dinner?!

Well, if you were *really* hungry, you could simply cook the rice and sprinkle on some soy sauce. The rice soaks up the soy sauce like a sponge, giving it a very pleasant savoury flavour. It’s also money-saving to the max!

But say you wanted to prepare something mega-delicious. Something that’ll have you scooping up every last grain of rice and sitting back in complete satisfaction afterwards.

With pretty minimal ingredients and hardly any effort you can whip up one of our favourite go-to meals, syrupy soy sauce chicken. This dish is the perfect marriage between a rich, savoury sauce and fluffy jasmine rice. And it feels very indulgent, even though there’s hardly any added fat. There’s just something so appetizing about the way the sticky sauce coats the grains, like little gleaming jewels that taste just as lovely as they look.

Without doubt, the syrupy sauce and rice combo makes this dish. But it certainly doesn’t hurt to have succulent chicken thighs* and tender aubergine too – both are perfect vehicles to carry the rich flavour of the sauce, and all you have to do is chuck ’em in!

So if you ever find yourself longing for something delicious but dead easy, give this recipe a go. We like to think of it as the Chinese version of macaroni and cheese: supremely comforting, and never disappointing!

* You might feel tempted to substitute the thigh for breast, but PLEASE DON’T DO IT! This recipe is the perfect example of why we usually prefer thigh over breast. Not only is thigh meat more cost-effective, it’s also far more moist than breast meat and holds up better when there is a longer cooking time.

Serves
4
Ingredients

450g chicken thighs, boneless and skinless
3 slices ginger, cut into matchsticks
1 large aubergine, cut into shards or batons
4 spring onions, chopped into thirds

For the sauce
250ml water
3 tbsp light soy sauce
1/2 tsp dark soy sauce
3 tbsp rice wine or white wine
2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp ground white pepper

 

In Cantonese we have a name for those who simply love eating rice.

Faan toong literally translates to ‘rice bucket’… though for us it’s more like a shovelling action!

Why do we love those fluffy white grains so much? For us, the answer is usually in the sauce…

Just picture it: after a hard day at the library you retire to your cold student flat with a rumbling belly. Upon opening the creaky pantry doors there’s a sigh of despair: soy sauce, stale cornflakes, and a half a bag of rice. The fridge is no better: two chicken thigh cutlets left over from last night’s stir fry, a lonely sprig of spring onion on its last legs, half a bottle of cheap white wine, and something that looks suspiciously like pizza, only more furry.

What on Earth will you have for dinner?!

Well, if you were *really* hungry, you could simply cook the rice and sprinkle on some soy sauce. The rice soaks up the soy sauce like a sponge, giving it a very pleasant savoury flavour. It’s also money-saving to the max!

But say you wanted to prepare something mega-delicious. Something that’ll have you scooping up every last grain of rice and sitting back in complete satisfaction afterwards.

With pretty minimal ingredients and hardly any effort you can whip up one of our favourite go-to meals, syrupy soy sauce chicken. This dish is the perfect marriage between a rich, savoury sauce and fluffy jasmine rice. And it feels very indulgent, even though there’s hardly any added fat. There’s just something so appetizing about the way the sticky sauce coats the grains, like little gleaming jewels that taste just as lovely as they look.

Without doubt, the syrupy sauce and rice combo makes this dish. But it certainly doesn’t hurt to have succulent chicken thighs* and tender aubergine too – both are perfect vehicles to carry the rich flavour of the sauce, and all you have to do is chuck ’em in!

So if you ever find yourself longing for something delicious but dead easy, give this recipe a go. We like to think of it as the Chinese version of macaroni and cheese: supremely comforting, and never disappointing!

* You might feel tempted to substitute the thigh for breast, but PLEASE DON’T DO IT! This recipe is the perfect example of why we usually prefer thigh over breast. Not only is thigh meat more cost-effective, it’s also far more moist than breast meat and holds up better when there is a longer cooking time.

GET THE METHOD →

Get a frying pan on medium heat with a dash of vegetable oil. When the oil is hot, chuck in the ginger matchsticks, moving them around to 'bao' them.
OUR
TIP!
To ‘bao’ (literally 'explode') ginger means to let it sizzle in hot oil, which helps to release the warm aromatic flavour.
When the ginger starts to blister and brown slightly, add the chicken thigh cutlets. Allow the chicken to brown on both sides for a couple of minutes. By creating a crust of sorts, the moisture is sealed in at the very beginning of cooking.
Combine the ingredients for the sauce mix, and add about a third of it to the chicken. Allow it to reduce down on medium heat, before adding another third of the sauce mix.
When the second third of the sauce has reduced down, add the aubergine chunks and remaining sauce mix.
When the liquid has reduced down to a syrup and the aubergine is tender, toss through the spring onions until they softens – it won’t take long!
To serve, spoon the chicken and sticky sauce onto a steaming mountain of rice. Any long grain rice will do here, but it’s worth getting quality Thai jasmine for that unmistakably nutty and fragrant aroma.
  • Toni Ruawai

    Can you replace the eggplant with some other vegetable?

    • Hi Toni! You can definitely sub out the eggplant for something else. We just had another comment on YouTube about eggplant replacement, here’s the suggestions we made 🙂

      “How do you feel about tofu? Medium-firm tofu chopped into chunks would be great, either straight in or pan-fried first so it has a lovely crust for soaking up the sauce. Chopped potatoes would also be excellent soakers and broccoli would work well because the sauce can get trapped in the wee florets. For potatoes and brocolli, it’s best to cook up separately first, as there isn’t much time for cooking by the time you add them to the sauce :)”

      Hope this helps!

    • yente de schepper

      tried it but wouldnt get it to become the sirupy sauce like in the video 🙁 seems like 2 teaspoons of sugar were not enough or? i kept letting it reduce untill i had almost nothing left .. yet it did not become sirupy.. dont know what i did wrong.. followed the recipe 🙁

  • Nancy

    I already tried your wonton soup and siu mai recipes, which were fingerlicking YUMMY! Tomorrow this recipe will have to do, I already know that every single member of my family will just love it. Thank you so much for your enjoyable videos, keep up the fabulous work girls!

    • Hey Nancy, thanks heaps for your comment and for trying the recipes! Very pleased to hear that they went well for you 🙂 All the best with the soy chicken, it’s a nice easy one but packed with flavour!

      • Nancy

        I just finished eating this dish, and it is just super delicious! I cannot wait until you are going to publish more of your secret recipes. You just gained a fan!

  • Awesome, Nancy!! That’s fantastic, so glad you liked it! 😀

  • I just made this today and it was a mega hit at our house! I used chicken breasts and zucchini because it’s what I had in the pantry and it turned out super duper delicious. Needless to say this will be on regular rotation this summer on our house menu plan!!

    • Wicked! Yeah, we’re huge plans of improvising and using what you have on hand! Ooo, I can imagine zucchini being excellent in this dish, a brilliant veg for soaking up the flavour 😀

  • vikoni

    Bring the book out already! 🙂
    This dish was super (like all of them on your channel). Super delicious and super cheap 😀
    Mega hit!

  • Hailing

    Hi Girls,

    Love your recipes. I stumbled upon your blog 2 days ago and I’ve already made 2 recipes!

    I want to make this chicken today but the recipe has confused me as the quantities given differ to those you’ve used in the video.

    Does t mean teaspoon and T mean tablespoon?

    Thanks

    • Hello Hailing and sorry for the late response, we’ve been on holiday! Great to hear that you are enjoying the recipes!! As for the chicken, sorry for the confusion, but please do refer to the quantities listed in the written recipe (and yep, T is tablespoon while t is teaspoon). Let us know how it goes! xx

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  • Arindam Roy Chowdhury

    Hi Amy and Julie, I tried cooking this today and it was delicious. I will certainly be cooking it again. Thank you.

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