Chinese White Cut Chicken

Chinese White Cut Poached Chicken

White-cut chicken is a traditional Chinese preparation that calls for poaching, cutting on the bone, chilling, and serving with a flavorful dipping sauce. Chicken doesn’t have to be fried, crisp, or golden brown to be delicious. When it comes to Chinese dishes, “traditional” usually implies “old as hell” and “bajillions served,” so they must be eating something right. If you’re still not convinced after trying this recipe (highly unlikely), here’s another example of pale but tasty steamed chicken.

recipe adapted from Eileen Yin-fei Lo’s The Chinese Kitchen and The Chinese Chicken Cookbook

白切雞 (Bai Qie Ji)
White Cut Chicken
With Ginger-Soy Dipping Sauce

makes 4 to 6 servings

3 1/2-pound chicken
1/4 cup kosher salt

For the Poaching Liquid:

10 cups water
6 scallions, trimmed and cut in thirds
1 tablespoon salt
3 tablespoons sugar

1-inch piece of fresh ginger, smashed (optional)
1/2 cup fresh coriander / cilantro, stalks cut in half (optional)
1/4 cup Chinese white rice wine (optional)

For the Ginger-Soy Dipping Sauce:

Chinese White Cut Poached Chicken Dipping Sauce

2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons chicken stock or reserved poaching liquid
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, peeled and minced
2 tablespoons finely sliced scallions, white parts only
2 teaspoons sesame oil
1 teaspoon sugar


  • A heavy pot, preferably a dutch oven


  • This recipe is based on two versions from the same author. The list of optional ingredients is the difference between the two.
  • Also try this ginger-scallion dipping sauce recipe.

To Wash the Chicken:

  1. Wash the chicken under cold running water. Remove any excess fat and rub with about 1/4 cup of kosher salt. Rinse again under cold running water and drain.

To Poach the Chicken:

  1. In a heavy pot or dutch oven, add all of the poaching liquid ingredients and bring to a boil. Boil for about 5 minutes.
  2. Place the chicken in the pot and add just enough water to cover the chicken. Return to a boil. Reduce the heat to maintain a gentle simmer and cook while covered for about 30 minutes.
  3. Turn off the heat and let the chicken cool to room temperature in the poaching liquid.
  4. Remove the chicken from the pot, drain well, and cut into bite-sized pieces. The chicken can also be chilled — refrigerate for at least 2 hours before slicing and serving. Reserve at least 2 tablespoons of the poaching liquid for the ginger-soy dipping sauce if chicken stock isn’t available.

Chinese White Cut Poached Chicken Whole

To Serve:

Mix all of the ginger-soy dipping sauce ingredients and spoon into individual small dishes. Serve the sliced chicken slightly chilled or at room temperature.

Chinese White Cut Poached Chicken Soy

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39 Responses to “Chinese White Cut Chicken”

  1. [eatingclub] vancouver || js says:

    This is what we usually have when I run out of ideas what to do with chicken. Or when I’m too lazy to do anything else. But, it’s not that big of a deal, because chicken done simply like this is delicious! I love the ginger-soy dipping sauce and I also love the ginger-green onion condiment.

    I loved the phrase “bajillions served.” LOL

    One question: how do you get that beautiful yellow tinge on your chicken?

  2. Caroline says:

    I love this dish but my family do not. :( They’ve only had it in the restaurant (for the first time years ago) and it didn’t turn out well–the chicken was still pink inside.
    I’m gonna have to make this and hopefully it will make them change their mind.

  3. FamilyFirst says:

    Lovely! My mom is a cantonese and she does this all the time – especially for CNY! We love it! Its soo healthy too!

  4. Rosa says:

    Very fragrant, delicate and healthy! I love the dipping sauce!



  5. Ning says:

    I love White Chicken! Easy to prepare and simply delicious! Plus I have lots of left-over flavorful chicken stock. :)

  6. snookydoodle says:

    I saw this recipe on tv. :) It s interesting and the sauces really compliment this dish

  7. kat says:

    I’ve had this & you’re right it is quite good

  8. giz says:

    When I tell people I’m crazy about the boiled chicken from chicken broth I usually get a “ya, whatever” response. I’d rather eat what you made anyday rather than the coated, sauced or fried varieties.

  9. Fearless Kitchen says:

    This looks great. A lot of people think chicken has to be either fried and unhealthy or bland and tasteless, but this preparation shows that it can be flavorful and reasonably healthy at the same time.

  10. mikky says:

    looks so great… this is a favorite… :)

  11. javapot says:

    You just triggered a craving for some hainanese chicken rice. I just love eating this with minced ginger and chilli. Just lovely!

  12. maybelles mom (feeding maybelle) says:

    oh, I love this and haven’t had it years and years.

