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Lacquered Chicken

Image for Lacquered Chicken


Yield: 24 servings

kikkoman products used:


1/4 cup salt
1 tablespoon five-spice powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground white pepper
6 whole chickens (4 pounds each)
1 pound sliced onions
8 ounces chopped garlic
8 ounces chopped ginger
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
6 quarts water
3 cups Chinese red vinegar*
2 cups Kikkoman Soy Sauce
1 cup maltose*
1 tablespoon baking soda

*Chinese red vinegar and maltose are available in Chinese markets.


Mix together salt, five-spice powder, cinnamon and pepper; rub insides of chickens with spice mixture. Mix together onions, garlic, ginger and cilantro. Stuff chickens with onion mixture; truss or skewer to close cavities. In nonreactive pot, bring water, vinegar, soy sauce, maltose and baking soda to a boil. Submerge chickens in boiling liquid, one at a time, ladling liquid over exposed parts of chicken for 2 to 3 minutes or until skin firms up and begins to separate from flesh.

Hang chickens from refrigerator rack with sheet pan underneath to catch drips, or place on a rack over a sheet pan, for 8 to 12 hours. Hang chickens from top rack of 300 degree convection oven with low fan with sheet pan underneath to catch drips, or place rack and sheet pan in oven, for about 30 minutes or until juices run clear and skin is crisp and glossy. (In conventional oven, roast at 400 degrees for about 1 hour.) When cool enough to handle, cut each chicken into 16 pieces, discarding stuffing and backbone. For each serving, arrange 4 pieces of chicken over cooked white rice.

Recipe by Chef Andrew Simmons, University of Washington (Seattle, Washington)


Even people who love soy sauce and use it all the time are often surprised to learn what it is and how it’s made. We make ours from just four simple ingredients—water, soybeans, wheat, and salt. Those ingredients are transformed through a traditional brewing process—much like making wine or beer—that has remained unchanged for centuries.

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