Saturday, 23 March 2013

Oyster Sauce Chicken : Microwave Method


This incident happened to me last weekend and I wrote the post immediately after lunch. At the same time, I had the flu. Double whammy! Read on : 

My gas tank is empty and so is the spare tank. Yaaarghh!!!!! Sure I could call the provision shop and have the nice uncle bring me another 2 tanks. But I didn't want the hassle of waiting because the uncle might show up a couple of hours later. My lunch couldn't wait. It's my fault really. I should have ordered another tank when I used up the spare. But, you know, sometimes I forget. Hmmm.....Luckily there's the microwave oven.


I have not been cooking using the microwave oven for a very long time. These days, the main function I use is the convection oven mode when I bake. Or to heat up food when I am in a hurry. I first experimented with microwave cooking many years ago when I was house sitting for my auntie. At the time, I was a student studying for my professional exams.


This is how I cooked the oyster sauce chicken. I placed my minced garlic and sliced ginger into a corningware dish and mixed them with two tablespoons of oil. Then I zapped the dish, uncovered for 1 minute. After that, I stir the garlic and ginger and zap again for 1 minute.


Once that was done, I put in the marinated chicken pieces  into the dish and stirred to mix it with the garlic and ginger. I covered the dish and zapped for 2 minutes. Then, I take the dish out and removed the lid carefully (be careful the steam can be very hot and sometimes the oil can spatter) and stirred the chicken. Repeat zapping for another 2 minutes, remove, stir and zap for a final 2 minutes. Then I just left the dish covered for the chicken to cook further using residual heat.


Next, the vegetables. I bought a bunch of spinach and I would usually just fry it with garlic and salt. I crushed a few cloves of garlic and removed the skin, leaving the garlic whole. Then I put it into a corningware dish and mixed the garlic with a tablespoon of oil.


I zapped the garlic in the microwave for 1 minute, removed the dish and put in the spinach, mixing it with the garlic. Zap for 2 minutes covered, and stir. Zap for another 1 minute, remove the lid and stir the spinach. Let it stand for a few minutes to cook on residual heat.


Oh, forgot to add salt to my vegetables but that is alright because I have a bowl of soya sauce with black vinegar and raw garlic and chilli padi. That is my favorite condiment when eating dishes like this.

So how did the dishes taste? Well, nothing beats the wok. The aroma of browned garlic and ginger was missing but the chicken was very tender. It was not overcooked. The vegetable tasted bland as there is none of the usual fried garlic and salt aroma and taste. But still, it was edible and at least I was able to put food on the table.

Just in case you are interested to cook using the microwave or are caught with your gas tank empty, here's the recipe for what I cooked.

Chicken Oyster Sauce
Recipe Source : Phong Hong

Ingredients :
- 2 chicken thighs, cut into bite size pieces
- 1 tablespoon oyster sauce
- 1 tablespoon light soya sauce
- 1 tablespoon dark soya sauce
- 2 tablespoons Shao Hsing wine
- 5 cloves garlic, minced
- 10 thin slices ginger
- 2 tablespoons cooking oil

Method :
1. In a mixing bowl, add chicken, oyster sauce, light soya sauce, dark soya sauce and Shao Hsing wine. Mix well to coat and set aside for 20 minutes.
2. Put garlic and ginger in a corningware dish and mix with the oil.
3. Microwave uncovered for 1 minute and stir.
4. Microwave for another 1 minute.
5. Add marinated chicken pieces and stir to mix with the garlic and ginger.
6. Cover the dish and microwave for 2 minutes.
7. Remove the cover and stir.
8. Cover the dish and microwave for another 2 minutes.
9. Remove the cover and stir.
10. Cover and microwave for another 2 minutes.
11. Keep the cover on and remove from the microwave and let stand for 5 minutes before serving.

