This is a simplified attempt to recreate the famous Samsui ginger chicken (三水姜茸鸡) dish in the Instant Pot **The original steaming method will also be shared. Now that I am back in the professional world and living in New York City (not my residential home), cooking has become really tough for me and all I have with me is my Instant Pot.

This is a famous dish served by The Soup Restaurant. It is a traditional dish made by the Samsui women in Singapore during the 1920s to 1940s. Back then, this was a luxury dish and only consumed once a year. Aren’t we lucky now to be able to enjoy it anytime we want?

I’ve tried submerging the chicken in broth like how we make Hainanese Chicken Rice but the texture wasn’t what I wanted. I decided to attempt it on a trivet (in the IP of course). This recipe is really easier than the dish looks – involves basically steaming a whole chicken, serving it boneless with the samsui ginger dipping sauce to go with it (make or buy). Fyi, the ginger sauce is awesome, I could eat it with white rice and have some other dishes to go along with it.

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How to eat:

At Soup Restaurant, we put a piece of chicken on a lettuce leave, pour some ginger sauce on top, wrap it up and eat. 

40 mins ~ 1 hour depending on size of chicken 

Ingredients (Chicken)

  • Whole Chicken (approx. 4.3lbs/1.95kg) use Kampung/Free-Range Chicken if you have access to it
  • 4 cloves Garlic; lightly bruised
  • 2 slices Ginger
  • 1 stalk of Spring Onion
  • 2 tsp fine Sea Salt
  • 1 Cucumber for garnish optional
  • Lettuce Leaves for wrapping optional 

Ingredients (Samsui Ginger Sauce)

  • 1.8oz (50g) peeled Ginger
  • 4 Shallots
  • 3 cloves Garlic
  • 3 tbsp Sesame Oil
  • 1 tbsp Peanut Oil
  • 1 tbsp Chicken Stock (collected during the cooking process)
  • 1 tsp Chicken Seasoning Powder
  • 2 tsp Sugar; to taste
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Directions (Instant Pot)

  1. Clear out the cavity, remove feets.
  2. Rub salt all over the chicken.
  3. Stuff the cavity with garlic, ginger and spring onion.
  4. Sit the chicken (breast side up) on the trivet. Pour chicken stock/bone broth into the sides. You can also sit the chicken on a steaming dish but use water instead. Precious chicken stock will be collected in the dish.
  5. Seal the lid. Set to ‘manual’, ‘high pressure’ and 30 mins on the timer. Allow a full natural release (took me 15 mins). The temperature of the chicken should read 161 – 163 degree Fahrenheit (71 – 73 degree Celcius.
  6. Remove and allow the chicken to cool. Make the sauce by blending all the ingredients for the sauce together.
  7. Debone and carve chicken. Save the bones and remaining stock for other use.

Tip: Want to cook it faster? Use chopped chicken.  I have used drumsticks and set 15 mins on the timer. The purpose of sharing the whole chicken method is because I had to plate it 😜

Directions (Stovetop)

  1. Clear out the cavity, remove feets.
  2. Rub salt all over the chicken.
  3. Stuff the cavity with garlic, ginger and spring onion.
  4. Sit the chicken (breast side up) on a steaming plate on the trivet. Pour 3-4 cups of water into steamer (may need to add more). Precious chicken stock will be collected in the dish.
  5. Steam for 30 – 40 mins. There should be no more blood and tender when you poke it. Otherwise, use a food thermometer. The chicken (breast part) should read should read 161 – 163 degree Fahrenheit (71 – 73 degree Celcius.
  6. Remove and allow the chicken to cool. Make the sauce by blending all the ingredients for the sauce together.
  7. Debone and carve chicken. Save the bones and remaining stock (wouldn’t have much) for other use.

Enjoy 😍


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