Soy Sauce Chicken Noodle (油鸡麺)

I spent a lot of my childhood in Chinatown. My sister and I usually hang out at my Dad’s shop house. Sometimes we go next door and read in the World Bookstore (世界书局). Other times, we roam the alleys of Chinatown and checkout the street vendors. When it’s time for food, there are so many options to choose from. More often than not, we head for Chew Kee Soy Sauce Chicken on Upper Cross Street. We love the savory, soy sauce chicken. For me, I like the springy noodles drenched in thick soy sauce.

This is really the first time I try my hands at soy sauce chicken. I started with an online recipe. It didn’t taste quick right to me. I tweeked the seasoning a little at a time until it resembles what I remember of Chew Kee Soy Sauce. I stood by the stove for 45 minutes giving the chicken a soy sauce bath. The result is surprisingly good! The chicken is cooked just right; tender and juicy. The soy sauce tastes just the way I remembered it. And of course, we added extra toppings like hard boiled eggs and tofu. It’s a treat, definitely a recipe I would try again and again.


  • 10 cloves garlic, lightly bashed
  • 5 shallots, cut into chunks
  • 10 stalks green onions
  • 2 thumb-size ginger knobs
  • 3 cinnamon sticks
  • 5 cloves
  • 3 star anise
  • 8 Shitake mushrooms
  • 2 Tbsp canola oil
  • 4 lb whole chicken, cleaned and pat dry
  • 8 hard-boiled eggs
  • 1 block firm tofu, cut into cubes
  • 1/2 cup rice wine
  • 1 cup light soy sauce
  • 1 cup dark soy sauce
  • 1 cup rock sugar, more as needed to taste
  • 8 cups water
  • 4 tsp mushroom bouillon powder
  • Sesame oil for taste
  • Cornstarch for thickening
  • Noodles to serve
  • Sliced green onions for garnish
  • Fried shallots for garnish
  • Boiled Bok Choy to serve
  • Picked green chilli to serve


  1. Season the cleaned chicken with salt and refrigerate overnight.
  2. Remove the chicken from refrigerator an hour before cooking to bring it to room temperature.
  3. Heat canola oil in a large soup pot over medium high heat.
  4. Stir fry garlic, shallots, ginger, cinnamon, star anise, cloves, and green onion for 2 to 3 minutes to release the aroma.
  5. Add the Shitake mushrooms and fry for another two minutes until lightly brown.
  6. Add rice wine, light and dark soy sauce, and rock sugar. Heat until sugar dissolves.
  7. Add 8 cups water, mushroom bouillon powder, and bring to a boil.
  8. Taste test. I add more rock sugar as I like the sauce to be on the sweeter. Boil until sugar is dissolved.
  9. Dip the chicken into the soy sauce 3 times, then submerge the chicken in the sauce, breast side up first. Once soy sauce comes to a boil again, reduce heat to medium and let the sauce simmer. Set timer for 5 minutes.
  10. Ladle the sauce over the exposed part of the chicken repeatedly to ensure even browning of the chicken.
  11. At the end of 5 minutes, flip the chicken over so that this time it is back side up. Set timer for another 5 minutes.
  12. Ladle the sauce over the exposed part of the chicken while sauce is simmering.
  13. Repeat steps 11 and 12 six more times for a total simmering time of 40 minutes.
  14. Remove the chicken to a plate.
  15. Strain the sauce and discard the aromatics.
  16. Ladle a scoop of sauce into a small bowl and add a tablespoon of sesame oil.
  17. Brush the sesame soys sauce mixture generously over the kitchen.
  18. Set chicken aside.
  19. Add hard boiled eggs and tofu cubes into the strained soy sauce and bring the sauce to a boil again.

To serve chicken

  1. Debone and cut chicken into bite-size. Be careful with the skin, it’s the tastiest past of the chicken!
  2. Scoop desired amount of sauce into a smaller sauce pan and bring to a boil again.
  3. Thicken the sauce with cornstarch dissolved in water until the desired consistency. I like the sauce thick and gooey.
  4. Cook noodle per packaging instructions.
  5. Toss cooked noodles in the thickened soy sauce.
  6. Transfer to a serving dish and top with a generous serving of soy sauce chicken.
  7. Add boiled bok choy, braised hard-boiled eggs, mushrooms, and tofu
  8. Garnish with cut green onions, fried shallots.
  9. I make extra serving of thicken soy sauce available as I like the noodles to be soaking wet.
  10. Serve with pickled green chilli.
  11. Yum 😋
Assembled and ready to start cooking
Stir fry aromatics and mushrooms.
Add wine, soy sauces, water, rock sugar, and mushroom bouillon power
Submerge chicken breast side up and simmer for 5 minutes
Flip over and simmer for another 5 minutes. Repeat six more times.
Done and brush with soy sauce and sesame oil.
Another way to serve soy sauce chicken by substituting noodles with rice.
As always, drizzle with lots of sauce!
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