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Red Cooked Chicken or Soy Chicken #1

This is one of the recipes from Mrs Susie. If you want to find out more about her have a look at her biography page which she has written. Mrs Susie specialises in Oriental cooking. An important first step in Oriental cooking (which I think is important) is at the end of each recipe.

Mrs Susie's explanation about Red Cooking comes at the end of the recipe.


1 spring chicken
1 cup soy sauce
water to cover.

  • Rinse chicken with running water.
  • Place in a heavy pan with soy sauce and cold water.
  • Bring to a boil over medium heat. Then simmer, covered, until done(30 to 40 minutes).*
  • Turn chicken over once or twice for even coloring.
  • Let chicken cool slightly after removing from pan.
  • With a cleaver chop through bones and all into 2 inch pieces or carve western style.
  • Serve hot with its sauce; or serve cold, reserving sauce for later use as a start for another dish.

Cook a 4 - 5 lb chicken for about one hour.

Serve with hot rice.

Serves 4

Red Cooking

Red cooking gets its name from the rich, red brown gravy produced by the soy sauce present. It's used with whole poultry, large cuts of pork, and beef, and sometimes leg of lamb. During cooking, the meat is turned several times for even coloring as well as seasoning.

Some cooks like to use light and dark soy sauce for this. The light gives a delicate flavor to the gravy; the dark gives it a rich color.

Red cooked dishes, prepared in advance, will keep nearly a week under refrigeration. As is the case with most stews, their flavor is improved with reheating. They may also be extended and varied with the addition of fresh vegetables. If the vegetables are tender, stir fry them separately and added to the sauce at the last minute to preserve their crispness.

Red cooked meats can also be served chilled. Their sauces then become jellied, like aspic. Do not add vegetables when chilling the meat. They will become soggy when chilled.

Mrs Susie

"I have studied oriental cooking quite a bit and the one thing that makes it different from other styles of cooking is: it is 90% preparation and 10% cooking. It is very important to have everything in the recipe already prepared for cooking before you start cooking.

I take a plate and cut up my ingredients as called for in the recipe and place them on different parts of the plate. Only then do I think about cooking. I will put my oil in the pan and, as the things are called for in the recipe, I will sweep them into whatever pan I am cooking with, cook for as long as called for, then add the next ingredient.

Oriental cooking happens so fast. To stop and cut up the garlic (for example) if I had the ginger cooking in the pan would result in burnt ginger before the garlic is finished.

When I am cooking a ten or fifteen course dinner you should see my kitchen. I have plates all over and all my sauces mixed in bowls and everything is ready to cook before I start cooking. This is the right way to do it and necessary to have a well-timed dinner.

Another thing, get yourself a good cleaver that will not rust. You will be surprised how much you will use this for all your cooking, not just oriental cooking. Do yourself a favor and get a good one. I think I paid $20 for mine but again that was 20 years ago".