Jul 6, 2020

Water Lily Stir-Fry with Cordia Dichotoma 破布子炒水蓮

If you're wondering what in the world is cordia dichotoma, also known as "pua po ji" in Taiwan, check out my previous post for more details. 

Switching focus back to water lily. Its full name is nymphoides hydrophylla, guess let's just stick with water lily for now. It's a type of aquatic plant that can be found in tropical Asian, also one of the major agricultural products in southern Taiwan. The part used in this recipe is the long and slim tube-shaped petiole. Crunchy and considered "slightly cold" ingredient in Asian cooking, that's why usually you'll find ginger, which is considered "warm" ingredient stir-fried together with water lily.

Water lily stir-fry with cordia dichotoma 破布子炒水蓮 - 


  • 1 big bundle water lily
  • 3 tablespoons cordia dichotoma
  • 8 shiitake mushroom
  • 300 grams shredded pork (can cut down to half)
  • 1/2 cup shredded ginger
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1 to 2 red chilies
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons Chinese rice cooking wine
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil


Use 1 teaspoon of Chinese rice cooking wine plus 2 teaspoons of soy sauce to massage the shredded pork. Marinate the pork first while prepping other ingredients.

Peel and chop the garlic cloves. Destem and finely chop the red chilies. Peel and shred the ginger. Destem and slice the shiitake mushrooms.

Rinse then soak the water lily in water, it'll help revive the water lily, so the texture stays crunchy and fresh. After about 10 to 15 minutes, drain and cut the water lily into shorter sections, about 2-inch long.

Drizzle some olive oil to the wok and turn to high heat. Add in garlic and red chilies, give it a quick stir-fry for about 30 seconds. Make sure not to burn the garlic pieces.

Transfer shredded pork and shiitake mushroom to the wok, give it a quick mix. 

Add in water lily and shredded ginger. Also add in 1/4 teaspoon of salt and cordia dichotoma. Cook for about one more minute.

Right before serving, pour in about 1 teaspoon of rice cooking wine along the side of the wok. That direct contact to the hot surface can further draw out the aroma from the rice cooking wine.

Plate and serve.

I used more pork here because I don't want to have any unused leftover ingredients. No way around it, I already picked the smallest box of pork that was available at the market. You can cut down to 100 grams to 150 grams of pork instead. No need to adjust the amount for other ingredients if doing so.

Water lily stir-fry is such a popular dish in Taiwan, you can find it in many Taiwanese restaurants. I guess its watery crunch bite can be a little bit addicting. Usually water lily are prepared as a simple stir-fry and doesn't really have cordia dichotoma in it, but I like that gentle sweet note from the cordia dichotoma. Some also add goji berries. No matter what, try to keep some shredded ginger to balance off water lily's "coldness" property.

Other recipe using cordia dichotoma:

Jun 30, 2020

Chicken and Sausage Gumbo

Frankly speaking, making gumbo can be quite a challenge in Taiwan. Try to find some specialty spices, even in the big city Taipei, and you'll know what I'm talking about. It requires luck and mostly connections, but even that, I still have no idea where to find filé powder. Glad that I still have full stock of Creole seasoning, with this magic blend of spices on hand, missing one or two other flavors shouldn't be a big problem.

Chicken and sausage gumbo -


  • 2 deboned, skin-off chicken quarters
  • 5 links/500 grams spicy sausages
  • 20 okra
  • 1 stalk celery
  • 1 large bell pepper
  • 1 onion
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • 4 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 4 teaspoons Creole seasoning
  • Some salt
  • Some black pepper
  • Some olive oil
  • Some cooked long grain white rice
  • Some chopped scallion (optional) 


Precook the rice, use a little less water than usual to get harder texture grains. That dryer, chewier bite can pair well with saucy gumbo. Once the rice is ready, fluff the grains, keep warm while waiting for the gumbo to be ready.

Cut the chicken into bite size pieces. Massage the chicken with some salt and black pepper. Cut the sausages into chunks.

