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Steamed Ginger Chicken

A most comforting dish. Marinate chicken legs in a mixture of soy sauce, oyster sauce, and sesame oil. Layer with ginger and then steam. The chicken gets super tender and juicy, and the marinade turns into a onolicious sauce. Best enjoyed with rice.

The finished dish of marinated chicken legs with ginger and goji berries, after steaming for 20 minutes. Topped with green onions for serving.
Steamed Ginger Chicken, ready to eat ^_^

The flavor of this chicken dish is classic comfort, built on soy sauce, oyster sauce, and sesame oil. Give me this and bowl of rice, and I am set!

Steaming is one of my favorite cooking methods (easy clean up, no oil needed, always so elegant feeling) and this dish is a great example of why.

It’s clean and gentle, but still full of flavors and textures. From the crunchy green onions on top, to the gentle sweet pops of goji berries and all that ginger. Oh man, I love ginger.

And don’t forget the sauce! The chicken juices and marinade combine to form this crazy good sauce that demands to be spooned over rice.

Two marinated chicken legs in a steaming plate layered with ginger and goji berries.
Right before we steam the chicken. The marinade will turn into a super good sauce!

Why This Recipe Works

This is a simple recipe that draws on three ingredients essential to any Hawaii pantry: soy sauce, oyster sauce, and sesame oil. You can’t go wrong with that trio of flavors.

We mix all the sauces together and use that to marinate the chicken.

The marinated chicken is steamed with ginger and goji berries (optional, but delicious). Then we sprinkle on green onions and eat! With rice, of course.

It’s a foolproof recipe, and the only way you can really mess up is by steaming the chicken for too long (but I trust you won’t do that haha).

This is a flexible recipe. Use more or less of any ingredient and feel free to tailor to your personal tastes. When cooking for myself, I’ll double or even triple the ginger.

Ingredients for Steamed Ginger Chicken (chicken legs, soy sauce, oyster sauce, sesame oil, ginger, goji berries, and green onions)
Ingredients for Steamed Ginger Chicken.

Ingredients

  • Chicken Legs – We use chicken legs, but you can also make this with chicken thighs. Try to stick with dark meat for this recipe.
  • Soy SauceKikkoman Soy Sauce and Aloha Shoyu are our two go-to brands.
  • Oyster SauceLee Kum Kee is a popular brand (make sure to get the oyster sauce and not oyster-flavored sauce).
  • Sesame Oil – We go through a lot of sesame oil and use mainly Kadoya for cooking.
  • Ginger – Peeled and julienned. We go through a lot of ginger so I like to peel and julienne ginger in bulk and then store them in the freezer. That way you can just easily have julienned ginger on hand whenever you need!
  • Goji Berries – Goji berries are optional, but I like the bit of sweetness and color they contribute.
  • Green Onion – Thinly sliced or chopped small, up to you. We sprinkle the green onions on at the end right before serving.
The finished dish of marinated chicken legs with ginger and goji berries, after steaming for 20 minutes.
After 20 minutes of steaming.

Step by Step Directions

Ready to start cooking? Let’s begin!

Marinate.
Pat the two chicken legs dry.

Make the steamed chicken marinade: mix together the soy sauce, oyster sauce, and sesame oil. Pour it over the chicken and marinate for at least 30 minutes (and up to a day).

Note: A 15-minute marinade also works if you’re in a rush. But it’s worth marinating for longer if you can. So much more flavor.

Layer.
In a shallow steaming dish, place half the ginger on the bottom. Place the chicken legs on top of the ginger.

Scatter the other half of the ginger and the goji berries on top of the chicken legs.

The goji berries are optional but they make a very nice visual touch. Plus they taste good and are good for you ^_^

Steam.
Steam for 20 minutes.

Tip: Depending on the size of the chicken legs, cooking time can be a shorter or longer. 20 minutes is a good average.

Check to see if it cooked by gently poking a chopstick in the chicken. If the chicken is cooked, the chopstick should go in pretty easily.

Garnish and Eat.
Remove and top with the green onions.

Eat and enjoy! Best with a big bowl of rice, so you can spoon all the sauces in the dish over the rice.

