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Chinese Soy Sauce Chicken - This homemade soy sauce chicken has silky tender meat with a deep savory flavor. Learn how easy it is to make this Cantonese dim sum at home and even achieve restaurant taste. #marinade #recipe #healthy #glutenfree #brownsugar
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5 from 8 votes

Real-Deal Soy Sauce Chicken (豉油鸡, See Yao Gai)

This homemade soy sauce chicken has silky tender meat with a deep savory flavor. Learn how easy it is to make this Cantonese dim sum at home and even achieve restaurant taste. {Gluten-Free adaptable}To make the dish gluten-free, use tamari or coconut aminos to replace the soy sauce, and use dry sherry instead of Shaoxing wine.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time1 hr
Total Time1 hr 15 mins
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: Chinese
Keyword: Dim Sim
Servings: 8
Calories: 232kcal
Author: Maggie Zhu


  • 1 4 lbs / 1.8 kg whole chicken


  • 2 cups soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons dark soy sauce (Optional)
  • 1/2 cup Shaoxing wine (or dry sherry)
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 1 cup brown sugar (or granulated sugar)
  • 1 big thumb ginger , coarsely chopped
  • 8 cloves garlic , smashed
  • 6 green onions
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 star anise pod
  • 1 small cinnamon stick
  • 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 2 cloves


  • Combine all the marinade ingredients in a medium-sized saucepan. Bring to a simmer. Stir and cook until the sugar dissolves. Set aside to cool.
  • Place the chicken in a gallon-size ziplock bag. Carefully pour the cooled marinade mixture into the bag with all the ingredients. Seal the bag and squeeze out as much as air possible. Massage the bag a few times to evenly distribute the marinade. Place the bag in a large deep bowl so it “pushes” the marinade to fully cover the chicken. Plus the marinade won’t cause a mess if your bag accidently leaks. You can marinate the chicken in a large bowl, too. In this case, you might need to flip the chicken 2 to 3 times during the marinating process. Cover with a plastic bag if using a bowl. Let marinate overnight.
  • Chose a pot that is deep and just wide enough to hold the chicken. Add the chicken into the pot, breast-side-up. Pour in all the marinade with the ingredients. If the chicken is not covered, add up to 4 cups water. It’s OK if a small part of the chicken breast is not covered in the liquid.
  • Bring to a boil over medium high heat. Turn to medium-low or low heat. Use a fine mesh strainer to skim the foam and discard. When the broth reduces to a simmer, cover the pot. Simmer for 25 minutes. Turn off the heat. Let the chicken sit in the hot broth, covered, for another 30 minutes, or until the chicken is just cooked. To test, you can either insert a thermometer into the thickest part of the thigh or slice the skin that attaches the thigh to the body: the root of the thigh should no longer be pink. Soak the chicken in the broth, covered, if the chicken is not cooked. If the chicken is still very raw, return the pot to a simmer and cook until the chicken is fully cooked.
  • Once done, carefully transfer the chicken onto a big plate and drain all the liquid from the cavity. I usually do this wearing one oven mitt with a few layers of paper towel, with the other hand using a pair of tongs. Let the chicken cool enough to handle with your hands. Carve the chicken and slice the parts you plan to serve. Reserve the liquid to use as dipping sauce, or for braising (try using it to braise daikon radish or potato - so delicious!).
  • Serve the chicken warm with rice as a main or as a cold appetizer with Sriracha dipping sauce and extra sauce on the side. Enjoy!


Serving: 8g | Calories: 232kcal | Carbohydrates: 4.3g | Protein: 33.1g | Fat: 8.4g | Saturated Fat: 2.3g | Cholesterol: 101mg | Sodium: 356mg | Potassium: 287mg | Sugar: 3.3g | Calcium: 20mg | Iron: 1.4mg