Peel and dice the onion. Peel and chop the garlic cloves. Trim off the stem end of okra and slice into smaller star-shaped pieces. Remove the stem and seeds from bell pepper, then cut into smaller chunks. Cut the celery into smaller chunks. 

Drizzle about 2 tablespoons of olive oil to a Dutch oven or a large pot. Turn to medium heat. Once warmed up, add in chicken and sausage. Sear till almost fully cooked through then scoop them out for later use.

Judging from the oil remained in the pot, drizzle 1 or 2 more tablespoons of olive oil. Turn to lower heat, add in flour to make the roux. Keep stirring to prevent the flour from burning. Cook till browned a little bit, but keep in mind that the color might get tinted by the fats from the spicy sausages. Making roux can take some time, about 12 minutes for me here.

Roux is the key here, so don't be lazy and make sure to keep watching out the roux. Don't burn it. Otherwise, you might have to start over and waste all that flavorful fat drizzling from the sausages. You can't sear these sausages twice right? Keep an eye on it.

Add in onion, celery, and bell pepper. Cook till the onion is about translucent, about 10 minutes. Make sure to stir the mixture once a while.

Pour in chicken stock and turn up the heat to bring the whole thing to a boil. Then lower the heat to keep it at a simmer.

Add in garlics, 1 tablespoon of salt, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, 4 teaspoons Creole seasoning, and 1 bay leaf. Cook for couple more minutes.

Add the chicken and sausages back to the pot. Cook for one hour uncovered. The entire mixture will gradually turn darker and thickens during the process.

Transfer okra to the mixture and continue to cook for another 30 minutes or so. Taste and see if more salt is needed.

When ready to serve, have some rice ready and scoop some gumbo around. Garnish with chopped scallion if desired.

If you can't find Creole seasoning or filé powder, perhaps try to mix a batch yourself. Sounds hard, but most spices used in Creole seasoning are not that hard to get. Below are the spices in my Creole seasoning blend: paprika, onion, black pepper, lemon peel, chili pepper, red pepper, all spice, thyme, clove, mace, and bay leaf.

Creole part solved, now where can I find filé powder in Taiwan? 

Jun 24, 2020

Hakka Style Roast Pork 客家鹹豬肉

The "Hakka" I'm referring to is more about "Taiwanese Hakka." Taiwanese Hakka are Taiwanese with Han nationality and Hakka identity. Note that Hakka is the second largest ethnic group in Taiwan. And today we are going to make one of Hakka's most comforting dishes, Hakka style roast pork.

Hakka style roast pork 客家鹹豬肉 - 


  • 2 pork belly (about 0.5 to 1 inch wide)
  • Some Chinese rice cooking wine 米酒
  • 2 tablespoons chopped garlic
  • 1 tablespoon Sichuan peppercorns
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons coarsely-cracked black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon five spice powder 五香粉
  • Some garlic sprouts 蒜苗 (optional)

Dipping sauce (optional) -

  • Some rice vinegar
  • Some grated garlic


Traditionally, Hakka style roast pork usually paired with a dipping sauce made with a mixture of rice vinegar and grated garlic. Some also serve the pork with sliced Chinese leek or garlic sprouts. However, these are not requirements, the pork alone is already well-seasoned and still quite yummy without these side boosts.

Splash some rice cooking wine to the pork and give it a quick massage. Use a fort to prick some holes throughout. Peel and chop the garlic cloves.

Take a non-stick pan, add about 1 tablespoon of Sichuan peppercorns. Use low heat to warm up these peppercorns, which will help releasing the aroma.

Transfer toasted Sichuan peppercorns to a cutting board and crush them using the side of the knife.

Mix these peppercorns together with 2 teaspoons of salt, 2 teaspoons of coarsely-cracked black pepper, 1 teaspoon of five spice powder, and 2 tablespoons of chopped garlic.

