Steamed Chicken with Lily Buds

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


Appears in

Balance and Harmony

By Neil Perry

Published 2008

  • About

What could be easier than this great self-saucing dish? You’ll find that these sorts of dishes cook themselves and leave you free to get on and make a stir-fry, so that every novice Asian cook can put together a simple and delicious shared table.


  • 350 g (12 oz) free-range or organic chicken thigh fillets, skin on, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 15 g (½ oz) dried lily buds, soaked in warm water for 30 minutes
  • 6 dried shiitake mushrooms, soaked in warm water for 30 minutes, stalks removed, cut in half on the diagonal through the middle
  • a pinch of Sichuan pepper


  • ½ knob of ginger, peeled and finely sliced
  • 2 teaspoons oyster sauce
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon shaoxing
  • 1 teaspoon peanut oil


Remove the hard stems from the lily buds and tie each one into a knot.

Mix together the chicken and the seasoning ingredients in a bowl and marinate for 20 minutes. Add the lily buds and mushrooms and mix well. Place in a heatproof bowl and put the bowl in a bamboo steamer. Steam over high heat for about 25 minutes, or until cooked. Remove the bowl from the steamer, spoon the chicken onto a plate, pour any juices over the top and give it a pinch of Sichuan pepper.


This seasoning helps to lift the natural flavour of anything. You could substitute fish fillets for the chicken, or use other seafood and it would be just as beautiful.