Braised Chicken in Red Glutinous Rice Wine with Lees

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Sometime last year, we had the privilege of visiting a some good friends in Kuching who hosted us to a wonderful family holiday.

One of them is a foodie to the boot and we were introduced to some interesting food and produce. As expected, Foo Chow cuisine is a prominent feature here.

Red Wine Lees
In early 20th century, Foo Chows from the Hokkien province of China braved the seas of South China and landed in port towns like Sibu. Lured by their clansmen, they were promised fortune and wealth. The Foo Chows were hardy and laid their hand son jobs like farming and rubber tapping.

Gradually more Foo Chows came over. Eventually, some ventured into the lucrative timber business and till this day, Foo Chows control much of the timber business in Sarawak. All these was happening  under the controversial colonial rule of the James Brooke and "white rajahs": a dark chapter with an impact which still lives on in the beautiful islands of Borneo.

Enough about the Foo Chows or colonial politics but let's talk about food. One of their famous dish is "angjiu" or Foo Chow Red Wine. Red Glutinous Wine Chicken and Mee Sua is a popular dish. When I was in Kuching, I could easily buy good red wine and lees. They keep well in the fridge. You can also put the less in the freezer. If you have both, making this dish is really easy.


1 Kampung or "French" Chicken, cut into small pieces
200 gm of ginger, slice.
400 ml of red glutinous red wine
3 tablespoon of red wine lees.
Coriander leaves for garnishing
Some wood ear black fungus (optional, soaked and cut into pieces)
1 tsp of salt
2 tbsp of light soy sauce
1 tbsp of sugar or sugar crystal
1 tbsp of oil

In a wok, heat up some oil and add the ginger slices. After 2 minutes, add the red wine lees, soaked
wood ear fungus and stir. Then, add the chicken pieces, salt, sugar, soy sauce and mix. Pour in 200 ml of wine and simmer for 305 minutes, stirring occasionally. Towards the end, our in the remainder red wine. Adjust the taste with more sugar or salt, if needed. Garnish wiht coriander leaves before you serve.

You can eat it with rice or noodles like Mee Sua.

There are other ways to use the red wine and lees. Stay tuned for future recipes.

Red Wine Chicken with Mee Sua

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  1. This looks amazing! I will definately give it a try!
    I hope I will manage as I am not a great cook!

  2. Interesting post I enjoyed read this.