Transfer pork belly to a large Ziploc bag. Add in all the mixed seasonings. Seal the bag and massage these spices into the meat. Make sure not to miss any spots. Let it sit in the fridge for 2 to 3 days. Remember to re-massage the meat, perhaps flip the bag to the other side once a while.

When it's time for roasting, preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit/220 degrees Celsius. Line a baking sheet with foil. 

Rinse off the seasonings from the pork. Pat dry with paper towel. Transfer to the baking sheet and roast for about 15 minutes. Take out the dish and flip the pork bellies to the other side, back to the oven and continue to roast for another 10 minutes, or till fully cooked through.

Remove from heat and let the meat rest for about 10 minutes. Slice with some thickness for a hearty chew. Serve with rice vinegar garlicky sauce, garlic sprouts, or Chinese leek if preferred, but this Hakka style roast pork is already quite flavorful on its own.

One a side note, when rinsing pork to remove the seasonings, it's not absolutely necessary to wash off everything. I actually enjoy some Sichuan peppercorns that got stuck inside the meat after roasting. When biting into these peppercorns, that aromatic burst was pretty addicting, also not quite as numbing as I would have imagined. 


Extended reading:

Jun 17, 2020

Hasselback Potatoes with Rosemary and Aged Parmigiano Reggiano

When working with potatoes, some people start off with choosing between the starchy kind or the waxy kind. However, for hasselback potatoes, it can go either way. Starchy or waxy, both can yield a lovely texture and work well with such recipe. I would say just pick the texture you like. As for myself, I was only searching for potatoes that come with the exact size, something slightly smaller than my fist if possible.

Hasselback potatoes with rosemary and Parmigiano Reggiano -


  • 6 medium oval-shaped potatoes
  • 6 sprigs rosemary
  • 6 garlic cloves
  • 60 grams unsalted butter
  • Some olive oil
  • Some salt
  • Some black pepper
  • Some aged Parmigiano Reggiano


Preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit/232 degrees Celsius. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or foil.

Remove the butter from the fridge and let it sit in room temperature till softened. If the butter still too hard to work with, warm it up in the oven for a short period till the texture similar to semi-melted ice cream. 

Smash and peel the garlic cloves. There is no need to peel the potatoes, simply wash and pat dry will do.

Slice the potatoes but not all the way down. You can try to arrange chopsticks on both sides of the potatoes, top and bottom, which might be helpful to stop the knife going all the way to down. However, using chopsticks is just a precautionary measure, try not to cut too deep, otherwise the potato slices can break apart, falling wide open after baking.

Drizzle some olive oil over parchment paper. Lay down rosemary sprigs throughout, and toss smashed garlic cloves over.

Arrange potatoes cut side up around rosemary and garlic cloves. Generously brush the potatoes with semi-melted butter, even the sliced cracks if possible. Also sprinkle some salt and black pepper on top.

Into the oven and roast for 30 minutes. Remove the baking sheet and brush some more semi-melted butter all over. Remove burnt garlics if any. Back to the oven and keep roasting for another 30 minutes, or till the potatoes are fork-tender.

Remove from heat, plate the hasselback potatoes and grate some aged Parmigiano Reggiano right before serving.

During half way through the roasting time, when taking out the baking sheet, you can try to squeeze the base of these potatoes with a tong to help open up the slices. It'll help cooking the center of these potatoes, also easier to brush more butter in these cracks. However, it's not necessary, if squeeze too hard, these pieces might fall apart instead.

There're other versions of hasselback potatoes, even the guilty kind that insert cheese squares in every single cracks. Perhaps I'll try brushing some pesto instead. Picturing pesto all over potatoes, should be worth a try.

Other no fuss cooking recipes:

Jun 10, 2020

Steamed Bass Fillets with Cordia Dichotoma 破布子蒸鱸魚片

What a mouthful name, cordia dichotoma. Also known as "pua po ji" in Taiwan, the part that's actually being used in cooking is its fruit. After harvesting, some use these little round pieces right away, and some would boil for hours then pickle the fruits for longer preservation time.

