Daily Cooking Quest

Home / All Recipes / Chinese / Steamed Chinese Herbal Chicken

Steamed Chinese Herbal Chicken

Chinese herbs are most commonly prepared as soup, but they can be made into healthy, easy, and delicious dish by steaming. Here I prepare a simple dish by steaming together marinated chicken drumsticks with slices of rehydrated shiitake mushrooms, along with my favorite Chinese herbs, which include angelica root (dang gui), american ginseng, jujube fruit (hong zao), goji berries (gou qi), and codonopsis root (dang shen).

Ingredients for Steamed Chinese Herbal Chicken
Ingredients for Steamed Chinese Herbal Chicken

Chinese herbs in this dish

If you do your grocery in Asian market such as Marina or 99 Ranch, you should be able to find all of the Chinese herbs used in this recipe in the Chinese herb aisle except American ginseng.

You will need to ask for American ginseng from one of the shop keepers since most likely they are stored away. I think this is because American ginseng is pricey compared to the rest, and they don’t want to risk people stealing even one tiny packet ;)

I totally understand if the task of finding these Chinese herbs on your own can be daunting. My advice is to just show the shop keeper the photo above and ask them to help you finding them.

If you live far away from Chinatown or a decent Chinese market, you can always place an online order from Amazon. But online prices are almost always more expensive, and you don’t have the luxury of inspecting them before buying.

Here are all the dried herbs and ingredients for this dish:

Steamed Chinese Herbal Chicken
Steamed Chinese Herbal Chicken

Marinating and steaming the chicken dish

For the chicken, if you are traditionalist like my Mom, she’ll insist on using one whole young chicken, cut up into pieces. As for me, I usually use 8-10 pieces of drumsticks since I think using oiler part like drumstick in steamed dishes make for a better dish.

In any case, marinade chicken pieces with soy sauce, Shaoxing wine, sesame oil, sugar, and ground white pepper for 2 hours. You can marinade the chicken in steamed proof dish so they can just go in the steamer without needing to transfer from mixing bowl to steamed proof dish, less dirty dishes to wash.

Just before the chicken is ready to be cook, stir again so the sauce coats the chicken pieces evenly, then scatter the Chinese herbs along with thinly sliced rehydrated shiitake mushrooms, bruised garlic cloves, and thinly sliced ginger.

If your steamer is tiny, feel free to cook in batches, or make smaller portion to fit your steamer.

Steamed Chinese Herbal Chicken
Steamed Chinese Herbal Chicken

Steamed Chinese Herbal Chicken

5.0 from 5 reviews

Author: Anita Jacobson




Prep Time: 30 mins

Cook Time: 1 hour

Total Time: 1 hour 30 mins

Serves: 8

Print Recipe


  • 8-10 chicken drumsticks
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoon Shaoxing wine
  • 2 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
  • 5 dried shiitake mushrooms (Chinese: 香菇 - xiang gu)
  • 8 cloves garlic, peeled and bruised
  • 2 inch ginger, thinly sliced
  • 20 gram codonopsis root (Chinese: 党参 - dang shen ), cut into 2" pieces
  • 20 gram angelica root (Chinese: 当归 - dang gui), cut into 4-8 pieces
  • 5 gram American (yellow) ginseng (Chinese: 花旗参 - hua qi shen)
  • 10 gram goji berries (Chinese: 枸杞 - gou qi)
  • 16 red dates/jujube (Chinese: 红枣 - hong zao)


  1. Marinate drumsticks with soy sauce, Shaoxing wine, sesame oil, sugar, and ground white pepper for 2 hours. You can marinate chicken in steamed proof dish.
  2. Rehydrate shiitake in hot water until soft. Remove steam, and cut into thin slices.
  3. Prepare a steamer on medium-high heat.
  4. Once the chicken is ready to be steamed, add thinly sliced shiitake, garlic, ginger, and all the Chinese herbs. Cover the steamed proof dish with aluminum foil, and steam for 50 minutes.
Indonesian Pantry
Indonesian Kitchen


  • Beth Beth says:

    This chicken is so tender and juicy my family loved it! This recipe is going on my rotation list. Thanks!

  • Zainab Blahnik Zainab Blahnik says:

    I made this chicken for dinner last night and it was incredible! Thanks so much for sharing the recipe!

  • Jennifer Jennifer says:

    whenever I need to get out of a food rut, I try one of your amazing recipes. This chicken dish is a winner, and a new favorite in my family!

  • Emese Emese says:

    I love your recipes. All looks so aromatic and intriguing. I need to check where can I get all these ingredients.

  • Beth Beth says:

    Yum! I love this recipe! I enjoy this recipe more and more every time I make it!

  • Afra Afra says:

    Love that you always include a picture of the ingredients, really makes it much easier to get a feeling for the dish. Thank you!

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Rate this recipe: