Salt Baked Chicken 鹽焗雞 is a classic Hakka Chinese dish that is salty, briny and super juicy! This chicken recipe, while subtle, really highlights the quality of the bird - it is so flavourful of chicken essence.
- What Gives Salt Baked Chicken Its Distinctive Flavour?
- What is the Difference Between Ginger and Galangal powder?
- What Kind of Chicken to Use
- How To Prepare The Chicken
- Salt Baked Chicken Cooking Tips
- How To Marinate Salt Baked Chicken
- Chicken Essence Liquid
- How to Steam a Chicken
- What is Chinese Sausage
- Salt Baked Chicken 鹽焗雞
What Gives Salt Baked Chicken Its Distinctive Flavour?
Traditionally, this Hakka dish bakes the whole chicken in hot salt bath while remaining super juicy, moist and not at all salty.
You can buy salt-baked powder seasoning packets in supermarkets now for Modern Chinese Salted Chicken recipes. Look for the ones without MSG. This quick method is relatively easy and saves a lot of guesswork.
Others will argue that all you need is salt and sand ginger powder 沙薑粉. This is not the same as regular ginger powder!
Both methods work out great, and you may even want to add a bit of extra sand ginger powder 沙薑粉 even if you are using seasoning packets.
What is the Difference Between Ginger and Galangal powder?
Ginger powder is not the same as Galangal powder, aka sand ginger powder 沙薑粉.
The most significant difference is their taste: galangal has a sharp citrusy profile; ginger 生薑 is hot and spicy.
What is Galangal? Galangal is also known as Thai ginger and is commonly found in Southeast Asian cuisines like Thai, Indonesian, and Malaysian cooking. It is smoother and paler compared to ginger.
Essentially, sand ginger powder 沙薑粉 is galangal ginger dried and powdered.
What Kind of Chicken to Use
We like to use Specialty Asian Chickens like Loong Kong Chicken or Taiwanese Chicken when cooking Chinese chicken recipes.
In addition, I also prefer to use whole chickens and make extra for leftovers. The Specialty Asian Chickens' flavour is robust and is sold in the marketplace with their feet and head attached.
How To Prepare The Chicken
For this recipe, we used WingTat's Canada Chicken 加美雞 for their consistency in meat to fat ratio...
Clean the chicken and remove the inners. After cleaning, pat dry and rub salt-baked chicken seasoning or sand ginger powder and sea salt on the chicken and let air dry for 5 to 10 minutes.
Pro Tip: Rest your bird on a clean 1L glass milk jar or wine bottle.
Salt Baked Chicken Cooking Tips
While the chicken is being marinated, prepare the green onions, ginger slices and Chinese sausage for stuffing. I highly recommend adding Chinese sausage to this recipe to increase the flavour profile complexity. Par-boil the Chinese sausage.
Cut green onions into 5-inch sections, separating the greens and whites. Ginger julienned or into large 2 to 3-inch slices.
Stuff the chicken cavity with Chinese sausages, a bunch of white parts of the green onions and a few slices of ginger. Adding the stuffings into the chicken will enhance the flavours. Adding Chinese sausages is optional, but I highly recommend it.
Line the steaming tray with green onions and ginger. If you are hosting, you can use the not so pretty ones for stuffing and save the pretty ones for garnishing.
How To Marinate Salt Baked Chicken
First, place the marinated chicken on the bed of green onions and ginger. Tie the drumsticks with kitchen twine or stuff the chicken legs inside the cavity.
Then, drizzle 2 tablespoons of Shaoxing Wine over the chicken. Shaoxing wine adds depth and flavour complexity. It makes the chicken that much more fragrant!
Remove the chicken from the oven after it is steam cooked. Rest for a few minutes.
Chicken Essence Liquid
After removing the chicken, pour our chicken essence liquid from the steam tray. Save the chicken fat and chicken essence into a small bowl. Stir in extra Wrap with saran wrap and store in the refrigerator.
After being chilled, the chicken fat will separate from the chicken essence. Remove and discard the chicken fat. You can add a tablespoon of chicken essence to your daily cooking to enhance the flavour!
Next, cut up the whole chicken into sections.
Do not discard the chicken bones after the chicken has been de-boned. You can use the chicken bones to make stock or soup!
