Chicken Wings Steamed with Sichuan Pickle
Chicken Wings Steamed with Sichuan Pickle

Chicken Wings Steamed with Sichuan Pickle

Chicken wings are wonderful when steamed so that their own juices blend with added flavorings to produce a rich and savory sauce. In this recipe, the ‘drumette’ section of chicken wings are steamed over a bed of celery, which adds its own aromatic contribution, and pickled zhà cài, or Sichuan Preserved Vegetable to provide a nice, sharp, tangy note against the spicy backdrop of chili oil.


A Word on the Ingredients

Sichuan Preserved Vegetable in Chili Oil
Sichuan Preserved Vegetable in Chili Oil

I have chosen the thick end piece of chicken wings known as ‘drumettes’ for this recipe as they steam nicely and are a nice size. You can, if you wish, use the middle section of the wing, or even some other part of the chicken too, but, in the latter case, you really should stick to bone-in pieces rather than boneless, and cut or chop the pieces relatively small.

The type of Sichuan Preserved Vegetable I am using is a pre-shredded type packed in Chili Oil. The label has fallen off my jar and I cannot recall the brand, but there are many commercial varieties available, both in jars, and also packed in vacuum-sealed plastic pouches.

You can of course, use one of the varieties of Sichuan Preserved Vegetable packed in brine (being sure to rinse away excess salt, in that event), or you can substitute almost any other type of pickle you like, including, for example, a nice, spicy Korean Kimchi

The Basic Method

Marinating the Main Ingredients
Marinating the Main Ingredients

The chicken pieces are first tossed with cornstarch, mixed with the pickle, mushrooms and scallion, and then marinated with the sugar, soy, rice wine and sesame oil.

Arranging the Chicken on a Bed of Celery
Arranging the Chicken on a Bed of Celery

Steaming the chicken on a bed of celery produces several benefits. First, the celery has a lovely aromatic quality all of its own and this infuses the chicken as it steams and adds to the flavor of the sauce. The chicken juices, in turn, add flavor to the celery, which ends up providing a nice vegetable component, and textural contrast to the finished dish.

Steaming the Dish
Steaming the Dish

Steaming will only take twenty minutes or so, and the mushroom and other aromatic ingredients will blend with the chicken juices thrown off during cooking to produce a lovely sauce, rich with collagen to give it a wonderful, unctuous mouthfeel.


Your Recipe Card:

Chicken Wings Steamed with Sichuan Pickle

Chicken Wings Steamed with Sichuan Pickle includes Chinese Black Mushrooms and Sichuan-style Preserved Vegetable in a rich sauce spicy with chili oil.
Course: Appetizer, Side Dish, Snack
Cuisine: Chicken, Chinese, Chinese Black Mushroom, Pickle, Sichuanese, Steamed
Author: John Thompson

Ingredients

  • 10 – 12 Chicken Drumettes;
  • ½ tsp. Salt;
  • 2 tbsp. Flour;
  • 1 large stalk of Celery cut into thin matchsticks;
  • 2 dried Shiitake Mushrooms reconstituted and shredded;
  • ½ cup Sichuan Pickled Vegetable;
  • 1 scallion sliced lengthwise into 2” shreds,
  • 1 tsp. Sugar;
  • 1 tbsp. Rice Wine;
  • 1 tbsp. Chili Oil;
  • 1 tbsp. Dark Soy Sauce;

Instructions

  • Sprinkle the wing drumettes with the salt and then toss with the flour, rubbing it well into the skin.
  • Mix the shredded mushrooms, pickled vegetable, and the white part of the scallion with the chicken, followed by the sugar, soy, rice wine and sesame oil. Allow to marinate for at least thirty minutes.
  • Spread the celery sticks over the bottom of a suitable steaming dish and then arrange the chicken pieces on top.
  • Spoon the rest of the vegetable pieces and sauce over the chicken and then steam for 20 – 25 minutes.
  • Serve immediately after garnishing with the remaining scallion shreds.

1 Comment

  1. Sometimes I prefer steamed to fried for a bit of variation 🙂
    Nice ! 🙂

Comments, questions or suggestions most welcome!