Spinach with Garlic
Recipe Source : Phong Hong

Ingredients
- 1 bunch of spinach (bayam)
- 5 cloves garlic, smashed and left whole
- 1 tablespoon oil

Method :
1. Put garlic into a corningware dish and mix with oil.
2. Microwave for 1 minute uncovered. (Can add salt to taste after this, I forgot)
3. Add spinach and toss to mix with garlic and oil.
4. Cover the dish and microwave for 2 minutes.
5. Remove cover and toss the spinach.
6. Cover and microwave for another 1 minute.
7. Remove cover and let stand for another 2 to 3 minutes before serving.

40 comments:

  1. There are so many functions on my microwave but I only used re-heat and never try any of the rest. It can be very convenient if you want to cook something fast. I guess I am old fashion and still like the good old stove top ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Gertrude, actually I prefer the stove top too! This was just an emergency measure. Nothing beats cooking the good old fashioned way.

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  2. Hi Phonh Hong
    I am more old fasioned type....I don't own a microwave oven!! But of course I can still cook this dish of yours under the stove, right? It sure looks real delicious, as this is the type of dish I love to makan!!

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    Replies
    1. Mel, this dish taste much better cooked in a wok. I think microwave cooking has gone out of style. You don't need a microwave oven lah :)

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  3. Uuuhhh yummy chicken...my microwave is under repair at the moment :-(

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    Replies
    1. GK, I wonder if you miss your microwave. Probably not :)

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  4. I have a microwave - my missus uses it to heat up food mostly...but I would avoid using it. The texture of the food, everything changes when heated in the microwave - bread, eg, will turn hard as rock when cooled.

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    Replies
    1. Arthur, I agree. It tends to dry things up or make it soggier. I usually use it to heat up cooked food. And if I use it to defrost frozen bread, I make sure to consume it shortly after to avoid the bread from becoming dry. It has it's pro and cons.

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  5. I hope you are feeling better! This chicken looks so good, I can't believe it was cooked in the microwave oven. I have not used microwave to cook for a longtime... my old one broke down and I did not even buy a new one.

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    1. Thanks, Mich! I am much better now. I guess it is not really necessary to have a microwave oven. Most of us use it just to heat up food and we can do that on the stove top too.

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  6. Ho PH, Looks yummy but I don't have a microwave oven. Just wonder how the chicken dish will turn out if I use the oven? Loves these dishes with lots of garlic and ginger.

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    1. Kimmy, I think microwave oven is not really a necessity. I mean, I use it as a convection oven most of the time and to heat up food. The chicken is much better cooked the old fashioned way in a wok.

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  7. Wow! looks Yum, love how this turned out to be, using microwave for chicken is new to me. sounds interesting dear, will try sometime

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    Replies
    1. Swasthi, if you want to cook this dish, better to use your frying pan. But of course if you are curious, it would be a nice experiment to try the microwave :)

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  8. Hi Phong Hong,
    I bought the microwave oven about 12 years ago, and hardly use it for cooking, except for melting butter and reheating food. One thing that I used rather frequently is, used it as a vacuum to speed up the setting of my homemade yoghurt, not switch on, of course!
    Luckily you have the microwave, a good back-up indeed! Your oyster chicken looks delicious and a simple meal like this is really very appetizing! I am like you, everyday I would have sliced chili padi with see yau and sometimes a squeeze of lime to go with my dinner, and would add on chopped raw garlic if I'm having noodles!
    Both of us are "chili kakis"!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Joyce! Hey, my microwave is about 12 years old too. Actually, I hardly cook with it. Just baking using the convection function or heating up food. And yah, I also use it to melt butter :) That's great you love chili padi too! I just have to have it my meals or else I feel something is missing hah! hah!

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  9. My family is always amazed what I can cook out of a microwave. My favorites are scrambled eggs and a killer cheese souffle .... but that's only because my oven died at the exact time as the AC system and I was (err, am) too cheap to replace both at the same time.
    So I spent 3 months cooking everything on the little rotating table.

