Sunday, August 24, 2008

Samsui Chicken

Soup Restaurant's most famous dish is Samsui Chicken. The story goes that the Samsui women (who were Chinese immigrants working in the nascent construction industry in olden Singapore) were too poor to eat meat on normal occasions, but would whip up a Samsui chicken dish every Chinese New Year. This comprises gently poached chicken, served with a dip of garlic and ginger sauce.
This is very easy to replicate at home - just cook a chicken (or chicken parts) as if you're cooking for Hainanese chicken rice - in a large pot of boiling water, and turn off the heat and cover after you put the chicken in., and wait for 45 minutes before taking the chicken out and cutting it up for serving. This gentle cooking method ensures that the chicken meat remains smooth and juicy, while the large volume of water retains the heat for residual cooking. The dip is available from Soup Restaurant for SGD 5 a bottle and is really the distinguishing feature of Samsui chicken. You can also spoon it over steamed fish (e.g. cod) or in dry or soup instant noodles.

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