Winter Comfort Food: Hung's Three-generation Sesame Oil Chicken Soup／冬日暖心首選─洪家三代麻油雞
Winter Comfort Food: Hung's Three-generation Sesame Oil Chicken Soup
◎English translation: Hou Ya-ting ◎Photos by quava
Sesame oil chicken soup is available across Taiwan and is an iconic winter comfort food for many Taiwanese. Yet, each chef has their own distinct version of the dish. Hung's Three-generation Sesame Oil Chicken Soup is a stall that is famous for its popular sesame oil chicken soup. