Chinese Cotton Chicken Recipe 棉花雞
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: Chinese
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
Cotton Chicken is a traditional dish from the Guangdong area of China. Made with Chicken and Fish Maw, this is a dish packed with a lot of flavour and different textures.
  • 1 whole chicken
  • 2 cups or 2 large pieces of fish maw
  • ¼ cup of Dried Goji Berries
  • 5-6 large shiitake mushrooms or 8-9 small shiitake mushrooms
  • 8-9 thin slices of ginger, add more if desired
  • 2 stalks of green onion
  • 2 sheets of dried fish maw
  • Ingredients for Chicken Marinade
  • 2 tablespoons of Whiskey or Chinese Cooking Wine
  • 1 ½ tablespoons of soy sauce
  • ½ teaspoon of chicken stock powder
  • 2 teaspoons of tapioca starch or cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon of sesame oil
  • ½ teaspoon of salt
  • ½ teaspoon of black pepper
  • Ingredients for Fish Maw Marinade
  • ½ teaspoon of soy sauce
  • ½ teaspoon of sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon of Whiskey or Chinese Cooking Wine
  • ½ teaspoon of sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil
  • ½ teaspoon of chicken stock powder
  1. Either overnight or at least 5-6 hours before the meal, prep the fish maw and dried shiitake mushrooms by soaking it in cold water
  2. To butcher the chicken, you want to cut up the following pieces first - legs and thigh (x2), the breast meat (x2), the wings (x2) and the back. Then, you’ll want to cut up the pieces into relatively smaller pieces making it easier to eat and also uniform in size to make sure no piece overcooks in the process. I provided this aerial view of how the chicken was cut up.
  3. Put the marinade for the chicken together and then toss with the chicken pieces. Cover the bowl of chicken and allow to rest in the fridge for at least 45 minutes to an hour. You can let this sit overnight if you like, however I find 45 minutes to be perfect.
  4. Start preparing your wok or pot with a steam rack and water and put the burner on high. Make sure the water does not exceed the height of the steam rack.
  5. Take the soaked fish maw and mushrooms and cut them up. The fish maw needs to be cut up into bite-sized pieces and the mushrooms need to be sliced thinly.
  6. Then you'll want to julienne the ginger. Cutting it up into thin slices allows the ginger to be easily eaten in the final dish. If you’re having difficulty using a knife for this, I found a mandolin or a slicer works as well.
  7. Prepare the fish maw marinade and then toss the prepared pieces of fish maw and mushroom in it.
  8. Take your steaming dish and layer the fish maw and mushrooms all over the bottom making sure that it is fully covered.
  9. Then layer on the goji berries and ginger pieces.
  10. And then finally, the chicken! You can top with more ginger if you like.
  11. Put the dish into your wok with the water at full boil and cover the pot with a lid. Let the dish steam on medium high heat for 25 minutes or until the chicken is fully cooked.
Recipe by The Piquey Eater at