taiwanese stewed sesame ginger chicken recipe

this is not my mother-in-law’s recipe ::::


I’ve spent the last two posts on lamenting my working motherhood, outside and inside the home. Let’s move on to a savory comfort, a healing comfort, a warm and cozy dish that can bring everyone together. Wonderfully soupy and rich, this dish is commonly prepared for post-partum mothers in Taiwan, or in California by my Taiwanese mother-in-law, in my case back in June. She often explained how easy the recipe was, hand waving included. I never quite got it, wanting it written down. I didn’t want to “steal” a family recipe so I never did write it down, nor did I ask for her to do so. I scoured the internet one night, finding a similar recipe, with the tag of “post-partum nourishment” attached. It fits well into my category of “brown but tasty Taiwanese food,” and has the added bonus of being some of my ultimate comfort food. Simple and cozy.

And very adjustable, according to your tastes. It is recommended that salt is NOT added to the recipe, as it will impart a bitter taste. I only added it at the end for a bit of flavor. The amount of water and wine is also variable to suit your tastes. Some people cook the chicken only using wine, but it may be too strong flavored for some people, especially children. Two important ingredients: the somen noodles (see above) and the Michiu rice wine (see below).

Eat and the kids gave this the thumbs’ up all the way. It is a replica of the original, close enough that Peach announced that my mother-in-law made it, assuming it had been stored in the freezer since her last visit in June. That, I think, is a blue ribbon and stamp of approval, if the kids compare my cooking to the upper echelons of Taiwanese recipe repertoire of my mother-in-law.

Taking a break the rest of the week — we are traveling to visit friends and family in San Diego and Los Angeles. Back soon!

One year ago: happy valentine’s day

Two years ago: mixed bean soup

Three years ago: pumpkin panna cotta

taiwanese stewed sesame ginger chicken recipe
Recipe type: soup
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
  • 4 pounds of bone-in chicken
  • 10 thick slices of fresh ginger
  • ⅓ cup black sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon black sesame oil (to finish)
  • 1 cup Michiu rice wine
  • 4 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons salt, to add at end
  1. With large knife, hack at chicken pieces to expose some of the bone marrow. This gives a richer tasting soup. Alternatively, although not custom, add chicken feet bound in a cheesecloth for rich flavor (the cheesecloth used for easy removal of the chicken feet after cooking). Don't eat the chicken feet prepared in this fashion.
  2. Heat ⅓ cup black sesame oil at medium temperature in a large pot. Add ginger and saute to release fragrance.
  3. Add chicken pieces (and chicken feet if using) and cook slightly (meat will be pale and/or golden).
  4. Add water, wine, and sugar. Bring to boil then reduce heat to low, cover, and cook for about 45 minutes. Add salt at end of cook time.
  5. Add last tablespoon of sesame oil before serving with noodles. We use somen noodles.


  • Mandy @ lady and pups March 30, 2014 Reply

    From a Taiwanese to you, I kinda feel bad that you have a Taiwanese mother-in-law… they can be a handful… Other than that, this noodle looks delish! The aroma of black sesame oil is irreplaceable and I wish it’s more available in non-Asian supermarkets. Btw, your flour-throwing photos look SUPER FUN!

    • story March 31, 2014 Reply

      Thanks! The nice thing about the dish is that it’s so simple and totally comfort food. Ah, yes, flour-throwing — very fun! I’m still trying to decide my next topic for a photo shoot in a year or two….(P.S. Love the lighting in your blog photos: classy, with a little mystery, and great food.)

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