One of the common ways to incorporate cordia dichotoma is steamed fish. Pickled cordia dichotoma can give a mild sweet and sourish touch to the final dish. Just need to be careful when biting the cordia dichotoma because it contains seed inside. For the recipe I'm making here, I took extra effort to remove the seed one by one, also thickened the sauce towards the end. However, most people don't really bother to remove the seed, just eat around it or ignoring the cordia dichotoma all along. There's no absolute need to thicken the sauce also, I was trying to make this common household recipe a wee bit fancier.

Steamed bass fillets with cordia dichotoma 破布子蒸鱸魚片 -

  • 320 grams bass fillets
  • 3 tablespoons cordia dichotoma
  • 1 tablespoon cordia dichotoma marinated juice
  • 1 stalk scallion
  • 1 short section ginger
  • 2 red chilies
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • Tiny pinch white pepper powder
  • Some corn starch and water mixture
  • Some Chinese rice wine 米酒
  • Some sesame oil
  • Some salt


Destem and slice the bottom section, the whiter section of the scallion into about 2-inch long strips. Thinly slice the green area into thin strips and soak them in cold water. The scallion strips will start to curl up, drain and pat dry for later use.

Destem and remove the red chili seeds, slice the chilies into thin strips. Peel and slice the ginger into thin strips also.

Squeeze the cordia dichotoma with your fingers, give it some pressure to create some cracks. It'll help drawing out more flavors during the steaming process. Might as well remove the seeds at the same time.

Slice the fish fillets into large chunks, it'll be easier to fit into a plate that will go into the steamer. Sprinkle few drops of rice cooking wine and add some salt on both sides of the fish.

Brush some sesame oil to the plate/shallow bowl that will be used for steaming and serving. Lay down the white part of the scallion sections. It'll kind of form a barrier between the bass and the very bottom of the plate. Transfer bass pieces on top of the scallion sections.

Prepare a bowl, add in squeezed cordia dichotoma and some juice, also add in 1 tablespoon rice wine, 1 tablespoon soy sauce, 1 teaspoon sesame oil, 1/2 teaspoon sugar, and tiny pinch of white pepper powder. Mix well.

Drizzle the sauce mixture over bass. Lastly, top with green part of the scallion strips, red chili strips, and ginger strips.

Into the steamer, make sure the temperature goes up before adding the fish. Steam for about 8 minutes then turn off the power/heat. Continue to rest in steamy heat for another 5 minutes.

Remove the plate from steamer. You can serve this dish as it is now, or continue with extra steps below.

Pour out the watery juice to a small pot. Turn to high heat and let the sauce reduce a wee bit. Switch to low heat. Taste and see if need more soy sauce, otherwise, slightly thicken the sauce with corn starch and water mixture. Keep stirring the sauce while slowly pour in the corn starch and water mixture at the same time to prevent lumps.

Pour the thickened sauce back to the bass fillets. Serve immediately.

Some prefer to keep the cordia dichotoma seeds, saying that it'll give more flavor to the dish. I'm guess that removing the seeds one by one can be way too time consuming too. However, I'd like to actually eat the cordia dichotoma, so might as well take out the seeds in the beginning. Don't want to hurt my teeth if I'm not careful enough.

Other fish recipes:

Jun 5, 2020

Peach Cobbler, Canned Peaches Version

Canned peaches is one of the long-lasting food items that I've bought when the COVID-19 outbreak just started. Luckily, where I'm at right now, Taiwan, seems to be safer than most of the places. Looking at what's happening around the world, who would have thought that many other safe and peaceful places as we know before can be as chaotic, filled with anger and riots? Hope and pray that this pandemic can get in control and everybody's life get back on track soon.

