Chinese yellow braised chicken served with rice

Society & Culture

A savory chicken recipe with dried shiitake mushrooms and potato.

Yellow braised chicken with rice

Yellow braised chicken with rice (黄焖鸡米饭 huáng mèn jī mǐ fàn) was one of the most popular takeout dishes in my college dorm. Native to Shandong Province, the sweet, savory dish is now popular across the country.

Caramelization is an important process in this recipe. It’s often used in Chinese cuisine to cook meat dishes. The slowly melted, browned but not burned sugar gives the meat a reddish lustrous color and light sweetness.

Dried shiitake mushrooms (干香菇 gàn xiāng gū), potatoes, and chicken chunks are the most classic combination. They’re soft, velvety, and rich-flavored. Dried shiitake mushrooms have a stronger aroma than fresh ones, but you can use fresh mushrooms like I did. To make the broth even more flavorful, I used some chicken bouillon powder (鸡精 jī jīng), which is dehydrated chicken broth. I also added some quinoa in my steamed jasmine rice for extra nutrition.


Serves 4


1 hour


  • 1.75 lb boneless chicken thighs
  • 1 large potato, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 box of shiitake mushrooms, sliced and washed
  • 5 tablespoon Chinese cooking wine
  • 4 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon oyster sauce
  • 1 teaspoon chicken bouillon powder (optional)
  • 2 green onions, chopped, white and green part separated
  • 3 slices ginger
  • 4 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 2 dried chili peppers
  • 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoon cooking oil
  • 1/2 tablespoon five-spice powder
  • 2 teaspoon black pepper
  • Cold water

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1. Cut chicken thighs into small chunks. Soak in cold water for 10 minutes to remove the blood. Drain well.

2. Marinate the chicken chunks for 30 minutes with 3 tablespoons of Chinese cooking wine, 2 tablespoons of soy sauce, and 3 slices of ginger.

3. Heat 2 tablespoons of cooking oil in a medium or large pot. Add 1 tablespoon of sugar and stir constantly over low heat until sugar gets melted, bubbled, and browned, but not burned.

4. Add in the marinated chicken. Stir fry over high heat until it’s evenly coated with browned sugar.

5. Add in 3 slices of ginger, 4 sliced garlic cloves, the white part of the green onions, 2 dried chili peppers, 2 tablespoons of Chinese cooking wine, 2 tablespoons of soy sauce, 1 tablespoon of oyster sauce, 1 teaspoon of chicken bouillon powder, 1 teaspoon of sugar, 1/2 tablespoon of five-spice powder, 2 teaspoons of black pepper, mushrooms, and potatoes. Add enough water to cover everything. Blend evenly.

6. Bring the pot to a boil and let it simmer covered over low heat for 30 minutes.

7. Remove the lid. Bring the pot to a boil again over high heat. Let it boil for about 10 minutes to reduce the sauce and enhance flavor.

8. Garnish with the green part of the green onions. Serve with rice.

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