I need to be careful how I phrase this. There are two old steamers in the kitchen. They have been there for years and they have even been a big influence on the lives of my children. I think it’s time they came out of the closet. Why? So I can show you one of my favourite recipes, of course. It’s Chicken in Foil and it is a slight adaptation from the original in a little book I bought back when Adam was only a twinkle in God’s eye.
I bought the steamers in Chinaco, an oriental supermarket that used to grace Dublin’s Bride Street. They have been used hundreds of times over the years and are like two old friends to me.
- 5 chicken breasts
- 2 tablespoons of soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons of sesame oil
- 2 tablespoons or rice wine
- 1 tablespoon of chili oil
- 6 spring onions sliced across the grain (see the photo)
- Ginger cut into matchstick sized shreds
- Aluminum foil
The preparation is really easy. Cut the chicken breasts into four or five pieces each. Marinadethem in the soy and oils for 20 minutes or half an hour. Cut the foil into generous rectangles (to hold one chicken piece) and put the chicken on. Add a piece of ginger and spring onion to each. Spoon over a bit of the marinade and close each parcel.
Pop them into the steamer and steam them for 12 minutes. I like to serve them with plain rice. Thai Fragrant is my top choice.
Serve direct from the steamer. Everybody can get stuck in and help themselves. The kids used to discard the ginger shreds, now they like them. The marinade from the foil is lovely too.
This is one of my favourite recipes because it is really tasty and has been great favourite of our children. They got their interest in Chinese cooking through this tactile, easy to prepare meal. I started cooking it over 15 years ago and it has been a big hit ever since.
When we are done, the steamers go back into the closet, ready to come out again the next time we want healthy, tasty, economical food for the family, why else?
Footnote: I buy my rice from Justin Chan’s Chinese wholesaler called Caterworld on the Nangor Road in Dublin. This is not an ad for Justin. Pretty well any Chinese supermarket will do. It is vastly cheaper to buy this way than in a supermarket. The rice tends to be of higher quality too. The only issue is buying in 10 or 20 kilo bags. The 10 kilo bag fits nicely into one of our kitchen presses so that’s how we roll. It doesn’t last long.
- “Who the hell is Lord Paddington?” (conorbofin.com)