This dish of chicken, ginger and sesame oil braised in yellow wine is traditionally served to mothers in the confinement phase following childbirth.






Skill level

Average: 4.7 (3 votes)


  • 1 free-range chicken (about 1.5 kg)
  • 2-3 tbsp sesame oil
  • 6-cm piece of ginger, unpeeled, cut into thin matchsticks
  • 125 ml (½ cup) yellow rice wine or brandy
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 red dates (optional)

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


  1. Using a cleaver or large sharp knife, joint the chicken, then chop into large pieces on the bone.
  2. Heat a clay pot or saucepan over medium heat and add the sesame oil. Fry the ginger until browned and fragrant. Add the chicken and cook, turning occasionally until lightly browned. Add the wine or brandy and carefully ignite the brandy to burn off some of the alcohol.
  3. Add the salt and red dates (if using), then top up with enough water to just cover the chicken and bring to a simmer. Cover, reduce the heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes or until the chicken is tender.


Adam Liaw cooks, laughs, and explores culture with some of Australia's most beloved in The Cook Up With Adam Liaw.

Photography by Danielle Abou Karam.