Soy Sauce Braising Liquid

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


    as a Main Course .

Appears in

Chinese Technique

By Ken Hom

Published 1981

  • About


  • 2 cups dark soy sauce
  • 2 cups light soy sauce
  • ½ cup Chinese rock sugar or brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon whole Sichuan peppercorns, roasted
  • 1 whole star anise
  • ½ teaspoon fennel seed
  • 2 slices fresh ginger root
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • ½ cup Shaoxing wine or dry sherry
  • 1 roasting chicken, 4 to 4½ pounds
  • Sesame oil (optional)



  1. Turn the chicken several times in the sauce while it simmers so that it colors evenly. Simmer for 20 minutes, then turn off the heat and let the chicken steep in the spices for 1 hour. The liquid can be saved and reused.

  2. Cut through the chicken lengthwise, dividing it in half. The chicken is quite easy to cut when cooked.

  3. Optional: Rub each half with sesame oil to give the chicken an attractive gloss and heighten the flavor.

  • Put the braising liquid ingredients into a pot large enough to hold the chicken. Add the whole chicken and heat to simmering.

Cutting Chicken Halves into Pieces

  • Best prepared a day in advance and cut up at the last minute. Serve cold.
  • Suggested Beverage: Light Zinfandel or Gamay

  1. Cut off the wing at the body joint.

  2. Cut off the thigh at the body joint.

  3. Cut the carcass, which is mostly breast, in half lengthwise.

  4. Cut the breast sections crosswise into 1-inch pieces.

  5. Cut the back sections crosswise into 1-inch pieces. These are bonier and require more pressure on the cleaver. Place the edge of the cleaver where you want to make the cut, and hit the back of the cleaver to chop through it.

  6. Cut the thigh and wing as described for White-Cut Chicken, and reassemble the chicken on a platter. Serve the cut-up chicken with roasted salt and pepper for dipping, or with a little of the braising liquid, or just plain.