Steamed Chicken with Red Dates and Wolfberries

Wolfberry is believed to be good for promoting health especially in improving vision, whilst red date is said to replenish qi and nourish the blood. Be it true or not, the Chinese have been using wolfberries in their herbal and medicinal culinary for many generations. There are a few different ways of using these 2 ingredients, and here is a common yet simple steamed dish with chicken. If you have the time, you can also double boil it to make a herbal soup.


  • 20-30 wolfberries, rinsed and dried
  • 6 red dates, soaked to soften, drained and quartered
  • 2 Chicken drumsticks and 2 chicken wings, rinsed and dried
  • Few slices ginger, julienned (cut into fine strips)
  • 1 teaspoon light soya sauce
  • 1 teaspoon rice wine
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 teaspoons flour


  1. Mix all the ingredients together in a small casserole, cover and marinate for about 1 hour.
  2. Place the whole casserole in the prepared steamer and steam on medium low for 30-45 minutes.
  3. Stick a skewer through the meat at the joints, if the juices run clear then it is cooked. Otherwise, just continue to steam for another 10 minutes.
  4. Serve with boiled rice and a side dish like a vegetable stir fry.
  5. Serves 2.

Versatility Note:

  1. You can make a bigger pot using whole chicken, just get your butcher to chop it up to small chunks for you.
  2. If you don't have a steamer, place the dish over a steel trivet in a large, deep stock pot filled with boiling water. Just make sure that the water does not touch the base of the dish.
  3. There is no oil needed for this recipe, as the thighs will release naturally existing fat which will turn into tasty juice. You can spoon the juice over the rice to make it tasty, or simply separate it and save for making stock or gravy.