Chicken and golden needles (dried lily buds) cooked in Chinese wine was one of Gran’s signature dishes. Even though I haven’t had it for like 20 years, I could still remember how tender the chicken was and how fragrant the gravy was, which I could just drizzle over my rice. I wasn’t a big fan of dried lily flowers but they did give an interesting earthy flavour to the dish.
Before cooking, dried lily buds would have to be soaked in hot water for at least 15 minutes. Then trim the bottom to remove the woody stem. Gran said before the lily buds would have to be tied into knots to prevent them from fraying when cooking. That would also give them a better texture and bite.
My recipe isn’t quite the same as Gran’s as mine is of a darker coloured gravy due to the use of dark soy sauce and oyster sauce which makes it saltier and more savoury.
Steamed Chicken with Dried Lily Buds Recipe
Ingredients (serves 2-3)
1/2 chicken, skin removed & cut into pieces
15g black fungus, soaked in hot water & sliced
15g dried lily buds, soaked in hot water, stems trimmed and tied into knots
1 tbsp minced garlic
3-4 slices ginger, peeled
1 tbsp light soy sauce
1 1/2 tbsp ginger juice
1 tbsp Shaoxing Huadiao wine
Sauce: (combine in a bowl)
1 tbsp oyster sauce
dash of dark soy sauce (for colour)
1 tsp light soy sauce
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tbsp sesame oil
pinch of chicken seasoning powder
1 tbsp corn flour
1/4 cup water
1. Marinate chicken and chill in fridge for at least an hour.
2. Heat a little oil in wok and saute garlic and ginger.
3. Add black fungus, lily buds and sauce. Bring to a boil and stir to combine.
4. Transfer chicken to a steaming dish and ladle the sauce mixture over the chicken. Steam for 20-25 minutes at high heat or till chicken is cooked through.
5. Garnish with parsley and serve with steamed rice.