Soy sauce chicken

Soy sauce chicken

Chinese Unchopped
10 mins
Cooking time
35 mins
Martin Poole

This is one of the simplest chicken dishes that you can come across in the Chinese home kitchen – it’s great for teaching to kids or young adults getting ready for university or leaving home for the first time. The key to it is to ensure you caramelise the soy sauce and sugar mix well enough before you add the water to the chicken. With that in mind the rest is simple; simply sear, stir, and boil.


Quantity Ingredient
1 onion
a thumb-size piece ginger
300g chicken thighs and/or legs
A pinch chinese five-spice
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 small handful coriander leaves

The sauce

Quantity Ingredient
6 tablespoons dark soy sauce
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
300-500ml hot water


  1. Cut the onion into fine slices and the ginger into fine matchsticks. Roughly chop the coriander leaves.
  2. Mix the dark soy sauce with the sugar in a bowl.
  3. BUILD YOUR WOK CLOCK: place the chopped onions at 12 o’clock, then arrange the ginger, chicken, five-spice, soy sauce mixture and coriander clockwise around the plate.
  4. Heat the vegetable oil in a saucepan over a medium heat. Add the onion and ginger and cook, stirring for 2–3 minutes, or until the onion starts to brown.
  5. Add the chicken pieces and fry for 4–5 minutes, turning over as necessary, until golden brown on all sides, then add the five-spice, soy and sugar mixture and bring to the boil, stirring well to dissolve the sugar. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for a further 4–5 minutes until the sauce has thickened and caramelised, stirring to ensure the chicken pieces are evenly coated.
  6. Add just enough hot, but not boiling water to cover the chicken pieces. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and leave to simmer, covered, for 15 minutes. Remove the lid and continue to simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the sauce has reduced by half and is dark, sticky and caramelised. Transfer to a serving bowl or plate and garnish with the coriander. Serve.


  • Try adding a few greens here by throwing a bag of French beans or sugar snap peas into the pot 3 minutes before serving.
School of Wok
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