to cook other poultry and small birds - J'ut
|Chinese people are often regarded as being able
to cook anything! One of the delicacies of Cantonese
cuisine is the cooking of small or unusual birds
such as: doves, sparrows, and many others I do
not have an English name for. "Gai"
is the Cantonese for chicken, whilst small birds
of many types are simply referred to as "J'ut
All poultry can be cooked using our main recipe
below, which is a slight variation on the standard
Chicken. Larger birds can often be cooked
by restaurants in Shar Siu style, or be quickly
Let's Get Started -
Slow steamed J'ut Zhi
|Slow cooked J'ut Zhi
• 4 J'ut Zhi plucked
• A lot of salt
• Water for the steamer, not
• 4 oz chopped Yun
• 10 slices of fresh
Jam kettle or pot of similar size
Double lidded ceramic pot
|Prepare the Poultry for cooking:
In China poultry is very often sold alive in wet
markets - this is extremely common! Prepared meat
and especially chicken can be found, but most
Chinese simply do not cook this way.
If you buy live birds then the stall holder may
pluck and gut them for you for a small extra charge.
Alternatively kill by slitting the neck, drop
into boiling water for a minute or so to loosen
the feathers and remove. Pull out the feathers
and gut to remove the internals. Chinese would
probably set aside the larger organs and egg sack
as applicable and throw into the pot. The bright
yellow stuff is fat which is key to this dish.
Leave on the carcass of add to the pot.
Once completed, wash thoroughly under a tap and
then rub salt generously into the carcass, both
inside and out. This is an important step for
helping the fat turn to gee during cooking.
Small birds should be added whole, with
only the neck and feet removed and added separately.
Larger birds could be whole, halved or chopped
into quarters - this is up to you.
an upturned rice bowl can be added to the pot
in order to trap the gee.
To the bottom of the ceramic cooking pot add the
rest of the ingredients listed above (Yun Sam
and Ginger). You can also add other things such
as whole cloves of garlic, and medicinal dried
the large jam-kettle and put a small piece of
cloth in the bottom; this is simply to protect
the base of the ceramic pot from direct heat.
Put the ceramic pot containing birds on top, and
add a couple of inches of water. Place the outer
lid on the jam kettle, and place on a low heat.
4. The ideal heat is a low
simmer, and this may take a while to achieve.
You want it to settle so that the water is just
bubbling, but not doing too much else.
Once simmering nicely, the minimum time
is 2-hours, but small birds can be cooked in 90
minutes. Ideally use the very low simmer and cook
6. It is important
to check the simmer every 30 minutes or so, and
this you learn from experience. You do not want
all the water to evaporate, so may need to top
up the water levels in the outer jam kettle from
time to time - best to use boiling water from
a kettle for this.If your seals are good, then
very little water if any will need adding.
7. This dish is quite flexible
regards serving timings, so can be cooked in advance
of other dishes.
cooked the meat will be tender and ready to fall
off the bone. The skin will have taken on a deep
brown colouration and look attractive. Serve in
the ceramic pot to table and offer gee to guests
|Wild Duck Soup
This is basically a simple variation on the above recipe
with all the essentials remaining the same. The only
difference are the ingredients because wild duck should
be considered as Game. Therefore we will use sweeter
ingredients in place of the Yut Sam above. You can still
add the sliced ginger, but garlic cloves do not really
suit this dish.
• 20 Chinese Red
• 1 dozen shelled Longgnun
• A handful of medicinal dried beancurd
• 5 small slices of fresh ginger
|Char Siu Style
We use this international term for your understanding,
although strictly speaking it refers to the Cantonese
/ Hong Kong Siu Mei cooking style where honey glazed
meat is cooked on the wall of a clay oven. As this is
specialised and very difficult - we are going to cheat!
Any poultry is fine with this dish and is prepared as
main recipe above - although it is rare for chicken
to be cooked this way. Once you have the bird(s) ready
for the pot do not add salt.This time
we are going to glaze them instead by smearing the outer
skin with either a little liquid honey or more commonly,
plum sauce. Leave smaller birds whole (Remove head and
feet if you prefer), or chop larger birds into halves,
quarters, or slices 1 inch wide by half the carcass
To a wok or large saucepan add a spacer stand and add
warm water for steaming. Cover with a lid and bring
to the boil, reducing to a vibrant simmer. Place the
poultry on a suitable dish with the sweet and sticky
Place the dish on the spacer, cover and leave to steam
for about 20minutes. Cooking time will vary with the
size of birds, and / or the size you have cut them into.
Serve to table in the cooking dish, or arrange nicely
on a server. Any thick juice can be drizzled over the
top of the meat, or thinned a little with water and
quickly stirred to a good consistency. This would then
be poured onto the serving dish and not over the meat.
|Mainland Cantonese chef's usually serve
this with a soft skin, but you can imitate Char Siu
style and make it crispy by working with a blow torch
just before presentation.
|Steamed and Barbequed
These alternatives are basically prepared as the Char
Siu above, except we are not going to add any sweetness
to the skin. Instead we will either use the meat as
is, or dust with a few spices of our choice.
Salt always works well as it combines
with the fat and helps promote a crispy skin. Best used
Chinese Ziran powder is slightly spicy
and excellent with both steamed and BBQ 'd versions.
Chilli powder is always added by street
barbeque restaurants and tends to be awful. Don't get
me wrong, I love chilli, but they use loads of the dried
sichuan chilli powder which I find simply too hot and
1. Steam in a wok with spacer as described
2. Barbeque as you would chicken at
home. Chinese present drumsticks in the form of a crucifix
by cutting the meaty side down the middle and to the
bone, then spearing with kebab sticks to hold the meat
flat and open. This greatly reduces cooking time and
ensures the meat is thoroughly cooked through.
This information is as supplied by ourselves, and ably
supported by our friends and various internet portals.