Introducing this sticky, richly-flavoured Shanghai chicken with rice. It’s quick and tasty – ready and on the table in only 15 minutes, making it just perfect for a mid-week meal.
I’m going to be honest with you. I always feel like a bit of a fraud when I post Asian recipes, because, let’s face it, I’m not exactly an Asian recipe expert.
Unlike my beautiful friends Maggie from Omnivore’s Cookbook, Kathleen from Hapanom and Nagi from Recipe Tin Eats (you’ve just got to check these girls out – the word ‘talented’ just doesn’t cover it).
But however much of an amateur I feel, I can’t help myself – I keep on posting my Asian recipe hacks. I would never for a moment claim them to be even remotely authentic, but what I will say is that they’re always tasty and they’re nearly always quick. And that’s enough for me to feel enough confidence to post them! 🙂
So now that we’ve got that out of the way, I’m going to rave on about this 15-minute Shanghai chicken until I’ve got you racing into your kitchen to give it a go. Really, I should have called it ‘Shanghai-style chicken’ rather than just ‘Shanghai chicken’, but hey, let’s not complicate things!
The first great thing about this is that there are relatively few ingredients in it. It isn’t one of those recipes with only 5 or 6 ingredients, but there aren’t too many more. Really, all there is to it is to fry some chicken chunks with ginger, salad onions, Chinese 5-spice powder (LOVE that!), garlic and chili. Then you simply add rice wine, soy sauce, brown sugar and a few drizzles of water.
Let everything bubble away for a few minutes, and in hardly any time at all you’ve got a delicious pan of dark, sticky, and super flavourful chicken.
This simple chicken isn’t super, super saucy (which I always worry about as Mr. Scrummy is such a sauce addict!), but you really don’t need too much sauce as it’s so rich and packed full of flavour.
We found that the perfect way to eat this amazing 15-minute Shanghai-style chicken was with a pile of plain rice to get coated with all the lovely rich glaze. I also served ours with a nice pile of crispy roasted broccoli (mmm – addicted to that lately) and a few shreds of the green leafy part of the salad onions.
I’d say this is a pretty perfect quick mid-week meal. Something a little bit different. If you happen to be from Shanghai you’re probably giggling your head off at me right now. Hahahaha … Shanghai chicken…
But hey, who cares if it isn’t totally ‘authentic’? Not me! 😉
And just in case you need some more 15 minute meals up your sleeve:
15-minute Shanghai chicken
- 1 tablespoon oil (sesame or vegetable)
- 1 pound chicken thighs bone in, skin off and chopped into small (about 2cm) pieces (3 to 4 thighs)
- 1 piece ginger peeled and chopped finely or grated (a thumb-width piece)
- 2 garlic cloves crushed
- 1 bunch scallions salad onions / spring onions (UK), washed and chopped (reserve the green tops)
- 1 teaspoon Chinese 5-spice powder
- 1 red chili finely chopped
- 2 1/2 tablespoons Shaoxing rice wine or dry sherry
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 3 tablespoons water
Heat up the oil in a frying pan, then stir-fry the chicken for a few minutes until white and mostly cooked.
Add the ginger, garlic, salad/spring onions, Chinese 5-spice powder and half the chili and stir-fry for another few minutes until fragrant.
Finally, add the rice wine, soy sauce, brown sugar and water, then let bubble for about another 5 or 6 minutes or until dark and sticky. Stir every now and again.
Serve with rice and roasted broccoli (or another vegetable of your choice) and garnish with thin strips of the reserved green parts of the salad/spring onions.
Adapted from Waitrose Magazine, February 2016.
The time it takes for your chicken to go dark and sticky may depend on the size of your chicken thighs / your pan. Don't worry if you have to cook the chicken for a few minutes longer.