Thankfully Taiwan has been doing well, and that means the extra food I've bought for the virus outbreak can now be devoured. I seriously need more shelf space back, which I have been trying to finish all the excess frozen food and canned goods whenever I can. So here it is, peach cobbler using canned peaches.

Peach cobbler using canned peaches -


  • 400 grams/about 4 to 5 canned peaches halves
  • 2 tablespoons juice from canned peaches
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 stick/113 grams unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • Tiny pinch salt
  • Some vanilla ice cream (optional)


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit/176.5 degrees Celsius. Slice the peaches into large chunks.

Place butter directly to the baking dish.

Transfer the baking dish to the oven. Wait till the butter melts and just about bubbling, remove from heat.

Take a big bowl, sift in flour and baking powder, also add in granulated sugar and salt, mix till combined.

Pour the mixture to the baking dish, right over melted butter. Pour in prepped peaches along with some of its juice. No need to stir, just pour the peaches right on top. 

Into the oven and bake for about 35 to 40 minutes.

Remove from heat. The cobbler should look slightly unset, more like a semi-hardened gooey texture.

Serve with vanilla ice cream for that extra hot and cold sensation.

So why I chose canned peaches as my food storage choice in the first place? It's because what I've seen from a Japanese TV show. It was teaching viewers how to prepare for disasters, and one of the pros was showing canned fruits, saying that having something sweet and juicy when hard time hits can truly be a mood booster. Not necessary the most nutritious option, but canned fruits can bring much joy and happiness. If there're kids in the family, canned fruits can also be a great helper too, something sweet to bring that smile back on their face.

Well, let's hope we'll never need to open any canned fruits for that purpose. Instead, simply enjoy canned sweet treats because we feel like it.

Other dessert recipes:

May 29, 2020

Japanese and Chinese Hybrid - Tenshinhan 天津飯

Tenshinhan/てんしんはん, A Japanese and Chinese hybrid rice recipe. One can often see crab meat, or the more commonly used imitation crab and eggs as two main ingredients. Basically it's steamed white rice top with soft scrambled eggs, with slightly thickened soupy toppings poured over. Such toppings are usually made with Japanese style stock, sometimes with additional crab meat and shiitake mushrooms. 

Due to its simplicity, the stock used can be the key to success. I've seen fine dining restaurant in Japan use stock made with red snapper, and the finished dish was dusted with grated yuzu, what an elegant presentation. As for my easier homemade version, I've incorporated clear Chinese chicken stock that was already seasoned with salt earlier. You can also prepare Japanese stock from scratch with kombu and katsuobushi. For an even less troublesome approach, store-bought chicken soup or Japanese stock powder can come in handy.

Tenshinhan 天津飯 -

Ingredients (about 4 portions)?

  • 4 cups Chinese chicken stock (already flavored with salt)
  • 8 imitation crab sticks
  • 8 eggs
  • 5 shiitake mushrooms
  • 1/3 cup peas
  • 1 stalk scallion
  • Some corn starch and water mixture
  • Some sesame oil
  • Some olive oil
  • Some steamed white rice


Cook the white rice first and set as warm while waiting for the soupy topping. 

Bring a small pot of water to a boil and add in the peas, cook for about one minute, drain and set aside.

Destem and chop the scallion, destem and slice the shiitake mushrooms. Tear the imitation crab sticks into strips. 

Beat all the eggs in a bowl then mix in crab strips.

Use a medium pot, pour in 4 cups Chinese stock or some other lightly salted stock choice. Add in shiitake mushrooms, bring to a boil then keep it at a simmer. Cook till shiitake reaches desired texture, slightly softened at least. Switch to low heat.

Prepare some corn starch and water mixture. Keep stirring the soup while slowly pouring in the corn starch and water mixture. Just a touch so the soup can turn into slightly gooey, a wee bit thickened density.

To make the softly scrambled eggs, it has to be prepared one by one. So for 4 portions, please repeat below steps 4 times.