Garnish with cilantro and green onions and serve hot.
How to Steam a Chicken
How long does it take to steam chicken? It takes about 30 minutes to steam cook the chicken thoroughly.
Place a trivet rack in the wok to raise the steaming tray and bring water to a boil.
Next, steam the chicken until juices run clear for about 30 minutes, depending on the size of the chicken.
Alternatively, for convenience, I prefer to steam in my Cuisinart steam convection oven for 30 minutes at Super Steam 400F.
What is Chinese Sausage
There are many varieties and flavours of Chinese sausages available on the market. The most common is made with pork sausage 白油腸 or liver sausage 鮮潤腸 made with pork and chicken liver. My preference is to use one of each type of Chinese sausage.
Did you make this Classic Hakka Chinese Best Salt Baked Chicken Recipe? I'd love to see how you went with my recipes! Leave a comment below or tag me on Instagram @INSTANOMSS #INSTANOMSSPrint
Salt Baked Chicken 鹽焗雞
Salt Baked Chicken 鹽焗雞 is a classic Hakka Chinese dish that is salty, briny and super juicy! While subtle, this chicken recipe really highlights the bird's quality - it is so flavourful of chicken essence.
- Prep Time: 2 hours
- Cook Time: 30 mins
- Total Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
- Yield: 4-6 persons 1x
- Category: Main Dishes
- Method: Steam, Stovetop
- Cuisine: Chinese
- 1 whole chicken, approximately 3 lbs
- 1 tsp ground white pepper
- 1 packet of salt baked chicken seasoning (or 2 tbsp sand ginger powder + 2 tbsp sea salt)
- 6 slices of ginger
- 1 bunch green onions, greens and whites separated
- 2 tablespoons Shaoxing wine
- 1 Chinese sausage - pork sausage 白油腸 (optional)
- 1 Chinese sausage - liver sausage 鮮潤腸 (optional)
- Clean the chicken and remove inners.
- Pat dry and rub some salt all over the chicken inside and out. Let air dry for 5 to 10 minutes.
- Marinate the chicken for at least 20 mins with grounded white pepper, half packet of salt baked chicken seasoning or sand ginger powder and sea salt.
- While the chicken is marinating, wash and par-boil the Chinese sausages, and set them aside.
- Wash green onions and cut into green onions into 5-inch sections, separating the greens and whites.
- Ginger julienned or into large 2 to 3-inch slices.
- Stuff the chicken cavity with Chinese sausages, a bunch of white parts of the green onions and a few slices of ginger.
- Line the steaming tray with green onions and ginger.
- Place the marinated chicken on top of the bed of green onions and ginger. Tie the drumsticks with kitchen twine or stuff the chicken legs inside the cavity.
- Drizzle 2 tablespoons of Shaoxing Wine over the chicken.
- Set the steam convection oven at 400F for 30 minutes.
- Remove the chicken from the oven after it is steam cooked. Rest for a few minutes.
- After removing the chicken, pour our chicken essence liquid from the steam tray. Set aside for later.
- Add 2 tablespoon of salt baked powder to the chicken essence liquid and use as a dipping sauce.
- Cut up the whole chicken into sections.
- Garnish with cilantro and green onions and serve hot.
- Serving Size: 1 chicken
- Calories: 351
- Sugar: 1.7 g
- Sodium: 2440.3 mg
- Fat: 6.7 g
- Carbohydrates: 17.6 g
- Protein: 52.8 g
- Cholesterol: 165.5 mg
Keywords: Chicken, Chinese Chicken, Salt Baked Chicken, Hakka, 鹽焗雞, Loong Kong Chicken, 臘腸, 走地雞, 走地龍崗雞, chinese recipes, chicken recipes
DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE? I’D LOVE SEE HOW YOU WENT WITH MY RECIPES! LEAVE A COMMENT BELOW OR TAG ME ON INSTAGRAM @INSTANOMSS #INSTANOMSS
SAVE THE ABOVE IMAGE TO YOUR CHINESE RECIPES BOARD TO BOOKMARK THIS PAGE. WE ARE SO EXCITED TO SHARE OUR RECIPES WITH YOU!
This post contains affiliate links and/or products submitted to Nomss for editorial consideration. To find out more, please visit our About/Disclaimer page.
Remove Ad-Block to view shopping guide!