Red Wine Lees Chicken


Preparation info

  • Serves


    • Difficulty


Appears in

Chinese Heritage Cooking

Chinese Heritage Cooking

By Christopher Tan and Amy Van

Published 2018

  • About

This typical Foochow delicacy is called hong jao zi in Mandarin. The rich, red coloured dish is flavoured with thick, aromatic fermented red wine lees, which can be purchased from Chinese stores and some supermarkets. Like Hakka rice wine chicken, this braised dish is commonly prepared for consumption by mothers during the confinement period after childbirth.


  • Cooking oil 2–3 Tbsp
  • Garlic 4 cloves, peeled and chopped
  • Ginger 5-cm (2-in) knob, peeled and shredded
  • Red rice wine lees 1–2 Tbsp
  • Chicken 1, small, about 1 kg (2 lb 3 oz), cleaned and cut into bite-size pieces
  • Water 250 ml (8 fl oz / 1 cup)
  • Sesame oil ¾ tsp
  • Salt to taste
  • Sugar to taste


    1. Heat oil in a wok over medium-high heat. Fry garlic and ginger until fragrant, then add red rice wine lees and fry for about 1 minute more, until paste is fragrant.
    2. Add chicken pieces and toss for 45 seconds, until well coated with paste.
    3. Add water, bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and cover. Leave to simmer gently for 35–40 minutes, until chicken is cooked and tender.
    4. Season with sesame oil, salt and sugar, adjusting seasoning to taste.
    5. Dish out and serve hot with rice.