    The trick to getting the garlic right is to mince it up a bit and fry it seperately first in the micro almost to burning... it wont be exactly the same as all that tasty, tasty maillard effect brown goodness you get from the wok.. but it comes close

    I think you did fabulously with the chicken - it looks perfect! (if I were you, I'd keep doing it that way and not tell anyone!)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Toby, it's amazing you can do scrambled eggs and cheese souffle with the microwave! I'm not really a fan of microwave cooking because I still prefer the wok. It's a lot easier to chuck stuff and stir instead of to keep taking the dish in and out of the oven. But still, it's a very useful backup system or for those lazy hazy days :)

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  10. Using microwave tends to be much more convenient but unfortunately it also,kills most of the nutrients in your vegetables. The chicken looks surprisingly good! I would have thought that microwaving will make it very hard instead.

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    Replies
    1. Kelly, the trick with the chicken was not to overcook it. I did get hard chicken before in my earlier days. I'll still choose my good old wok any day :)

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  11. Hope you're feeling better, my friend! I love oyster sauce and your chicken sounds delish...glad you found a way to cook it in a pinch :)

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    Replies
    1. I'm feeling a lot better, thanks Lizzy! That microwave saved me, or else I'd have to go hungry :)

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  12. Oh no! Feel better!
    But this, this looks fantastic! I am always looking for more chicken recipes!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you, Cathleen! I am feeling better, though not 100% recovered. Hope you try the chicken, but I recommend the frying pan method :)

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  13. Wah, can cook chicken in just 6 min ah??? That's quick. I hv never cooked a proper meal using microwave either haha. But good for emergency cases like this hor.

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    Replies
    1. Esther, fast to cook, bit not really good to eat hah! hah! This dish tastes a lot better if you do it in a wok. Microwave can give you that special aroma.

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  14. Phong Hong, I never cook with microwave before. Good on u thinking of alternative way to cook. Yet the came out as nice! Clever girl !:)

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Li Shuan! I just pandai-pandai on that day because got no choice hee..hee..

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  15. Phong Hong your Oyster Sauce Chicken looks yummy .Ah loh susoh pulohnya have to zap zap aku tok kusa masok macham gitu.I do cook at times in microwave but no zap zap too lazy .I marinate the chicken well and it comes out yummy only cook like that when I am lazy and not in the mood to cook

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    Replies
    1. EE, long time I haven't used the microwave to cook. But no choice because the gas habis.

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  16. I don't like microwave too :) I still using old fashioned way "gas" to cook and the most frustrated is when you run out of gas in the middle of cooking. I have experience it twice. Luckily my rice cooker have stir fry function so I can continue my cooking.Your Oyster sauce chicken looks great and inviting!!!!

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    Replies
    1. Esther, I experienced it too! But that time lucky my spare tank was available. If not straight away pengsan!

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  17. I only cook with microwave once and that's it, don't like the taste! This post reminds me my gas tanks are going to be empty soon! Oh well, I have the ceramic cooker to fall back on, or the microwave :P

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    Replies
    1. Jeannie, you are right. The taste is not as good as wok fried. Yah, you better get a spare tank. The worst thing is if the gas run out in the middle of cooking :(

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  18. Sorry, girl, I'm 2 days late again. Recently, I don't have much chance to sit down during the weekend. Anyway, I believe that you have ordered 2 gas tanks by now, hahaha! The chicken looked good, if you don't tell me you used the microwave to cook, I wouldn't have guessed! And it didn't take long to cook from the microwave!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No worries, Jessie! Myself also quite busy. Ya lah, alresdy got my gas tanks hah! hah! The chicken looks quite normal but when you taste, you will know it is not cooked in the wok.

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  19. i do not have a microwave but i also believe that the food will be tastier using wok rathe rthan microwave....luckily there was electricity at your house that day..hehe..

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    Replies
    1. Lena, don't bother with a microwave. Tak sedap :) Yah, if no electricity I have to eat dry biscuits hee...hee....

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  20. Hi Phong Hong, next time better to order immediately when you start using the spare tank. :)) I never like to use microwave oven, the food don't taste nice. It's only good for warming up the food.

    Anyway your this chicken still look great but off course if stir fry in the wok, it would be excellent.
    Best regards.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Amelia, yah lah. I must not delay making the order. Don't want to get caught like that again :)

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