There’s a couple of steamers in my kitchen! – The’re great for Chicken in Foil.

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.

This is one of the simplest Chinese dishes one can cook. Using really fresh vegetables is key.

The ingredients

I used 5 chicken breasts for 5 people. Too much as there was a helping left over.

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.

Have you any idea how difficult it is to photograph food sitting on aluminum foil? All the ingredients together.

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.

My two steamers full of wonderful chicken just before being given 12 minutes steaming over the wok.

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.

I could not resist having a look at them steaming away.

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.

The finished dish. Really tasty, really easy and really good for you.

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.

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Latest comments
  • This one looks really good too and so easy! I don’t have one of those steamers. Do you know a work around for this?

    • Hi Barbara,
      Turn a bowl upside down in a big pot with some hot water. Place a plate of the chicken in foil on top (bottom) of the bowl. Put the lid on, leaving a little room for excess steam to escape. Steam away!

  • Sounds wonderfully simple, tasty and nutritious; must give it a go.

  • Chinaco, that brings back memories. My dad used to buy the curry sauce for the chipper there and we’d always get a big box of instant noodles for the house becuase you couldn’t buy the proper Chinese ones in the shops.

  • I’m going to ask for one of those knives you’ve got. I had to resort to using a box cutter the other day – all my kinves are as blunt as spoons.

    • Chinese supermarket is the place for them. When I bought it, it cost IR£12.00. I don’t know why that has stuck in my memory so long. That is pre €… Worth every penny.

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