Steaming is obviously very healthy, but can be dull unless enhanced with piquant flavours. With its shitake mushrooms, turmeric, ginger and other spices, this is an immunity-boosting dish, low in carbs due to the red rice, and virtually fat-free, but also rich in iron. The steaming renders the chicken succulent and tender.
for the spice mix:
1 tsp turmeric powder or 1 tsp fresh turmeric
1 tsp roasted coriander seeds
2 tsp roasted cumin seeds
1 tsp fenugreek seeds
2 tsp ginger powder or 1 inch fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
1 tsp fennel seeds
1 tsp white pepper
2 green cardamom pods
1 tsp black peppercorns
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp cayenne pepper
2 chicken breasts, skin removed
4-5 shitake or other Chinese mushrooms
1 inch knob of ginger peeled and sliced into julienne
1 large red chilli, peeled and sliced into julienne
1 spring onion, finely sliced
Dry fry the cumin and coriander first to enhance the flavours, as I did. Next combine all the spices in a blender and grind to fine powder. If using fresh turmeric and ginger, bung them in as well.
Make 2-3 gashes in the chicken and rub in spice mix, reserving any left over in an airtight jar for next time.
Line your steamer with foil, place the sliced mushrooms directly on the foil, and then lay the chicken on top. Finally scatter the ginger and chilli over the chicken and dob with sesame oil. Seal the foil and steam for 15-20 minutes until the chicken juices run clear.
Serve with any steamed or lightly sautéed greens – pak choi, spinach, broccoli – and red rice. Nothing could be more healthy!