Steamed Chicken in a Yunnan Pot

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


    as a Main Course.

Appears in

Chinese Technique

By Ken Hom

Published 1981

  • About

This is a delicious soup with substance. The chicken is cut up, then quickly blanched to rid it of any scum so that the finished broth will be clear, rich, and delicate, very much like a double consommé. It is similar to a French pot-au-feu, but without chunky vegetables. The dish cooks and comes to the table in a specially designed ceramic pot with a chimney in the middle. The pot itself is placed in water in another covered pot or a wok. The steam condenses off the lid of the pot and back onto the chicken in a gentle mist. This differs from the usual method of steaming, in which the steam surrounds the food and the plate. Pot-steaming is more gradual and subtle. However, if you do not have a Yunnan pot, you can steam this dish in the usual way. Just cut the steaming time to 1½ hours. The dipping sauce for White-Cut Chicken makes a delicious accompaniment.


  • 1 roasting chicken, 4 to 4½ pounds, cut up
  • 3 slices fresh ginger root, cut into 2-inch sections
  • 3scallions, cut into 2-inch sections
  • Salt to taste
  • ¼ cup Shaoxing wine or dry sherry
  • Chicken broth to cover



  1. Blanch the chicken in boiling water for 2 minutes to float away some of the scum. Drain the chicken and rinse it well.

  2. Arrange the chicken in the Yunnan pot with the ginger, scallions, salt, and Shaoxing wine, and pour in enough broth to cover the chicken.

  3. Cover the pot and set it in a wok with enough hot water to come halfway up the pot. Steam it for 2 hours. Check the level of the water from time to time and add more if necessary.

  4. Serve the chicken in its dish in the broth.

  • Suggested Beverage: Dry Sauvignon Blanc or Sancerre