That Asian Home Cook

Joy Entry is a Malaysian home cook based in Lagos who is obsessed with the provocative, unapologetic flavours of South-East Asian cuisine 

Chinese Chicken Stew

As a continuation of my ‘meals under 10€’ series, I suggest that a Chinese Chicken Stew is the perfect wallet-friendly dish. 

The one thing Asians like to do is cook on the bone, whether it be meat or fish. We all know how pronounced flavour can be produced with this technique. I personally love to chew off the bone, it makes the meal all the more exciting! If you didn’t already know this, buying chicken whole is much cheaper than buying it in portions like the breast – almost half the price! 

If chopping up a chicken feels intimidating, then you can easily request your butcher to break it down to pieces for you. I always ask for 12 pieces for an entire chicken which breaks it down into nice chunks, making it easy to cook and serve. 

I grew up with this very soulful homey recipe that literally feels like a hug on the inside. It brings back many memories of my family sitting around the dining table with the prominent chicken stew as the centrepiece of the lazy Susan at home. I hope this dish helps to create similar memories and then some. Enjoy! 


  • 1.2 kg chicken chopped into 12 pieces
  • 1 cup sliced carrots 
  • 1 cup sliced potatoes 
  • 3 cloves of garlic chopped 
  • 1 thumb-sized ginger
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp sesame oil 
  • 2 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 1 tbsp light soy sauce 
  • 1 tbsp dark soy sauce 
  • 1 tbsp Chinese cooking wine 
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • ½ tsp salt 
  • ½ cup water 


  • 1 tsp corn flour 
  • 1 tbsp cold water

A slurry is a great way to thicken any type of broth. It works especially great with Asian stir-fry dishes that require some gravy but in a thicker, punchier form. 

Bring together in a small bowl 1 tsp corn flour and 1 tbsp cold water and stir quickly until the slurry is opaque, thick and white. Once the slurry goes into your dish, you must stir very quickly to spread and thicken the broth evenly. The slurry usually goes in right at the end of the dish. 


Begin by marinating your chicken with a teaspoon each of salt, sugar, sesame oil and cornflour. Set aside for an hour or so while you prep all your other ingredients. You can also marinate this overnight in the fridge. 

Blend your ginger and garlic into a paste, or better still, go at it with a pestle and mortar – the Asian way. 

Heat up your wok or pot with vegetable oil on medium heat. Once the oil is hot, your ginger and garlic paste goes in. Count to 10 and then your marinated chicken pieces can go in. As you stir fry, you will notice your chicken pieces turn opaque and then golden, especially on the skin. This is a form of searing to lock the juices in. 

Now add your oyster sauce, Chinese wine, and light and dark soy. Mix the sauces in with your chicken ensuring every single piece is coated with all of that umami goodness. As soon as the sauce starts to bubble on the edges, you can add in your cup of water, salt, sugar, carrots and potatoes. Put your lid on and lower the heat. Leave the chicken to cook for 10 to 15 minutes. When you lift the lid, the broth should be boiling inside. 

This is when your slurry goes in. Once the slurry goes into the stew, stir very quickly to spread and thicken the broth evenly. Your sesame oil can go in at this point right at the end. Taste your broth. If you feel it needs a little bit more salt or sugar, feel free to improvise. This stew dish is always best served with steamed jasmine rice and a bowl of chopped fresh chillies on the side. 

Wine pairing

I would go for this Howard’s Folly Winemaker’s Choice 2013 red, perfect to pair with a rich and luxurious stew like this. With aromas of dark berry fruits with some smokiness and a tinge of chocolate, this is an absolutely elegant bottle.


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