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Sweet Chicken Drums with Oyster Sauce

Sunday, October 11, 2009




 Yum yum, we had chicken for dinner last evening, and it was cooked with a recipe taught by grandma years ago. She used to cook it only when there are guests coming for dinner when we were young. Money was a bit tight as Dad is a single parent working hard to support a family of seven, with us five kids, plus him and grandma. As a traditional woman, she believed that we must treat guests with the best feast whenever they comes for dinner, even though we may have to scrimp for the rest of the week.

However, her cooking of it didn’t mean that we get to eat it still, we have to wait until the guests to finish their meal to have our turn, as she said that guest always comes first. ( Till this day, i still wonder why can’t we all sit down together and have our dinner ). Most times, there won’t be much left over and we had to divide among ourselves with whatever that was left, and i can tell you that it was pitifully little.

I used to wonder if the guests ever know that we will be eating their leftovers and whether they were thick-skinned enough not to care. I don’t really like them, as it made me feel that we were not better than them, as if we were born just to serve them. Was that how you treat relatives? Yes, to my everlasting pain, they are my relatives. ( distant they may be ).

It was worse when Chinese New Year comes around, we had to prepare a huge meal to entertain our guest, grandma said. Ok…we thought. But why did they have to come only when it was almost dinner time and quickly left when they had finish the meal? And they didn’t think to gives us kids red packets, when Dad was busy giving it to their children. It’s not as if we were eyeing their money, but in giving us something, even if it was an empty red packet, it would have made me feel better, as if it showed that they were aware we were there. I used to said to sis that maybe we should have open a restaurant, at least then they would have paid for their meals.

Well, times flies and we grew older, and we made sure to let grandma know that we won’t tolerate anymore. She said she felt embarrassment in letting them know the situation and we told her we would settle the problem. Chinese New Year comes around again, and the same relatives, as always called us before they visit (asking if it’s a convenient time, when in actual fact, asking if we had prepare their meal). And we told them gently that we were sorry, but we intended to have our dinner in a restaurant to celebrate New Year as we felt grandma is old and we wanted her to just enjoy her meal. And if it’s convenient, may we could go to their house next time? Ha, you can guess their reaction from that. All sorts of excuses erupted and that was that.

Now, grandma has moved to stay with Aunt and she’s on a higher level than us. As she is a devoted buddhist, she made known that the family only eats vegetarian meals for the whole fifteen days of the New Year. The result was fantastic! Anyone paying a visit can only expect to be served drinks and some Chinese baked goodies. No huge banquet will be in sight. Haha!

From then on, a funny phenomenon has happened and stay.  On Chinese New Year time, not much guests would be seen during meals times, except some of her sons, daughters, grandkids (us) and even great-grandkids of grandma, eating vegetarian meals with her. I guess grandma is most happy now on Chinese New Year as she doesn’t have to slog like a maid, and have all her big family around her.

So to grandma, i cook this meal in honor of her.



Sweet Chicken Drums with Oyster Sauce



 400 g               small chicken drums

3 tbsp               oyster sauce

2 tbsp               sweet dark soy sauce

1 tsp                  fresh ginger, chopped finely

200 ml             hot water

1 tbsp               concentrated chicken stock

1 tbsp               dark brown sugar



1.    Mix hot water with concentrated chicken stock and set aside.

2.    Wash chicken and put chicken drums pan with enough cold water to cover.

        Bring to boil and simmer for 10 minutes over medium heat. Drain.

3.    Put chicken drums back into clean pan, add the oyster sauce, sweet dark soy

        sauce, chicken stock and sugar. Bring to boil and simmer for 15 – 20 minutes,

        or until sauce has thickens.

4.    Off heat. Dish up onto serving plate and sprinkle with chopped ginger. Serve.


    I apologise who if i appear long winded here, it’s just that the mention of them ( the relatives ) 

       makes me mad, and i need to get it off my chest ( adequate size that they are ). Hehehe. 



One Comment leave one →
  1. Monday, October 12, 2009 12:24 am

    Wow!!Looks yummy…very tempting pics…just wanna grab the plate!

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