Claypot Chicken with Bitter Gourd (苦瓜焖鸡)
Where food pairings go, I think chicken and bitter gourd is like a marriage made in heaven. I believe that those who do not like bitter gourd may find it more acceptable when cooked in this way. In this recipe, the chicken and bitter gourd are simmered in a claypot with tau cheo (soya beans paste) and fermented black beans. This is total comfort food to me. Claypot is excellent for braises and stews like this because not only does it add flavour to the food, it also conduct the heat evenly throughout the casserole and you can serve the dish right away in the claypot. I cooked this pot in advance and heat it up for dinner. If you do not have a claypot, you can still cook this dish using a wok or pot.
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I recently added a traditional claypot to my growing list of cooking equipment and this is the first dish I cooked with it. That is why the claypot still looks quite clean, I do hope that it will look more beautifully seasoned with continued use. If you are interested in claypot cooking, check out my article about claypot care and prepping claypot for the first time, and of course more claypot cooking recipes.
- 1/2 chicken, cut to pieces (you can also use chicken thighs and other cuts)
- half bitter gourd/bitter melon (about 300-400g)
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- 1 tbsp tau cheo (soya bean paste)
- 1/2 tbsp black fermented beans (rinsed, patted dry and mashed slightly with a fork)
- 5 garlic cloves, peeled & bruised
- 5 slices ginger
- 1 tbsp Chinese wine (shao hsing/hua tiao)
- light soy sauce, to taste (optional)
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 tsp dark soy sauce
- 1 tsp sugar
1. Cut the bitter gourd in half lengthwise. Use a spoon to scrap out the seeds and white pulp. Rub some salt on the flesh portion and leave for a few minutes before rinsing the salt off. This will remove some of the bitterness (skip this step if you like it bitter). Slice the bitter gourd in half lengthwise again, then cut it to 2.5cm (1 inch) vertical slices. See photo above.
2. Heat sesame oil in clay pot, stir fry tau cheo & fermented black beans until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
3. Add chicken pieces, bitter gourd, garlic and ginger. Stir fry until the chicken is no longer pink on the surface.
4. Add sauce ingredients. Bring to a simmer. Cover claypot with lid and simmer for about 15 minutes.
5. Season to taste with light soy sauce or salt, if needed. If you like, add a splash of Chinese wine to the cooked stew as a finishing touch, and off the flame when you smell the lovely aroma of the wine.
1. If your claypot is not big enough to stir fry the chicken and bittergourd, stir fry them in a wok first (steps 2-4) and then transfer the contents of the wok to a clay pot to simmer.
2. If you do not have a claypot, you can still cook this dish using a regular wok or pot.
- Claypot Cooking Care
Check out all claypot recipes.
More Chicken Recipes
- Braised Chicken with Carrots and Mushrooms
- Steamed Chicken with Black Fungus and Salted Fish
- Sesame Oil Chicken
- Steamed D.O.M Chicken
- Steamed Chinese Herbal Chicken Soup
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