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Who would have thought anything other than rice could be made in my rice cooker?
I traveled to Fóshān (佛山) in Guǎngdōng (广东), China and learned how to cook this dish that titillates the senses. Qiūfán (秋凡), a lovely young mother, taught me how to make Shājiāng Jú Jī (沙姜焗鸡, Sand Ginger Steamed Chicken) in her rice cooker. So simple, so impatient was I to try it as the room filled with its aroma, so distinct in flavor, and so delectable!
After Qiūfán’s husband tried her cooking he thought, ‘This is the perfect woman!’ and had to marry her. Every evening he requires a four course meal — one vegetable dish, one meat dish, one fish, and one of which must be a soup! Well I can imagine her husband falling in love with this chicken dish, yelling approvingly “Till death do us part!”
If you’ve got a rice cooker, you can do this too and perhaps even secure a life partner. I’ve taken Qiūfán’s Shājiāng Jú Jī (沙姜焗鸡, Sand Ginger Steamed Chicken) and used drumsticks instead of one whole Chicken. I’ve also added a dash of sugar, which you can choose to omit or keep.
Shājiāng (Sand Ginger or Galanga) is unlike your everyday ginger rhizome, hot and spiking the taste buds. Shājiāng is a fragrant rhizome with darker brown skin. The blend of Shājiāng with peanut oil carries a nutty aroma out of the rice cooker blowhole and flirts with your olfactories until done. If you can’t find Shājiāng, go ahead and use everyday ginger, but be warned the flavor will be spicy and possess a completely different fragrance.
- 8 small chicken drumsticks
- 2 1-inch pieces Shājiāng (沙姜, Sand Ginger), finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon dark soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons peanut oil
- Wash the drumsticks. Mix Shājiāng (Sand Ginger), dark soy sauce, soy sauce, sugar, and salt together then pour over the chicken. Rub the marinade evenly onto the chicken.
- Place chicken in rice cooker pot and drizzle with peanut oil. Close the hatch and press play! When the chicken is done, the rice cooker will stop.
Serve with rice and feel free to splash a little sauce over the chicken and rice.
List of places that may carry Shājiāng (沙姜, Sand Ginger):