Chinese Steamed Chicken with Ginger and Green Onion (Paleo, Gluten-Free)

Chinese Steamed Chicken with Ginger and Green Onion (Paleo, Gluten-Free)

“Uurrghh – You’re so Chinese Housewife!” The words rang in my head like a siren. I was a young college student living away from my family for the first time in my short life, trying to figure out who I was and just learning simple things about living by myself including laundry, cleaning and yes, cooking. Growing up, we had house maids so I was really dropped in the deep end when I moved to New Zealand alone.

I would get very excited when I managed to make myself something yummy without becoming an accidental arsonist. Sharing the experience with a particular friend would always be met with an eye-roll and some put-down comment alluding to how lame I was. It was crushing and looking back with 20-20 hindsight, I wish I had told her to take her attitude and stuff it Thanksgiving turkey-style.

It’s all part of growing up and our personal journeys to where we are today, though. You learn along the way what people to surround yourself with. You learn what is important to you and you learn to let go of the things and people that are not along for the ride.

Yes that's a duckface but it was 2000 y'all!

Yes that’s a duckface but it was 2000 y’all!

Not that my journey is over by any means. As I told some good friends the other day, “we are a work in progress”. It’s important to me to continue to grow and learn no matter how old I get. This blog and my adventures with Paleo cooking is a big part of that.

The (proud!) chinese housewife in me decided today was the day to master this classic Cantonese dish served in many a home and fine restaurant. There is no real trick to this delicate dish except to be mindful of not overcooking the chicken in the steaming process or you end up with a little bit of a rubbery texture.

This is a simple dish that can be made with a whole chicken cut up. I used chicken wings and it was divine.

We start by mixing together the simple marinade of ginger pieces, green onion, salt and cooking wine.

chicken marinade

Rub the chicken pieces thoroughly in the marinade and leave for about 30 minutes.

Marinating chicken

Thinly slice up some more green onion and ginger and set aside.

thinly sliced green onion and ginger

Transfer chicken to a dish and lower into a hot steamer. Steam for 15 minutes and then turn the steamer off and wait another 15 minutes.

in the steamer

Transfer chicken pieces onto a serving plate. Scatter shredded green onion and ginger over the chicken.

spread ginger and green onion on chicken

Then drizzle the hot oil over the plate. Drain the oil from the plate back into the pan, reheat and drizzle again.

Drizzling hot oil

Serve immediately!

Steamed Chicken

You’ll need:

  • 2-3 lb of cut up chicken or just chicken wings
  • Marinade: 2 green onions, 5 slices of ginger, 1 TBSP salt, 2 TBSP cooking wine
  • 1/2 cup finely shredded green onion
  • 1/3 cup finely shredded ginger
  • 5 TBSP olive oil
  1. Combine marinade ingredients and rub into chicken pieces thoroughly. Let it sit for 30 minutes
  2. Steam chicken over high heat for 15 minutes. Turn off the heat and let sit for another 15 minutes
  3. Arrange chicken on serving plate and sprinkle shredded green onion and ginger on top
  4. Heat oil in a small pan and drizzle over chicken. Drain this oil back into pan and reheat. Drizzle over chicken again


  1. Kate yamamoto says

    Your recipes sound great and it is fun to read with the awesome pictures!!,

  2. Hi! Just a quick question. What can i use as a substitute for cooking wine?