Take a non-stick pan, add in 1 tablespoon of olive oil and few drops of sesame oil. Turn to medium heat. Once warmed up, pour in some egg and crab meat mixture, enough for one portion. Gently stir the mixture while cooking using medium heat. The eggs should look like a softly and slightly fluffy western scrambled eggs. Remove from heat before the egg mixture fully set. 

Scoop some rice onto each serving plate. Top with the egg and crab mixture. Keep making the softly scrambled eggs for each servings. Scoop some gooey stock right over the eggs. Garnish with some peas and chopped scallion.

If you've got a pretty spacious freezer, I highly recommend you to take some time and make the stock yourself. Homemade stock can be stored in airtight containers and freeze for quite some time. One of my friends even get the big bones from the butcher, roast them under high heat in the oven to draw some more flavors before used in stock. Sounds like a lot of work, but it'll totally worth it. 

Just make sure to make a huge pot of stock, might as well get more stock to store in the freezer after going through all that hassles right? 

Other rice recipes:

May 24, 2020

Edamame and Smoked Salmon Toast

Not exactly related to this recipe, just a little chat here about switching to a more fish-focused diet. If you have been following this blog for quite some time, it's not hard to find that there's only a few beef recipes from the past couple years. The main reason is that I've been trying to eat less red meat, especially beef. 

My main meat sources have been chicken and pork, and now the new goals has been set to serve fish every week, hopefully it'll further reduce my pork intake. Put the scientific data aside, changing to a more fish-oriented diet, I really do feel lighter, less burden so to speak. I also enjoy the possible beauty effect from the fish oil and a boost of calcium from such source. Looking at the elderly people I've known for ages, they have been eating fish all the time and they seemed pretty good with calcium retention, most of them have very good skin condition also. Either way, I'm going to swap out some pork in exchange of fish, let's see how it'll go from here.

Edamame and smoked salmon toast -

Ingredients (4 portions)?

  • 2/3 cup edamame
  • 100 grams smoked salmon
  • 25 grams feta cheese
  • 4 slices country bread or sourdough
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried herbs de Provence
  • Some rainbow peppercorns
  • Some olive oil 
  • Some extra virgin olive oil


Bring a small pot of water to a boil and cook the edamame for couple minutes. Drain and set the edamame aside to cool off.

Save a few whole edamame and add the remaining edamame to the food processor. Also add 1/4 teaspoon dried herbs de Provence, 1/8 teaspoon of salt, 1/8 teaspoon rainbow peppercorns, and 2 teaspoons olive oil to the food processor. Blend till the texture resembles tiny grainy bits.

Brush bread slices with oil olive on one side only. Toast in the oven using high heat, till the toast turned slightly crunchy, about couple minutes. Remove from heat once ready.

Top the toasted bread slices with edamame mixture, then add some smoked salmon slices. Top with crumbled feta cheese. Garnish with some edamame beans that we saved earlier, and freshly grind some rainbow peppercorns over. Drizzle some extra virgin olive oil right before serving.

Noticed that I only used 1/8 teaspoon of salt in the edamame mixture, that's because both feta cheese and smoked salmon can be quite salty already, so it's safer to start with less salt in the edamame mixture. If turns out too plain, we can always sprinkle some salt flakes on finished toast in the end.

Extended reading:

May 17, 2020

Chinese Shaoxing Drunken Chicken 紹興醉雞

Somewhat a fancy recipe due to its appearance. However, don't get fooled by the looks, drunken chicken is actually not that hard to make, but rather require more prep-ahead time. That makes it a great dish when having guests over. Something you can finish most of the cooking process before the feast, and will definitely make an impressed scene.

Chinese Shaoxing drunken chicken 紹興醉雞 -


  • 2 deboned chicken leg quarters (that means thigh and drumstick together)
  • 350ml plus some extra aged Shaoxing wine 陳年紹興酒
  • 350ml chicken stock
  • 4 to 5 pieces angelica 當歸
  • 1 tablespoon goji berries 枸杞
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • Some salt
  • Some cold drinking water


In Taiwan, generally speaking you can find chicken sold in three different styles - free range, farm-raised, and something in between. Free range chicken is more flavorful with chewier, more so bouncy texture. Farm-raised chicken tends to be meatier but with a rather soft bite. Something in between, you should be able to guess it. 

