Hakka wine-flavored chicken

In 2018, the first Hakka wine-flavored chicken (aka sesame oil chicken) cooking competition was held in Hsinchu County. It combined the local chicken farming industry with the catering industry to promote Hakka cuisine. This shows Hakka wine-flavored chicken is a very special dish in Hakka cuisine.

In the past, there was a shortage of material, so traditional Hakka wine-flavored chicken was regarded by the Hakka people as a dish that supplemented the nutrition mothers needed after giving birth. Nowadays, anyone can eat this dish and it’s often eaten in the winter, because it has the effect of warming the stomach. In the old days, after Hakka women gave birth, they were served wine-flavored chicken in which no salt was added for the purpose of protecting their kidneys. In addition to ginger, the main ingredients of this dish are rice wine and sesame oil. Generally, you should add a lot of rice wine when making this dish, or even replace water with rice wine. Basically, you don't need to add even a drop of water.

Although there are only ginger, sesame oil, chicken, and rice wine in Hakka wine-flavored chicken, it still takes some skills to cook this dish well. First, when frying ginger slices with sesame oil, the fire cannot be turned up too high. If the oil temperature is too high, the ginger will become bitter. Instead, slowly stir the ginger slices on a small fire until it turns brown. The chicken also should be stir-fried, then stewed in rice wine, first bringing it to boil and then letting it simmer for 20 minutes. This will make the chicken tender and good to eat, and the chicken soup will taste sweet and delicious. If you’re not used to the taste being too light, you can add salt. If you don't like the strong wine flavor, you can use some water to dilute the wine when cooking the chicken, and just before the chicken is cooked, add some more rice wine to give the dish a wine flavor. It’s popular to eat this dish with white rice or thin noodles.  Southern Taiwan Hakkas would enjoy the unsalted dish by dipping the chicken into wine-salt source, rather than soybean source, to retain the "authentic" taste of this dish.


Chicken 480 grams, 10 pieces of ginger (about 25 grams), sesame oil 60ml, rice wine 600ml

Cooking method:

1. Wash the chicken and chop it into small pieces; wash the ginger and slice it.

2. Pour the black sesame oil into the pot first, heat it, and slowly fry the ginger slices on a small fire until it’s completely brown.

3. Add the chicken, stir fry until the flesh is white, then pour in the rice wine. Bring the ingredients to a boil, and then let them simmer in a small fire for 20 minutes to bring out the savory taste of the chicken.