Apr 12, 2020

Aromatic Magao Chicken Soup Prepared with Tatung Steam Rice Cooker

Tatung steam rice cooker might took over the spotlight these days, proven that it can be used to sterilize face masks by Taiwan's Central Epidemic Command CenterIn fact, similar types of rice cooker will do the same job, but since "Tatung" is almost like a national brand for steam rice cooker, I've added the brand name with Taiwan's pride.

Put the recently face mask disinfect function aside, such steam rice cooker can also be a great and convenient tool to make chicken soup.

Aromatic magao chicken soup prepared with Tatung steam rice cooker -

  • 700 grams chicken (with bones and skin)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon magao pepper
  • 150 grams hiratake mushroom
  • 100 grams yanagi matsutake mushroom
  • 1/3 cup rice cooking wine 
  • 4 slices ginger
  • Some salt
  • Some water
  • Some cilantro (optional)


Magao is a type of pepper with stronger minty and lemony scent, but not quite spicy at all. It can be found around the rural area in Taiwan, also commonly used by some aboriginal tribes. Mountain peppercorn, another name for magao, is also getting more and more attention at the fine dining scenes in Taiwan, which can be found at some local Michelin-starred restaurants.

Such quality makes magao a great addition to clear stock style chicken soup. I've also used high quality "KT chicken" to make the soup. The meat is very clean, that means when making stock, it won't generate those brown foamy bits floating on the surface. Just very clear-looking soup, which works great with magao.

Prep the chicken into large pieces. Remove the tough ends from mushrooms. It doesn't have to be hiratake and yanagi matsutake mushrooms, just use the gentle-flavored Japanese type mushrooms that you can get a hold of. Slice the ginger, no need to peel off the skin, just make sure to rinse till cleaned. Use the side of the knife to knock on the peppers to help them further release the aroma. No need to fully crush them, just a few taps will do.

Add about 3 cups of water to the steam rice cooker, not to the metal pot, but to the very bottom of the rice cooker. As for the big pot that came with the steam rice cooker, add in 10 cups of water instead, also add the chicken, ginger slices, magao, mushrooms, and 1/3 cup of rice cooking wine. 

Cover with cooker's lid. Press down the button and let it steam for about one hour. 

Once ready, the button will pop right back. Keep the lid on and just let it sit in residual heat for another 30 minutes. Lastly, flavor with salt till desired saltiness. I used about 2 tablespoons of salt here.

Scoop to serving containers and garnish with fresh cilantro, not necessary but always like that color pop and fresh scent.

Such a clear broth filled with minty lemony aroma. It'll also warms you up from inside out. By the way, magao can be stored in the freezer, I actually used a small glass jar to store magao in the freezer, and it'll last almost forever without losing much of its aroma. If you can find some magao, just go ahead and stock up.

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