Sauce, rice, and chicken! What more could you want ^_^

The finished dish of marinated chicken legs with ginger and goji berries, after steaming for 20 minutes. Topped with green onions for serving.
Steamed Ginger Chicken, ready to eat ^_^

FAQs and Tips

How long does this dish keep?

This dish is best enjoy as soon as it is made! If you have leftovers, they will keep in the fridge for 2-3 days.

How to reheat leftovers?

Steam for a few minutes or microwave in 30 second increments. The chicken won’t be as tender when reheated, but it will still be plenty delicious.

What other dishes to pair with steamed ginger chicken?

First, you must have rice. Lots and lots of rice. And then, consider also serving it alongside:
Simmered Kabocha
Boiled Okra
Garlic and Fish Sauce Ong Choy
Pork Wontons With Sesame Sauce
Garlic and Ginger Green Beans
Simmered Daikon
Just a few ideas to get you started!

How to steam?

Sometimes people think that you need to have a whole official steaming set up (or that you need a bamboo steamer or a triple tier steamer). While that is nice, you definitely do not need those items to steam dishes.

All you need is a big pot (use the pot you use to make soup), and a steaming rack. Place the rack in the pot. Add water to the pot till it almost reaches the top of the rack. Then place your prepared dish on top of the rack. Put the lid on the pot and steam away!

Steamed Ginger Chicken Recipe

See below and enjoy ^_^

The finished dish of marinated chicken legs with ginger and goji berries, after steaming for 20 minutes. Topped with green onions for serving.

Steamed Ginger Chicken

Yield: 1-2 servings
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes

A most comforting lunch or dinner! Marinate the chicken in a mixture of soy sauce, oyster sauce, and sesame oil. Layer with ginger and then steam! The chicken gets so tender and juicy, and the marinade turns into a wonderful sauce. Best enjoyed with a big bowl of rice.

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Pat the two chicken legs dry.
  2. Mix together the soy sauce, oyster sauce, and sesame oil. Pour over the chicken and marinate for at least 30 minutes (and up to a day).
  3. In a shallow steaming dish, place half the ginger on the bottom. Place the chicken legs on top of the ginger.
  4. Scatter the other half of the ginger and the goji berries on top of the chicken legs.
  5. Steam for 20 minutes. Remove and top with the green onions.
  6. Eat and enjoy! Best with a big bowl of rice.


Noa

Monday 1st of November 2021

Hi. I have a quick question. When you say, add half the ginger to the bottom, do you mean literally put the ginger on the very bottom of the pot in the steaming water? Or do you mean place half the ginger on the steaming rack first in a way where it won’t fall through, and then place the chicken on top of that?

Thanks so much. I’ve enjoyed numerous of your other recipes and loved them and am excited to try this one next!

Kathy

Monday 1st of November 2021

Aloha Noa! Place half the ginger directly under the chicken, the bottom of the chicken and the ginger should be touching. (Don't place the ginger on the very bottom of the pot/in the water). Hope this is helpful and thank you for the kind words, so happy you enjoy the recipes! :) - Kathy

Chrissy K

Friday 26th of February 2021

This is THE BEST dish! Simple, delicious and healthy. Love it with a little ginger scallion sauce, but delicious just the way it is too.

Kathy

Friday 26th of February 2021

Aloha Chrissy - So happy you enjoyed! Oh man yes, also love it with ginger scallion sauce ^_^ - Kathy

Alan

Friday 26th of February 2021

Hi Kathy: Wife and I were in Vegas for a few days so I missed some of your posts. I just saw this post on ginger chicken. This is one of my all-time favorite dishes. I make mine a little differently. I mince garlic, ginger, and green onions with some oil and that is my sauce. I actually like mine either hot or cold. I use this same sauce with steamed fish too, along with hot oil to sear the whole fish.

Kathy

Friday 26th of February 2021

Hi Alan! Hope you and your wife had a great time in Vegas! Your method sounds super delicious, I will give that a try next time! That whole combo of garlic-ginger-green onions...super ono ^_^ - Kathy

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