Recipe: Sake-Steamed Chicken Salad

by Hedy Khoo
FOOD  |  October 23, 2017
  • The ingredients you'll need
    1 / 4 The ingredients you'll need

    In this dish, you get the tenderness of chicken, crunchiness of vegetables and toastiness of sesame seeds. The cooking sake also imparts a lovely aroma and flavour to the dish.

    Steaming the chicken is preferable to boiling it as more flavour is retained – chicken breast can be surprisingly juicy if cooked right.

    Ginger juice helps to tenderise the meat and add even more flavour. Add chilli to the salad dressing if you want a fiery kick.


    • 3 wood-ear mushrooms (8g)
    • 60g ginger
    • 1 whole chicken breast, with skin on (400g)
    • ¾ flat tsp salt
    • 4 tbsp cooking sake
    • 5g black raw sesame seeds
    • 5g white raw sesame seeds
    • 2 tbsp Chinese black vinegar
    • 2 tbsp sesame oil
    • 2 tsp light soy sauce
    • 2 garlic cloves, pounded into paste
    • 1 Japanese cucumber (100g), julienned
    • 1 carrot (120g), shredded
    • 1 stalk of spring onion, finely sliced
    • 1 red finger chilli, deseeded and julienned

    Scroll through the gallery for the cooking method.

    Photo: Hedy Khoo/The New Paper

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  • Cooking method part 1/3
    2 / 4 Cooking method part 1/3

    1. Soak the wood-ear mushrooms in water for 10 minutes.
    2. Blanch in boiling water for 3 minutes. Allow to cool and slice into thin strips. Set aside.
    3. Peel ginger and coarsely chop. Use a mortar and pestle to pound ginger. Squeeze ginger. It should render about 2 tablespoons of juice.
    4. Halve chicken breast lengthwise and rub with salt.
    5. Place chicken breast in heatproof dish. Add ginger juice and cooking sake. Marinate meat for 10 minutes.

    6. Steam chicken breast for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
    7. Once chicken breast cools to room temperature, remove any bones and slice meat into thin strips. Set aside.

    Photo: Hedy Khoo/The New Paper

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  • Cooking method part 2/3
    3 / 4 Cooking method part 2/3

    8. Strain and reserve about 4 tablespoons of cooking liquid.
    9. Heat a small frying pan over low heat.
    10. Place black and white sesame seeds in pan and lightly fry for 3 minutes or until toasted and fragrant.

    11. Remove sesame seeds from pan and set aside to cool.

    (Also Read: Where to Get Your Hawaiian Poke (Raw Fish Salad) Fix in Singapore)

    Photo: Hedy Khoo/The New Paper

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  • Cooking method part 3/3
    4 / 4 Cooking method part 3/3

    12. In a bowl, add reserved cooking liquid, Chinese black vinegar, sesame oil, light soy sauce and garlic paste. Mix well and set aside as salad dressing.

    13. On a serving dish, place wood-ear mushrooms, cucumber and carrot.
    14. Arrange chicken meat on top. Garnish with spring onion and sliced chilli.
    15. Drizzle salad dressing and sprinkle sesame seeds.

    Photo: Hedy Khoo/The New Paper

    A version of this story first appeared in The New Paper on October 19, 2017, with the headline, ‘Hed Chef: Sake-steamed chicken salad’.

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