The 50th Anniversary Issue

Our 50th birthday issue is on sale now. We're celebrating five decades of great food and travel with our biggest issue yet.

Subscribe to Gourmet

Subscribe to Australian Gourmet Traveller before 27th November, 2016 and receive a Villeroy & Boch platter!

Gourmet on your iPad

Subscribe to Gourmet Traveller for your iPad.

Steam pot chicken (Qi guo ji)

"Ubiquitous throughout Yunnan, this classic chicken soup is superb because of its ingenious cooking method. The secret lies in the qi guo, the unique Yunnan ceramic pot with a tapered cone or chimney in the centre. A heavy lid fits snugly over the pot and it is set over a saucepan over boiling water. Steam rises through the chimney and condenses under the lid before falling into the pot, creating a heavenly, nourishing consommé. You can make the soup without this steam pot by simply steaming the soup in a covered bowl over a saucepan. The poor man's ginseng and astragalus huang qi are said to combat ageing, but you can always make a simpler version with ginger, soy, rice wine and dried shiitake and it'll be delicious."

You'll need

1 litre (4 cups) chicken stock 1 kg skinless chicken thigh fillets, coarsely chopped 3 dried shiitake mushrooms, soaked in 250ml hot water for 20 minutes 2 thick slices ginger 2 tbsp dried longan (see note) 2 tbsp goji berries ½ cup dried Chinese dates (see note) 3 pieces poor man’s ginseng (see note) 4 pieces astragalus huang qi (see note) 1 tbsp light soy sauce 1 tbsp Shaoxing wine


  • 01
  • Simmer chicken stock in a large saucepan over medium heat until reduced to 750ml (10-20 minutes).
  • 02
  • Drain shiitake (reserve soaking liquid) and remove stems (discard). Combine all ingredients in a Yunnan pot (see note above) or large bowl that will fit nicely over a saucepan. Cover with a lid or with foil, place over a saucepan half-filled with water and bring to the boil over medium-high heat. Steam until very fragrant (2 hours), topping up saucepan with boiling water as needed. Serve hot.

Note Dried longan, dried Chinese dates (jujubes), poor man's ginseng (Codonopsis pilosula) and astragalus huang qi (Astralagus propinquus) are available from Chinese grocers, sometimes in the form of a packet of tonic soup mix. The cooking time may vary depending on the flow of steam and the age of your chicken.

At A Glance

  • Serves 6 people
Signature Collection

Find out more about the Gourmet Traveller Signature Collection by Robert Gordon Australia, including where to buy it in store and online.

Read More
things to do this autumn

Whether it's foraging for wild mushrooms in a picturesque Victorian forest or watching a film by moonlight in Darwin, we've got you covered with 20 exciting autumn experiences from around Australia.

Read More
Gourmet TV

Check out our YouTube channel for our latest cover recipes, chef cooking demos, interviews and more.

Watch Now

At A Glance

  • Serves 6 people

Drink Suggestion

Nutty medium-dry amontillado Sherry.

Featured in

Oct 2012

You might also like...

Beef cheek recipes


Pave de boeuf with Roquefort sauce and gratin dauphinoise

A culinary Tour de France


Pan-fried John Dory agrodolce with endive and goat’s cheese

Saltimbocca alla Romana


Piccata di vitello

Adana kofte


Roast lamb loin with couscous and pumpkin

Pork chops with fennel


conversion tool

get the latest news

Sign up to receive the latest food, travel and dining news direct from Gourmet Traveller headquarters.