Cantonese Soya Sauce Chicken (粤式豉油鸡, 酱油鸡)



Soya sauce chicken is a rather classic Cantonese meat dish.. The chicken was braised in some watery soya sauce such that it is brownish in colour  and the texture of the meat is the same as poached chicken which is juicy and flavourful.


It was commonly sold as soya sauce chicken rice or soya sauce wanton noodles  in the the stores.


I do love this soya sauce chicken because it is slightly on the sweeter side. I have prepared this many times and I can recall I learned how to prepare this soya sauce chicken from a television show donkey years back.


Recently, when I was in the Smith Street Chinatown Hawker Centre, Singapore, I bought a soya sauce chicken at about S$12.00 and that reminded me that I have not prepared this for many years. However, I still prefer my homemade version which is not as salty as what I bought..


Well this is a simple recipe and chances of succeed are great. The chicken in this illustration is actually a griller, a very small chicken of less than one kilogram. I am slightly disappointed as the colour is not as dark as what I wanted it to be.. Well, if readers wanted a darker colour, you can use more soya sauce in the recipe provided.



Servings: 5-6 Adult Servings


  • 1 medium size chicken
  • 1-1.5 cups of dark soya sauce or caramelized dark soya sauce
  • 1-1.5 cups of Chinese cooking wine preferably Rose cooking wine (玫瑰露酒)
  • 2-3 medium size of rock sugar
  • 5-6 cloves of garlic
  • 4 cm of ginger cut into big slices
  • Few sprig of spring onion
  • 1-2 Anise seeds – optional
  • 1-2 cloves – optional
  • 1 small cinnamon stick – optional
  • 1 tablespoon of oil
  • 1 tablespoon of sesame oil
  • Adequate water to at least half cover the chicken.



PicMonkey Collage1

  • Heat up a pot with 1 tablespoon of cooking oil. Add cloves, anise seeds, cinnamon stick, garlic and ginger. Sauté until fragrant.. Transfer all the spices and herbs in a soup bag, put the spring onion in the soup bag too. Add in adequate water to cover at least 1/4 of the chicken. Add the dark soya sauce/caramelized soya sauce, rock sugar and cooking wine. Bring to boil.

PicMonkey Collage2

  • Once it boils, submerge the chicken when the breast facing down. Adjust the water until it reaches at least 1/2 of the chicken. If you wish, you can adjust the colour of the solution by adding more soya sauce. Turn the heat to medium to low, let it simmer for at least 15 minutes. Turn the chicken around, add one tablespoon of sesame oil and let it simmer for another 15 minutes. Once done, turn back the chicken with breast facing down for another 5-10 minutes. Test the doneness of the chicken by poking at the part with the thickest meat (suggested: drumstick) and ensure no blood water secreted. If done, transfer out and let it cool completely before cutting.


The above picture is from another illustration using a chicken of about 2 kg.


  • Selection of pot – Pot must be big enough to house a whole chicken. It should not be overly big also as you will need a lot of solution to braise the chicken.

  • Soup bag is optional. The main purpose is to ensure that the cooked herbs do not disintegrate and dirty the braised solution. It facilitates the removal of these herbs later.

  • The quantity of water and soya sauce very much depends on the size of your pot and chicken. You will need to exercise discretion to add a bit more or less of suggested water and soya sauce.

  • Timing of braising also depend on size of your chicken. The timing is for the small chicken with about 1kg.

  • If you want to preserve the skin, once out from the pot, you can dip the chicken to some icy cold water to prevent the skin from breaking.

  • If you have a lot of sauce left, you can keep it for your next braising. You will need to add additional seasoning and water to cover new chicken.



This is a simple recipe and do give it a try. Remember this recipe is very flexible and depend on size of your chicken. Remember to watch out for the timing and amount of soya sauce used. Practically, all type of soya sauce is acceptable but less is needed if caramelized dark soya sauce were used.


Hope you like the post today. Cheers and have a nice day.



3 thoughts on “Cantonese Soya Sauce Chicken (粤式豉油鸡, 酱油鸡)

  1. Pingback: Wanton noodles (云吞面) | GUAI SHU SHU

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