Mum's Chinese Chicken and Potato Stew

Chicken and potato stew with fermented beancurd

Chicken and potato stew with fermented beancurd

This dish makes a regular appearance at the dinner table when I’m eating at my parent’s house. My mum taught me to cook it when I was a student so I could cook traditional Chinese foods instead of eating ready made microwave meals every day. It’s such a simple dish to make that I actually stuck to it and would make a big pot that would last a few meals. I don’t have the recipe written down anywhere, just have it stored in my head. I have tried to look for it online but only found versions of the same recipe, so I guess it is the kind of family dish that is slightly different depending on which part of the world you are in!

This Chinese Chicken and Potato Stew recipe is close to my mum’s recipe, but with a vital missing ingredient: fermented tofu. This is may be an unfamiliar ingredient to people who don’t usually cook this kind of Chinese food, so here’s the Wikipedia explanation. I have to admit that I had no idea how fermented tofu was actually made until I read this, so I have learned something new today! The fermented tofu gives the dish a unique flavour, it’s hard to describe… it is somehow more ‘savoury’ in taste. Sorry that’s the best I can do! For this dish I used the red variety and this resulted in a deeper colour. 

I don’t usually post recipes but since I can’t find an exact version of my mum’s then here goes:

Chicken and Potato Stew

  • 1 pack of chicken drumsticks and thighs (chopped into small pieces)
  • 4 medium sized potatoes (cut into quarters)
  • 2 cubes Fermented tofu (white or red will do)
  • 3 cloves of garlic (squashed with the side of the knife)
  • 1 tbls Oyster sauce
  • splash of both light and dark soy sauce
  • sprinkle of sugar (to balance the flavours)
  • sesame oil (a few drops to taste)

How to cook:

  1. Brown off the chicken pieces with the garlic
  2. Add all other ingredients aside from the potatoes and stir it up so the chicken is evenly coated
  3. Add potatoes and stir stir again
  4. Put a lid on then cook on a low heat until the chicken is done. Stir it up every ten minutes and add water if it looks too dry.

As I said, it’s an easy dish to prepare. The cooking time will depend on the size of your potatoes and chicken pieces, this time it took me around 25 minutes. 

Garnish with chopped up green onions to make it look pretty and add a different texture. Serve with plain steamed rice and balance with a fairly bland green vegetable dish, this chicken is very rich in flavour. You may think that serving potatoes with rice is a little strange but that’s how I had it growing up and it tastes delicious!

Chicken and potato stew with fermented beancurd

Chicken and potato stew with fermented beancurd

 Variations to this dish could include using pork belly instead of chicken or use deep fried beancurd/tofu for the protein to make it vegetarian! (Substituting the oyster mushrooms for vegetarian stir fry sauce)

Adding shitake mushrooms or wood ear mushrooms, carrots or radishes such as daiykon are also tasty alternatives!