Click for Home Page Click for Contact Us Page Click for FAQ's Page Click for About Us Page Click for Sitemap Navigation
Main Menu

Image: Beefburger

Home Made Bread

Home Made Scotch Eggs

Image: Home Made Butter

Image: Home Made Chicken Liver Pate

Image: Hank Shaw, Master Sausage Maker from USA

Image: Hank's Home Made Sausages

Image: Home Made Pork Pies

Image: Chinese Curry Sauce

Image: Spare Ribs

Image: Home Made Cheddar Cheese

Image: Home Made Basket Cheese

Image: Shepherds Pie

Image: Corned Beef

Image: Traditional Cornish Pasty

Image: Splodge
How Do I Make ... ?
Toisan Chicken
Toisan Chicken is a 'boy' dish comprising of a whole chicken chopped into 4 main pieces, and eaten with your hands. It is a favourite in Toisan (Tai Shan City - Mandarin spelling), and very popular in Canton (Guangdong).

I am publishing this recipe because it is not known outside of this region of China. It originates in Toisan City (Cantonese) which may also be known as Tai Shan City (Mandarin 台山), or as Toy Cern City (Toisanwah). I will stick with the Cantonese version, and you can interpolate as necessary.

Recipe Source:

Image: Mama Mama, Moh Dohr Soi Heng, Toisan, Canton, China  
Mama is Siu Ying's Mother - so Jonno's Mother in Law. She is an excellent country chef with a flair for cooking poultry.  

Quick Tips:

1. To get this dish right, you need to cook it for a very, very long time. Allow all day to do this - but fortunately, the cooking process needs no attention, so you only need to participate for preparation and serving.
Let's get started:-
Mama's Toisan Chicken
Image: Toisan Chicken
• 1 Fresh hen
• A lot of salt
• Water

Jam kettle or pot of similar size
Double lidded ceramic pot
Rice bowl
Chinese portable Stove
First - let's get your mind right for cooking this dish.

Maybe you know the very best Turkey, Goose, or Welsh Cockerel when cooked for Thanksgiving or Christmas, is an epic; and best cooked on very low heat overnight. This dish is exactly the same in this respect, but traditional Cantonese of course. It would probably only be cooked in this way for Chinese New Year, weddings, or similar = Very special occasions.

The quick version must be cooked for at least 2-hours on a higher heat - but the results are not in the same league of course. Let's learn it properly to begin with, and then you can reduce cooking time at your pleasure.
Prepare the Chicken:
Buy a live fattened chicken, and kill it by slitting its neck; saving the blood for some reason?
2. Plunge the bird into a gallon of boiling hot water and leave to soak for a few minutes.
3. Extract the hen and first remove all the outer skin from the feet, etc. Then rip out the feathers, which are by now easy to pull out. This should take 5-minutes.
4. Slit the bird's underside and remove everything inside.
  • Chinese will keep all the main internals, including: Heart, liver, kidneys, lungs, egg sacks, and intestines. You do not have to do this.
5. Wash what is left thoroughly and rub salt into it very sinew. Important!
6. Chop off: The neck with head attached where it joins the body, and the chickens' feet around knee height. You should have 4-pieces only.

a. In China you can buy one immediately prepared for you from any wet market.
b. In Uk and the West, interpolate as best you can. If your town still has a fishmonger, then they will probably be able to do this for you to order - otherwise you only have supermarkets nowadays, so buy an organically raised one with the gizzard.

7. Place a chinese rice bowl upside down in the bottom of the double-lidded ceramic container. Place the chicken on top of this with its back uppermost. Add the chickens feet and neck as best as you can fit them in. Put both lids on the container. Nothing else is normally added, but I have seen this made by adding a few mushrooms, garlic, and a little fresh ginger.
8. Take 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 chicken on top, and add a couple of inches of water. Place the outer lid on the jam kettle, and place on a low heat.
9. 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.
10. Once simmering nicely, the minimum time is 2-hours, but use a more vigorous simmer if using this time-frame. Ideally use the very low simmer and cook for around 6-hours or so. Overnight is also OK. Alternatively, you can cook this is two goes, setting it all up and giving it a couple of hours one day, then returning to finish cooking the next.
11. It is important to check the simmer every hour 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.

Click picture below to enlarge

Image: Mama weighing the chicken with traditional Chinese scales

Image: Mama preparing the bird for cooking

Image: Cooking vessels required for this dish

Image: Cooking vessels required for this dish, side view

Image: Set up like this and put the big lid on

Image: Toisan chicken served in a Foshan restaurant during a boys night out

More pictures next time this dish is made traditionally by Mama.
12. The easiest way to tell if this dish is cooked properly is to pick up the chicken, and if it tries to fall apart in your hands, then it is cooked. Therefore you need to exercise care during removal from the ceramic pot.
13. Restaurants will normally serve this as 8 pieces: Head and neck, two feet, carcass; and four portions - two each of wing and leg. At home the carcass is normally chopped into four straight the way through, or sometimes the main bird remains intact.
14. Present this on a large oval serving platter and arrange nicely.
15. Pries the upturned Chinese bowl from the base of the pot, and be amazed that it is full of chicken fat. Put this liquid into small bowls and add to the table - this is used as a dip, or sometimes a soup. You will undoubtedly prefer the dip version. If you added anything else (Such as mushrooms, garlic or ginger), then apportion these into the bowls and take to table.
16. This dish is best eaten as large chunks with your fingers. This is one of the few occasional when Chinese do not use chopsticks, and prefer plastic hand gloves. If you do not have any, then eating with your fingers is fine - just remember to give everybody tissues before they begin, and supply a bowl of lemon water for washing fingers at the table. Hot lemon scented hand towels are also a very good idea.

Expats will find all the cooking paraphernalia readily available at any larger wet market in Canton.
This information is as supplied by ourselves, and ably supported by our friends and various internet portals.
Search this Website
Search Query
Boy Cooking
Image: Boys can be inventive in kitchens! A cordless drill set to hammer action is preferred
Béchamel Related
Image: Croque-Monsieur

Image: Croque-Madame

Image: Croque-Monsieur

Image: Lasagne - adding the cheese bechamel sauce

Image: Barry's Prawn Sauce

Image: Cauliflower Cheese - Click to Enlarge
Image: Wax Gourd - Click for Details

Image: Lao Lin - Click for Details

Image: Ba Choi - Click for Details

Image: Cheung Choi - Click for Details

Image: WuTao - Click for Details

Image: Chinese Garlic - Click for Details
Chinese Recipes
Image: Dao Gok or Chinese Long Beans - Click for Details
Page Navigation: Top of Page
Link to: - Excellent Hosting and Support Services
Please be kind and use the link above when ordering - It costs you the same, and helps me fund this free website, thank you!
Image for Decoration only
    Copyright Webmaster @ ChinaExpats Links