Five spice braised chicken with egg noodle


(I promised this recipe a week ago but just managed to put it up today. Sorry everyone.)

Basically this is a very similar recipe to the braised pork belly I posted last week. Using the five spice powder as a base, and chicken legs and thighs in place of pork belly. Because chicken is less flavorful than pork, in addition to the onion and ginger I also use a paste of garlic, cilantro roots, and peppercorn to add a bit more flavor to the braising liquid. I like to serve the braised chicken with egg noodle and crunchy blanched bok choy. Whereas pork belly is not something you want to make multiple meals of–unless you’re on a quick weight gain regimen for your upcoming Sumo match–you can easily get three or four weeknight dinners out of a big pot of this braised chicken. Just change the carbohydrates and vegetables and you have a new dish every night. I’ve even once pull apart the meat from a thigh and use it to make a chicken sandwich, a sort of improvised Chicken Bahn Mi.

Five Spice Braised Chicken

6 cloves of garlic
3 cilantro roots
1 teaspoon of white and black pepper
a pinch of salt
1 tablespoon of oil
3 teaspoon of five spice powder
1/2 a medium onion, diced
1 2-inch long knob of ginger, peeled and sliced
fish sauce
soy sauce
3 pounds of chicken thighs and legs
(or 1 4-pound chicken, cut into six pieces)


In a mortar, pound garlic, cilantro roots, peppercorns, and a pinch of salt together until fine. You can use a small food processor if you don’t have a mortar and pestle.

In a large pot over medium heat, add the oil and the garlic paste. Cook the paste, stirring vigorously until fragrant, about a minute. Add the onion and five spice powder, ook until the onion is translucent and the five spice fragrant. Add a bit more oil if it’s a bit sticky. Add the chicken pieces and add just enough water to cover the chicken. Add one tablespoon of fish sauce, a tablespoon of soy sauce, and ginger slices to the pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to simmer and continue cooking until the chicken is cooked and tender, about 30-45 minutes.


Remove the chicken pieces from the braising pot and add them to a medium size pot. Set the chicken aside. Return the braising pot with the liquid to the stove and reduce, over high heat, until the liquid reduces by half. Check the seasoning, add more fish sauce or soy sauce to taste. Strain the reduced liquid and pour it over the chicken. Reheat the chicken and sauce until heated through and serve.

I love to serve this braised chicken with egg noodle. Cook dried or fresh egg noodle until done, serve with the chicken and plenty of braising liquid. I sometimes quickly cook a bit of bok choy to add some crunch and freshness to the noodle. Add a squeeze of lime and a pinch of chili powder for an extra kick, if you want.

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16 Responses to “Five spice braised chicken with egg noodle

  • siewyuk said:
    March 16th, 2008 at 8:06am

    sounds delish. will try it this week as I have lots of chicken thighs…can’t wait to try this in addition to some chicken satay i was planning to make 🙂

  • mandy kaim said:
    March 16th, 2008 at 1:44pm

    I’m not familiar with cilantro root? is there anything I can use to replace it? thankyou. mandy.

  • hoganfe handbags said:
    March 16th, 2008 at 8:48pm

    Wow that looks amazing I cannot wait to try this one .. thanks!

  • oakley said:
    March 16th, 2008 at 10:45pm

    I haven’t seen any cilantro with roots in the local supermarket for the past 15 years. Even the cilantro from the Asian farmers at the Farmers market came without roots. I found myself just mashing the finely chopped stems when my Thai cooking called for the usual “rak pahk chee”. *sigh*

  • Jesper said:
    March 18th, 2008 at 1:01am

    Sounds like a winner, I love to do what you suggest: cooking a whole chicken, lamb shank etc. and that way have the meat selection done with for a couple of days. No promises, but I might post my version, if it’s ok?

  • Cindy said:
    March 19th, 2008 at 2:58pm

    “Add the chicken pieces and add just enough liquid to cover the chicken. ”
    You say add a liquid, but don’t say what? Water? broth?

  • Pim said:
    March 20th, 2008 at 1:15am

    You can use the bottom part of cilantro in place of the actual roots.
    Jesper, please feel free to.
    Cindy, the liquid is water, actually. I just fixed it up in the post. Thanks for pointing it out.

  • swirlingnotions said:
    March 21st, 2008 at 1:12pm

    I’ve been craving a banh mi, and this definitely looks like a scrumptious filler. Thanks for the recipe!

  • San Francisco Photos said:
    March 22nd, 2008 at 2:26pm

    Nice, this actually looks really good. Would love to make it sometime.

  • Liz said:
    April 2nd, 2008 at 11:30am

    Oh my! This looks tasty.

  • Eric said:
    April 3rd, 2008 at 4:02pm

    Delicious! The house smelled heavenly for 2 days after I made this.

  • oakley said:
    May 10th, 2008 at 10:31pm

    Made this for dinner tonight. But I was lazy and used a store-bought spice mix instead. I rounded off with just a few little squeezes of lemon to brighten things up. Hubby loves it!
    Now he’s wiling to give the pork belly version a go. That’ll be next weekend I think! 🙂

  • Tiffany Pendant said:
    February 8th, 2010 at 10:27pm

    The pictures say it all, what a wonderful party this is! Great job!

  • said:
    September 9th, 2010 at 1:49pm

    I love you. This is wonderful! I only had 1/2 the meat so I decreased some of the ingredients a little. I’m guessing I probably could of kept with the same amount of ingredients though.
    I ended up throwing in a cup of jasmine rice into the “partly reduced broth) at the end. It came out so wonderful. So it’s this soupy chicken and rice dish that tastes oh so good. I only used some stemps and leaves of some cilantro since that is all I had.
    Roasting some asparagus in the oven to go with it.
    i’ll be posting it on my blog soon.

  • large cooking pot said:
    November 16th, 2010 at 10:32am

    I like this article! Will come again next time for sure, thank again

  • Leif said:
    July 23rd, 2014 at 1:51pm

    This is so yum-my! This will be on the menu this weekend, along with the panzanella as a starter and the cheese cakes in a jar for dessert.
    When you say “1 teaspoon of white and black pepper”, you don’t mean “1 teaspoon EACH”, right? *coughcough* ^_-

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