Steamed Chicken with Coconut Sauce

Steaming is not only a healthy way to cook, it also brings out subtle tastes. By cooking slowly in warm vapours, good chicken comes out even better -tender, succulent and suffused with tastes and aromas.

The use of the spicy coconut sauce – a Thai marker -makes this easy-to-prepare meal flavourful and nutritious.


  • 450 g (1 lb) boneless chicken breasts, skinned
  • 1 tablespoon light soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Shaoxing rice wine or dry sherry
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil


  • 400 ml (14 fl oz) tinned coconut milk
  • tablespoons Thai red curry paste
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons fish sauce or light soy sauce


  • handful fresh coriander leaves


Combine the chicken with the soy sauce, rice wine, black pepper and sesame oil. Let it marinate for at least 20 minutes.

Next set up a steamer or put a rack into a wok or deep pan. Pour in water up to 5 cm (2 in) Bring the water to the boil over a high heat. Put the chicken in one layer on a heatproof plate and put the plate into the steamer or onto the rack. Cover the pan tightly and gently steam the chicken until it is just white and firm. It will take about 8–10 minutes to cook, depending on the thickness of the chicken.

While the chicken is steaming, combine the ingredients for the sauce in a saucepan. Simmer gently for 5 minutes.

Remove the plate of cooked chicken, arrange on a warm platter and garnish with the coriander. Serve with the sauce.