Chicken Hekka is one of those dishes that show up at every lu’au or party in the Islands. It’s kind of Chinese, kind of Japanese, kind of like Hawai’i’s multicultural mix. I like to eat this on a Sunday afternoon. It’s light, with vegetables and noodles, and it’s easy to make. You combine all the ingredients in one pot, cook it up, steam some rice, and enjoy the meal.
- 2½ pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs or breasts
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- ½ cup soy sauce
- ½ cup vegetable oil
- 2 tablespoons mirin (Japanese sweet rice wine)
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh garlic
- 1 tablespoon peeled and minced fresh ginger
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon white pepper
- 1½ teaspoons brown sugar
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ¾ cup soy sauce
- ½ cup chicken stock
- ½ cup sake
- 1 can (2½ cups) sliced bamboo shoots, drained and rinsed
- 10 green onions, cut into 1-inch lengths
- 1 onion, cut into half-moon slices
- 1 medium carrot; julienned
- 1 pound shiitake mushrooms, sliced
- 2 stalks celery, julienned
- ½ pound watercress, chopped into 1-inch lengths
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- ½ finger fresh ginger, peeled and crushed
- 1 bundle (2 ounces) bean thread noodles, cooked and cut into 1-inch lengths
Make the Hekka marinade: Dissolve the cornstarch in the soy sauce and mix with the remaining ingredients.
Make the Sake sauce: Blend all ingredients.
Marinate the chicken for 30 minutes in hekka marinade.
Meanwhile, mix the bambo shoots, onions, carrot, mushrooms, celery, and watercress, and set aside.
Brown the chicken in 3 tablespoons oil to which you have added crushed ginger. Add all the vegetables and stir-fry for 1 minute. Add the sake sauce and bean threads and simmer on medium heat for 5 minutes. Serve at once.
Nutritional information is based on 6 servings and uses boneless, skinless chicken breasts.