Free range version is the most expensive of course, its great flavor makes it an ideal candidate when making soup. Farm-raised chicken are preferred for fried chicken, especially for its size that come with a much more economical price tag. As for our drunken chicken recipe, free range chicken can be too tough to chew, and farm-raised version will yield a soggy bite. So try to find something in between if you can. Over here, we call it faux free-range chicken (仿土雞/腿). That'll be your best option for making Chinese drunken chicken.

Bring a pot of water to a boil then keep it at a simmer. Meanwhile, pat dry the leg quarters. Inspect with the tip of your fingers making sure there are no tiny bones present. Remove any fragments and tendons when possible.

Plate a sheet of foil beneath the leg quarter, skin side down. Sprinkle a tiny pinch of salt over and about 1/2 teaspoon of aged Shaoxing wine throughout for each leg quarter.

Try your best to roll the leg quarter into a log, then fold in the foil to wrap it like a burrito. Tighten both ends by twitching the foil, like making a candy wrap. Do the same for both leg quarters.

Transfer both rolls to simmering pot of water, make sure they're fully submerged under water. Cook with medium heat for 20 minutes then turn off the heat. Continue to soak in warm water for another 5 minutes. The residual heat will continue to cook the chicken roll in a slow and gentle way.

Prepare a big bowl of ice cold water, drinking water just to be safe. I also add a big ice cube there. Once the chicken rolls are ready, transfer them to ice cold water and wait till completely cooled down. It'll further help tightening the texture, giving the later finished drunken chicken a slightly chewy bite.

Find a container with some depth and can nicely fit in two chicken rolls.

Let's make the soaking liquid. Chicken stock is ideal, but you can also use that same pot of water that the chicken rolls were cooked in. The key is equal amount of chicken stock and aged Shaoxing wine. Mine took about 350ml each. Make sure this soaking liquid can fit in your chosen container, better measure it first beforehand.

So in the pot, I have about 350ml of chicken stock and 350ml of aged Shaoxing wine. Bring that to a simmer, also add in 4 to 5 pieces of angelica, 1 tablespoon of goji berries, 1 tablespoon of salt, and 1 teaspoon of sugar. Turn off the heat and wait till it cools down.

Check on the chicken rolls, once cooled down, remove foil and transfer both chicken rolls to the chosen container. You might find some gelatinous substance around the chicken, good job, that means the chicken fat was sealed nicely inside the foil and that gelatinous thing can be a great source of collagen.

Once the soaking liquid cools down, pour that into the container also, cover with lid and store in the fridge overnight. If making drunken chicken ahead of time, don't slice the chicken first, just store it in the fridge as a log and continue to soak in the liquid, should be able to keep up to few days.

When ready to serve, remove the chicken rolls from the soaking liquid. Slice and arrange onto a plate. Drizzle some soaking liquid over and garnish with fully soaked goji berries.

One important key here, don't try to slice the chicken first and soak in the liquid for too long, it'll further absorb the seasonings, and can turn quite strong with the alcohol and too salty. When making this recipe ahead of time, just store them as rolls, only slice on serving day. That means, pre-slice them and leave them on the serving plate with some juice couple hours ahead is fine, just not up to a day or more.

Not hard to make at all, and I'm sure you'll get the hang of it after first try. It just take some time to wait for the ingredients to cool down throughout the process, but that means you can also run other household errands while waiting, right?

By the way, as the name "drunken" chicken suggests, even though it's a cold dish, that alcohol still got some kick to it. Avoid eating it and driving soon after, I think the alcohol level in drunken chicken can be strong enough to surpass the legal amount.

Extended reading: