Steamed Chicken with Carrots, Wood-Ear Fungus, Dried Lilybuds and Mushrooms

Remember I used to have a recipe called Mixed Vegetables – Cabbage, Carrots, Wood-Ear Fungus, Dried Lily Buds and Mushrooms? Well, I am going to modify that recipe a bit instead. Using most of the same ingredients, these will be steamed together with chicken to make a nice healthy dish.

In this dish, the chicken is sweet-tasting and has a hint of chinese cooking wine as it was marinated prior to steaming. The meat will usually be tender when cooked as whole chicken leg (drumstick and thigh meat) is used and the wine further tenderises the meat. This is in contrast with the crispness of the wood-ear fungus, sweetness of the carrots and lily buds and smoky taste of the mushrooms. Truly, it comes with a riot of taste and goes well with steamed white rice.

Actually, as emphasised in most of my recipes, you don’t actually have to follow the ingredients in full especially if you have difficulty finding them at the place you live. Just use a bit of creativity and substitute them with different ingredients. If you are not sure, feel free to ask me at the comment section below.

This is my recipe for Steamed Chicken with Carrots, Wood-Ear Fungus, Dried Lilybuds and Mushrooms.


  • 2 whole chicken legs (chopped into bite pieces)
  • 1 small sized carrot (sliced)
  • 50 to 100 grammes of wood-ear fungus (pre-soaked till soft)
  • 5 dried chinese mushrooms (pre-soaked till soft) or enoki, oyster or button mushrooms
  • 50 grammes of dried lily buds (pre-soaked till soft and knotted in the middle)
  • 1 whole bulb of garlic (chopped)
  • 1 tablespoon of cooking oil (preferably palm oil)

Marinade for chicken

  • 1 tablespoon of oyster sauce
  • 2 teaspoons of light soya sauce
  • A couple of dashes of white pepper powder
  • 1 tablespoon of chinese cooking wine
  • 1 tablespoon of corn flour


  • 1 tablespoon of oyster sauce
  • Salt to taste


Marinade the chicken for about an hour.

Heat oil in wok, followed by garlic and chinese mushrooms. Fry till garlic begins to brown. Add carrots, wood-ear fungus and lily buds. Stir-fry for 2 minutes. Remove and set aside.

Place chicken on a suitable plate for steaming (I use a stainless steel plate as seen in the picture above). Place the pre-stirfried vegetables on top of the chicken. Steam in wok / steamer for at least 20 minutes or until chicken is thoroughly cooked.

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  1. 1
    November 1st, 2007 at 10:12 am

    I noticed that you have been using palm oil in your cooking.
    Can you tell me the benefits as opposed to other oils?
    What brand do you use?

  2. 2
    November 1st, 2007 at 10:22 am

    JK : Being born and bred in Malaysia, we use palm oil a lot because it’s our national product. In fact, it’s the most common type of cooking oil sold. I find them having a higher tolerance to high heat as compared to say, peanut oil. Peanut oil gets smoky easily. The palm oil that I use is actually blended with other types of oil but its main component is still palm oil. Olive oil is not suitable for chinese cooking due to the strong flavour. Nowadays, sunflower seed oil is getting more popular due to its touted health benefits. You might want to do a search on the internet for comparative studies between the different type of cooking oil. As for brand, I usually use between Eagle, Neptune and Knife brands 😀

  3. 3
    August 18th, 2008 at 7:58 pm

    Hi P,

    I’m in my mid 20s and have just started to “like cooking”. Pls keep up the good work as your site sparked the interest in cooking, in my case!

    What are lily buds?? Do they carry certain flavours? Are they expensive?? How can i replace them?

  4. 4
    August 19th, 2008 at 11:47 am

    Jeeze : Hi! Lily buds are edible buds of the lily. It is commonly sold in dried form and is yellow in colour. Sometimes they are referred to as “tiger lily buds” or “golden needles” (gum jum). Being flower buds, they have a certain aroma associated with flowers but the dried version is less strong in aroma as compared to the fresh green coloured lily buds. They are quite cheap – or at least where I can get them here. I can’t really offer you a substitute because in this dish, they are pretty much an important ingredient. If you are unable to find them and interested to get some, do let me know.

  5. 5
    Kathy Skelly
    February 8th, 2010 at 3:13 am

    This is a wonderful site – I can study the Asian foods, try recipes, and view the questions/answers from others.

    My question: What are Chinese red dates and where can I buy them?

  6. 6
    February 11th, 2010 at 10:00 am

    Kathy : Hi! I am not sure where you are located. Over here in Malaysia, we get them quite easily. Perhaps you might want to check out the chinese stores near you.

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