Huang Men Ji 黄焖鸡 – Chinese Braised Chicken Recipe

Tenderly braised chicken, chestnut, and green pepper in butter-like gravy, Huang Men Ji, is a meal that comes together in minutes. 

Huang Men Ji Mifan, or Chinese braised chicken rice, is inarguably one of the most famous dishes in Chinese cuisine. While some classic Chinese recipes include complex cooking techniques or numerous ingredients and spices, Huang Men Ji is not one. 

In fact, it’s pretty easy to make Chinese braised chicken at home. And it makes me wonder why it will still be on every restaurant’s menu. Follow along, so the next time you crave authentic Chinese food, you can make it yourself instead of ordering takeout.

Chinese braised chicken Huang Men Ji 2

What is Huang Men Ji?

Huang Men Ji (黄焖鸡) means “yellow braised chicken” in Chinese. Yellow refers to the color of the gravy. It’s usually thick and gets its color from ginger and garnish like potato, carrot, or chestnut. “Men” refers to the cooking technique – braising. And Ji means chicken. 

As a popular dish in Shandong Province, the dish tastes stronger than those in Southern China. That’s why it goes so well with rice and noodles.

Despite its popularity today, Huang Men Ji didn’t get much attention until the year 2013. Because Huang Men Ji tastes good and has everything in one bowl, it soon became viral nationwide. The chicken, the vegetable, the rice, and the gravy come together to make it a restaurant-level fast food. 

Chinese braised chicken Huang Men Ji 1

On top of that, it doesn’t require much time and skills to make Huang Men Ji; tens of thousands of restaurants put it on their menus. By 2021, it is estimated that there are more than 10,000 restaurants in China that serve Chinese braised chicken only.

How to make Huang Men Ji (Chinese braised chicken)

In restaurants, chefs use pressure cookers to shorten the cooking time to minutes. While it’s totally doable to make at home with a simple pan or a pot. Give it some time to stew, and the chicken will still be tender and flavorful.

Ingredients

  • 500 grams of chicken (preferably chicken thigh)
  • 50 grams of fresh ginger
  • 2 scallions
  • 30 grams of chestnut (or you can switch with potato or carrot)
  • 1 green pepper
  • 5 mushrooms
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon of light soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon of dark soy sauce
  • 1.5 tablespoons of soybean paste
  • 2 teaspoons of cooking wine (preferably Shaoxing wine)
  • 1 teaspoon of cornstarch or regular flour
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil

How to make Huang Men ji step by step

Preparations

  • Chop the chicken into medium-size pieces that are about 1″ thick. Rinse with water.
  • Wash and peel the fresh ginger. Then slice it thinly. Set aside for later.
  • Rinse the scallions and remove the roots. Then separate the white and the green parts. Chop them into 2″-long pieces.
  • Cut the green pepper in half. Remove the core and the seeds. Then slice the pepper into small strips.
  • Chop the chestnuts in half so they are cooked more quickly. You can also switch chestnuts with potato and carrot. Just make sure you chop them into small blocks to be done at a similar time with the chicken.
  • Wash the mushrooms thoroughly and slice them into about 4 pieces each.

If you are using dried mushrooms, soak in warm water first and remove the stems before cutting. The stems can be too tough to chew.

  • Bring a pot of water to a boil. Then blanch the chicken for about 3 minutes. Blanching will help remove the impurities of the chicken, so it picks up the sauce’s flavor better. Once done, transfer to a plate to cool down.

Braising

In a pot or on a pan, heat one tablespoon of olive oil over medium-high heat. Sauté until fragrant. Coat the pan evenly. Place the ginger slices and the white scallion stems in the pan when the oil starts to smoke.

How to make Huang Men Ji 3

Add chestnut or garnish of your choice to the pan and sauté for two minutes. When the vegetables start to brown, add chicken, mushrooms, and Shaoxing wine. Stir-fry for two minutes. The cooking wine will bring out the flavor of the meat that yields a great final result.

