Steamed chicken with wood ear mushrooms, shiitake and daylily bulbs is a classic homestyle Chinese dish that is quick, simple and flavorful. I usually prepare everything the night before or earlier in the day. I combine all the ingredients in a heatproof dish, cover and refrigerate. When I'm ready to cook, place it in a steamer (or set Instant pot to steam mode), set the timer and lunch or dinner is ready in 20 minutes or less.
A little note on the daylily: daylily and lily are not the same! As the name implied, daylily blooms do not last more than a day. It is edible and have been eaten for hundreds of years in Asia and Southeast Asia. Lilies, on the other hand, are toxic! A quick search on the internet will yield an abundance of information on how to differentiate the two. There are also thousands of daylily cultivars but not all are edible. Hemerocallis fulva is the one you want on your plate. Having said that, leaving daylily bulbs out of this dish will not compromise the taste at all in case you're not sure the cultivar of daylily you have growing in your garden. Your local Asian supermarket will also most definitely carry dried daylily bubs if you want to give it a try.
STEAMED CHICKEN WITH WOOD EAR MUSHROOM, SHIITAKE + DAYLILIES
2 tbsp dried wood ear mushrooms
A handful of dried daylily bubs
5-6 dried shiitake mushrooms
2 slices of ginger, cut into fine matchsticks
1 lb skinless, boneless chicken breasts or thighs, cut into bitesize
1 tsp rice wine
1 tsp oyster sauce (optional)
1 tsp light soy sauce
1 tsp dark soy sauce
1/4 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp cornstarch
In separate containers, rinse and soak wood ear, shiitake and daylily bubs in hot water for 30-45 minutes.
Rinse again and drain wood ear, shiitake and daylily bubs. Cut off any hard parts from the wood ear mushroom. Remove the hard ends of the daylily bubs. (Removing the pistils and stamens are optional.) Squeeze excess water from shiitake, discard the stalks and slice each cap into strips.
Combine all ingredients in a heatproof dish. Cover and chill at least 20-30 minutes.
Steam for 15-20 minutes over high heat. Garnish with cilantro or scallions and serve.
GARLICKY WATER SPINACH WITH FERMENTED BEAN CURD
1 bundle of water spinach, wash thoroughly and cut into 3-4inches lengths
2 tbsp vegetable oil
3 garlic clove, sliced
1/2 tsp sugar
1-2 cubes of fermented bean curds, or replace with 1/4 tsp salt if you prefer
In a small bowl, mash the bean curd along with sugar and a tsp of water into a paste. Set aside.
In frying pan or work, cook garlic on high heat for 20 seconds. Add water spinach and cook until leaves start to wilt.
Season with sugar and salt or the fermented bean curd paste. Cook for another minute or so. Serve immediately.