  13. Muse in the Kitchen says:

    I love this dish! I always order it when we go out for wonton (I know – there I am, with a huge bowl of wonton and noodles, and the chicken on the side …) Love that we can try this at home, and the ginger-soy dip sounds perfect.

  14. tastesofhome says:

    I love white cut chicken! and steamed chicken as well, we always had this while I was still living in Malaysia, both at home and when we go out LOL

    yours look delish!!

  15. Squawkfox says:

    Now this is something I can make! The sauce sounds delicious. I love ginger, and eat it most every day.

  16. Lore says:

    What a gorgeous white cut! No, it definitely doesn’t need to be brown to be tasty (but my husband still doesn’t believe me when I tell him that)

  17. noobcook says:

    I love white chicken! Love your series of Chinese cooking =)

  18. pixen says:

    It’s my mom’s favourite especially during festivals. She will used the broth after poaching the whole chickens as stock for other dishes. Best of all it’s easy to make and delicious!

  19. Christine says:

    That is a great looking white cut chicken! Done to perfection. Thanks for the shoutout.

  20. Heather says:

    This is one of my favorite things to eat at Good Taste Noodle House. I’ve been thinking about trying it at home. You sure hooked it up right!

  21. Jojo says:

    It looks delicious, but you’re missing minced garlic mixed with that minced ginger. Its a MUST or the dish isn’t complete! :)

  22. CobraKai says:

    Thanks to wasabibratwurst i got to taste this great treat. The meat was so tender and the sauce was amazing. I am for sure making this.

  23. JS – My chicken gets a bit of a tan by walking around in the sun, I guess.

    Thanks guys!

  24. Cynthia says:

    This is on my list of things to make, just haven’t got around to it yet.

  25. Duncan | Syrup&Tang says:

    Isn’t poached chicken like this delicious! I just find it hard to get past the skin… and I feel guilty if I ignore it.

  26. van says:

    You suppose to be popular in Vietnam to cook such perfect skin in yellow color, Jude!

  27. We Are Never Full says:

    i’ve read about this a few times and each time i say to myself i’ve got to do this. add that salty, delicious sauce and i’d be hooked. do you miss the crispy chicken skin?

  28. Deli says:

    This is very similar to a dish i often order at restaurants back home [in China]. We call it Hainan Ji (or Hainan Chicken). It’s usually served as an appetizer, part of the army of cold dishes meant to prepare your stomach for the feast ahead.

    When I make it at home, I take out the chicken out after the broth is room temp’ and brush the skin with a thin layer of soy sauce to achieve that yellow tinge some of you have been asking Jude about. Learnt it from a street hawker :)

    Thank you for the recipe, Jude! All your dishes look amazing!

  29. Deli, thanks for the tip! I actually don’t know how it got that yellow tinge but the soy sauce trick makes sense to me. I’m sure it makes the chicken taste better, too.

  30. Leontine Lindeman says:

    This is a slick blogging platform. Which is it?

  31. Thai Online Shop says:

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  32. hmong recipes says:

    Keep up the good work. Helpful info on your post and interesting too. I enjoy experimenting with diff recipes and is always nice to read recipes from all over the world.

  33. grillove says:

    Nice, I was looking for a way to spice up the chicken. Thanks.

  34. Hilde Vanvolkinburg says:

    Well written post, subscribed. You should focus on writing more articles, I’ll definitely check back to read more!

  35. Felicidad Gerson says:

    Interesting. I’ve been on a big noodle high lately, I have no idea why – I just got a crazy craving for noodles!! I’ve already tried nearly half of all the noodle recipes at this site ! Crazy huh. I should probably stop soon, I dont think eating noodles every day isnt so healthy for me…

  36. Kath says:

    My family is Cantonese and we make this a lot. It’s also a New Year’s dish but then you have to have the head and the feet and wrestle it into the only giant steamer we have that only gets used during New Years and summer when we make a giant batch of Northern style dumplings. Okay, complaining aside, the way you described the cooking process is 100% accurate as far as I know but the simpler everyday version that we do (because chicken is cheap nowadays and we don’t have to kill and defeather it ourselves) is that before the chicken goes into the water, we clean out the inside thouroughly because sometimes there’s still stuff sticking to the inside of the ribs. Then we put some chicken boullioun in the water and simmer the chicken. You don’t have to do this with the whole chicken either, parts work just as well if you adjust the cooking time accordingly.

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  38. Hainanase Turned White Chicken « Domestic Urbanite says:

    [...] that she knows, with the familiar soy ginger sauce. After having the internet provide me with the recipe, I discover that it is almost like the Hainanese, with minor differences in flavoring for the stock [...]

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