Pour a cup of water or just enough to cover the ingredients. Then add light soy sauce, dark soy sauce, and soybean paste. Stir to mix the ingredients with the seasoning. When the liquid boils, cover the pan with a lid, reduce the heat to medium-low, and stew for 10 minutes.

How to make Huang Men Ji 1

After the stewing, the chicken should have taken on a glossy, yellow color. And it’s time to add the peppers in. Stew for another 5 minutes. Meanwhile, mix 1 teaspoon of cornstarch or regular flour with half a cup of water.

How to make Huang Men Ji 2

When the peppers soften, add the flour mixture to the pan and sprinkle with green scallions. Turn the heat up to medium and swiftly stir the ingredients. The sauce will start to thicken and turn into a yellowish gravy. Transfer to a plate and serve with rice or Chow Mein.

Chinese braised chicken Huang Men Ji 3

Have you made this Chinese braised chicken recipe?

If you love chicken, check out these tasty Asian chicken recipes!

Huang Men Ji Chinese braised chicken

Huang Men Ji 黄焖鸡 - Chinese Braised Chicken Recipe

Yield: 3 servings
Prep Time: 12 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Additional Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 12 minutes

Tenderly braised chicken, chestnut, and green pepper in butter-like gravy, Huang Men Ji, is a meal that comes together in minutes.

Ingredients

  • 500 grams of chicken
  • 50 grams of fresh ginger
  • 2 scallions
  • 30 grams of chestnut
  • 1 green pepper
  • 5 mushrooms
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon of light soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon of dark soy sauce
  • 1.5 tablespoons of soybean paste
  • 2 teaspoons of cooking wine (preferably Shaoxing wine)
  • 1 teaspoon of cornstarch or regular flour
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil

Instructions

Preparations

  1. Chop the chicken into medium-size pieces that are about 1" thick. Rinse with water.
  2. Wash and peel the fresh ginger. Then slice it thinly.
  3. Rinse the scallions and remove the roots. Then separate the white and the green parts. Chop them into 2" pieces in length.
  4. Cut the green pepper in half. Remove the core and the seeds. Then slice the pepper into small strips.
  5. Chop the chestnuts in half so they are cooked more quickly.
  6. Wash the mushrooms thoroughly and slice them into about 4 pieces each.
  7. If you are using dried mushrooms, soak in warm water first and remove the stems before cutting. The stems can be too tough to chew.
  8. Bring a pot of water to a boil. Then blanch the chicken for about 3 minutes. Blanching will help remove the impurities of the chicken, so it picks up the sauce's flavor better. Once done, transfer to a plate to cool down.

Braising

  1. Heat one tablespoon of olive oil over medium-high heat on a pan. Place the ginger slices and the white scallion stems in the pan when the oil starts to smoke and sauté until fragrant.
  2. Add chestnuts to the pan and sauté for two minutes. When the vegetables start to brown, add chicken, mushrooms, and Shaoxing wine. Stir-fry for two minutes.
  3. Pour water to soak all ingredients. Then add light soy sauce, dark soy sauce, and soybean paste. Stir to season the ingredients evenly. When the liquid boils, cover the pan with a lid and reduce the heat to medium-low. Stew for 10 minutes.
  4. Add peppers and stew for another 5 minutes. Meanwhile, mix 1 teaspoon of cornstarch or regular flour with half a cup of water to thicken the sauce.
  5. When the peppers soften, add the cornstarch to the pan and sprinkle with green scallions. Turn turn heat up to medium and swiftly stir the ingredients. The sauce will start to turn into yellowish gravy. Transfer to a plate and serve with rice or Chow Mien.

Notes

If you don't have chestnut, you can switch it with potato or carrot.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 3 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 513Total Fat: 31gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 21gCholesterol: 157mgSodium: 584mgCarbohydrates: 14gFiber: 2gSugar: 3gProtein: 42g

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