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Hong Kong Style Soy Sauce Chicken Recipe 港式酱油鸡腿

Monday, December 26, 2011 | Labels: , , , , |

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas celebration and for those of you who don't celebrate Christmas, an enjoyable break over the long weekend.  I am sure that most of you know that Hong Kong is a culinary paradise and I do admit that I am a big fan of most Hong Kong and Cantonese cuisine in general.  Today's dish, the famous Hong Kong style soy sauce chicken can be found in most Hong Kong styled roasted meats restaurants or food stalls - those restaurants that usually have a glass section in the front showcasing various kinds of roasted meats like duck, goose and pork.  Soy sauce chicken is usually also part of the fare served and it's really quite easy to re-create at home, definitely much easier and less time-consuming than making a good roast duck at home.  As chicken breast meat is not particularly popular in my household, I decided to just make soy sauce chicken drumsticks, also this saves on me having to slice up the chicken into bite-sized pieces as it is quite a feat to slice up a cooked chicken cleanly and beautifully.

Hong Kong Style Soy Sauce Chicken 港式酱油鸡腿

For today's dish, it is quite important to use good quality soy sauce as you can probably guess, the soy sauce is the star of the dish.  Today was also the first time I cooked with Chinese rose wine or 玫瑰露 which makes for a much more fragrant soy dish than usual.  Chinese rose wine is actually translucent and is not pink by any means, it is very high in alcoholic content (about 40+%) and provides a deeper dimension of taste to this deceptively simple dishes like this one today.  Instead of regular sugar, I would also suggest for you to use rock sugar as the latter helps the chicken to stay more tender and moist.  I used a combination of light soy sauce 生抽 and dark soy sauce 老抽, added some ginger, scallions, star anise, garlic but do note that every household probably has their own little spin on this classic favourite.  After you've cooked the chicken in the soy sauce mixture, you can keep the sauce for making soy sauce eggs or soy sauce tofu - so this is definitely a dish worth making!

Hong Kong Style Soy Sauce Chicken Hong Kong Style Soy Sauce Chicken 港式酱油鸡腿

This is a recipe in my series of Yuen Chun Recipes, an ongoing project on this blog.

Serves 4-6

Serving suggestion: with noodles or rice


10 chicken drumsticks, rinsed and patted dry, lightly rubbed with 1 teaspoon of salt and 1 tablespoon Chinese rose wine
4 cloves garlic, smashed
8 slices of fresh ginger (old)
6 stalks green onions/ scallions
1 star anise (more if you like)

For braising liquid:

3/4 cup light soy sauce (I used Yuen Chun's) + more, to taste
1/4 cup dark soy sauce + more, to taste
3 cups water
3 tablespoons Chinese rose wine (or substitute with Shaoxing Wine) 
2 tablespoons (about 35g) worth of rock sugar, or to taste

Dash of white pepper

For the noodles:

3 packets wheat noodles (or use other noodles of your choice, cooked according to package instructions)
2-3 stalks green onions, sliced
Chili oil, to taste (I used Sichuan laoganma)
Soy sauce liquid, to taste


Firstly, heat up your claypot or braising pot until hot.  Add about 3 tablespoons of cooking oil.  Turn heat to low.  Add the ginger, garlic and green onions.  Stir-fry until aromatic.

Add the light and dark soy sauce.  Add the water.  Bring to a boil.  Add the rock sugar and Chinese rose wine.  Do a taste test and add more soy or rock sugar if desired. You can also add a dash of pepper if you wish. Turn heat to low and keep liquid at a gentle simmer.  Place the chicken drumsticks into the liquid. After 10 minutes, turn the drumsticks to make sure they get cooked evenly. Cook for another 15-20 minutes.  The chicken drumsticks should be fully cooked by now.  Remove from braising liquid and either chop to serve or serve whole.

You can use chicken wings for this recipe as well but remember to adjust the cooking times accordingly.

For the noodles, I simply added some of the soy sauce mixture, some Sichuan chili oil and topped them off with some sliced green onions.  Simple and perfect with the chicken.

Hong Kong Style Soy Sauce Chicken


Belly Good Cooking said...

Looks delicious. Tried using Chinese rose wine for my bak kwa but family didn't like it. I personally finds it ok though, and might give this recipe a try. :)

Smoky Wok (J) said...

Thanks dear! oh, feel free to use Shaoxing wine then :) what didn't they like about Chinese rose wine? Just curious..

Smallkucing said...

I can eat this solely with rice...add the gravy yummmm

JeannieTay said...

There is an Hong Kong series on Astro about soya sauce and this dish is often mentioned and seen in it...I am sure it is very delicious, bookmarking this:) Thanks for sharing!

Jo foodepix said...

Looks delicious. Would love for you to share your pictures with us over at

Belly Good Cooking said...

Well, they said it's the funny smell it brings, haha. 

Smoky Wok (Tastes of Home) said...

really? hehe

Smoky Wok (Tastes of Home) said...

Hi Jeannie, you must be watching Bottled Passion hah! me too actually, it's better than expected :D

Smoky Wok (Tastes of Home) said...

haha, please help yourself!

Daphne said...

that looks perfectly done!!! I do like the tips on the soy sauce.. mmm..

Jay said...

wow...lipsmacking gooood..
happy following you..:)
check out mine sometime..
Tasty Appetite

Melissa Loh said...

Thanks for the tip about the rock sugar! I have missed soy sauce chicken and I think my mother prefers to finish the braising liquid into a thick sauce with some cornflour slurry - perfect to drizzle over freshly cooked rice. 

Smoky Wok (J) said...


Smoky Wok (J) said...

Melissa, your mom's version sounds great too..I'll give it a try soon! :)

Rachel said...

Hi Thank you for sharing the recipe. Just curious, can we freeze the braising liquid after use, and reuse again? 

Smoky Wok (Tastes of Home) said...

Hi there! I have not tried that though, but I know of restaurants who keep their braising liquid base forever...sorry not of much help but it should last for quite a bit in the fridge as it is.

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