Pak cham kai, also known as Chinese poached chicken, is a simple and flavorful dish that originated in the Guangdong province of China. The dish consists of tender chicken that is poached in a fragrant broth of ginger, scallions, and other aromatics. Once cooked, the chicken is typically served with a drizzle of ginger and scallion oil and makes for a delicious and healthy meal when served over rice. Traditionally, pak cham kai was served as a banquet dish for special occasions and was considered a delicacy due to its simple yet flavorful preparation. Over time, the dish has become popular throughout East Asia and has been adapted to suit regional tastes and preferences. In Thailand, for example, the dish is known as kai palo and is often served with a sweet and savory soy-based sauce. In Malaysia and Singapore, it is often served with a spicy dipping sauce made from chili, garlic, and ginger. Despite its regional variations, pak cham kai remains a staple in Chinese cuisine and is enjoyed by people around the world. Its simple preparation and versatile flavors make it a great option for those looking to explore the diverse world of Asian cuisine. Additionally, the clear broth left over from cooking the chicken can be used to make a flavorful and healthy soup or used to make chicken rice, adding even more value to this delicious dish.
1 Large Whole Chicken
2 Thumb Sized Pieces of Ginger
4 Spring Onions/Scallions
1 Medium Onion
1tb Light Soy Sauce
1tb Sesame Seed Oil
1/4 Cup Vegetable Oil
Peel and thinly slice 1 thumb sized piece of ginger, peel and half 1 medium onion, and clean and wash 2 spring onions/scallions.
With a large pot, big enough to fit your chicken fill it up half way full of water and bring it to a gentle simmer.
Grab your chicken and stuff its inside, yes its gonna be a bit eew but stuff it with your sliced ginger, onion and scallions.
As your water is coming to a simmer, generously simmer your water with salt, you want it to be as salty as the great sea.
Hold your chicken by its legs and gently dunk it into the simmer water 2-3 times, this helps temper the chicken giving you a juicer chicken. Fully submerge your chicken, half cover with a lid and bring the pot up a bare simmer. Let it simmer for 40 minutes to an hour depending on the size of your chicken.
Once your chicken is fully cooked quicky remove it from its bath and set it into a bowl of ice cold water to stop the cooking process. Let it sit there for 5 minutes before removing, patting it dry and giving it a light coating of sesame seed oil to keep it moist whilst it rests.
While your chicken is cooking, peel and finely mince your remaining piece of ginger. Wash and finely mince your remaining scallions.
In a wok, pot or pan bring it up to medium heat and add in a 1/4 cupf of vegetable oil. Once hot, add in your ginger and scallions and let it sizzle till aromatic.
Once aromatic, take it off the heat and season your oil with 1tb of sesame seed oil, 1tb of light soy sauce and set it aside ready for your chicken.
Cut up your chicken and serve up over a steaming bowl of rice topped with your lovely ginger scallion oil and enjoy!