Noob Cook Recipes

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Foil-Wrapped Ginseng Chicken

Steamed ginseng chicken wrapped in foil

This is part two (see part 1 here) of my cooking with ginseng theme (final and 3rd part coming up!). The ginseng I am using is called american ginseng “beard”/fiber 洋参须. It is an inexpensive type of american ginseng, has ‘cooling’ properties (降火), & keeps one more alert (提神) among a host of its known benefits. You can purchase it in Singapore at the Chinese medical halls such as Fuhua (where I bought a 150g packet for S$5.50) and Eu Yan Sang. As with all Chinese herbs, you should avoid consuming it if you are pregnant or have special medical history. For more information about this ginseng and to learn how to make ginseng drinks, please refer to this post.

This is my own creation. B said that I am very “smarty” to come up with my own recipes like this, but I can detect a bit of condescending tone =p But since this is the first time he said I am “smarty” in the area of cooking, I shall put in more effort and do a detailed step by step guide on how to create this smarty dish haha =x

Ingredients for Noob Cook’s Smarty Steamed Ginseng Chicken =x
(Makes 2 parcels)

Base ingredients – divide into two portions for each parcel:
2 chicken breasts (about 250g)
2 shitake mushrooms, sliced
8 red dates
1/2 tbsp of wolfberries
6 slices of ginger
6 garlic cloves
1 stalk spring onions

Marinade Sauce:
30g american ginseng “beard”/fiber 洋参须
1/2 tbsp light soy sauce
1/2 tbsp brown sugar
1 1/2 tbsp chinese cooking wine
1/2 tsp white pepper
1 tsp sesame oil
1/2 tbsp grated ginger
1 tbsp water

(Step by Step Photo Guide)

Although the preparation seems long because of the long list of step by step photos, it really isn’t. Most of the time is spent on marinating it and steaming it, so it’s pretty fuss free to me ;p

Marinade in a bowl, or

use a ziplock food bag

Step 1: Mix the marinade in a bowl, add some ginseng at the bottom of the bowl, add the chicken, and top it up with some more ginseng. Marinade (covered in fridge) for at least 1 hour on each side or longer if you can. An alternative way of marinating is to put everything in a sealed ziplock bag, shake it a bit so that it’s well mixed and leave in fridge for a few hours.


Step 2: Cut a piece of aluminium foil (large enough to wrap the chicken but not so large that you will wrap over a double layer). Place sparingly, some ginseng, garlic, spring onions, mushrooms, red dates and wolfberries at the bottom.


Step 3: Place the marinaded chicken on top.


Step 4: Place some ginseng on top of the chicken.


Step 5: Place the rest of the ingredients over the ginseng. And add some more ginseng on top. Drizzle marinade sauce over.


Step 6: Next, we need to fold our packages. Fold lengthwise, halfway on each side.


Step 7: Fold in the edges as shown.


Step 8: Ready to send for steaming! I place a steaming rack in my wok, add lots of water, place a plate on the rack and boil the water (with lid on – my wok lid has a little air vent). Steam over high heat for 20 minutes, adding more water if it has evaporated (or you will ruin your wok). Then gently open the package, flip the chicken over to the other side, and steam again over high heat for 10-20 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked. Note, for the boneless cut of chicken I am using, I steamed the other side for only 10 minutes over high flame. If you are substituting chicken breast with chicken thigh, you probably need to steam it longer (about 20 minutes each side).


Step 9: End product … a steamed parcel of herby ginseng chicken! Push the ginseng to one side … you don’t have to eat them. Serve with warm rice =)~

Similar Recipes
Steamed Chicken in Foil
Foil-Wrapped Herbal Chicken 药材鸡

Ginseng Recipes
2 ginseng drinks – basic ginseng and chrysanthemum ginseng

Leave a Comment

24 Responses to “Foil-Wrapped Ginseng Chicken”

  1. kisetsu — November 17, 2008 @ 8:16 am

    I can sniff the herbal smell emitting thru’ my computer screen already! :D You make it looks easy to create this dish. :halo:


  2. wiffy — November 17, 2008 @ 9:15 am

    Jun … funnily I don’t find ginseng bitter at all… must be my taste buds? hehe

    lk … u can try… but I am worried that the water may leak out if you flip hehe … I used tongs and glove when I am opening the parcel n flipping the chix … not hot ;p

    Ning, yes we have telepathy! =D

    LCOM, I don’t find it bitter at all … dunno if it’s my taste bud? I can’t take too sweet foods hehe

    didally, thanks gal =)

    TOH, thanks! got one big packet of ginseng so must think of ways of using it, haha =p

    Jude, tigerfish, Pepy thanks ^o^

    beachlover, hope u like it! =)

    kisetsu, yes it’s definitely easy… coz I dunno how to cook difficult dishes, hehe ;p


  3. lisaiscooking — November 18, 2008 @ 3:40 am

    The chicken must be very tender after steaming with the marinade. It looks fantastic!


  4. Darius T. Williams — November 18, 2008 @ 11:30 am

    Again – this is a great recipe with tons of great pics!



  5. daphne — November 18, 2008 @ 8:30 pm

    oo.. i like healthy recipes like this! Looks like your blog as gone healthy! =)


  6. FamilyFirst — November 19, 2008 @ 8:45 am

    I love your ginseng chicken but i love your glass mosaic tiles wall too … hehehe. Mind to share some pics of your kitchen cos I am now looking for ideas for my new kitchen in our new home. Can email them to me too if not suitable to post it … hehehehe. Thanks ya!


  7. Alice — November 19, 2008 @ 11:20 am

    Wonderful! and amazing “DISH”… I just love it at my first sight…


  8. wiffy — November 21, 2008 @ 10:45 am

    lisa, Darius, Alice, thank you! =)

    daphne, more like it has gone lazy … steaming = less cleaning up ;D

    FamilyFirst, I’ll try to take some pictures and post them by end Dec =)


  9. Piggy — December 7, 2008 @ 6:17 am

    This looks really yummy, and that’s an interesting way of cooking with ginseng. :-)


  10. Pearlyn — March 25, 2009 @ 11:27 pm

    This is one of my favourite…… easy to prepare and the results are superb. I usually use whole kampong chicken with ginseng and other herbs stuffed in the chicken cavity and slow cooked it. All except my daughter doesn’t really like the ” bitterness ” of the soup. I personally love the ” natural bitterness ” as I find it very soothing.By adding more red dates & wolfberries and dried scallops can add sweetness and cut down the bitterness :lol: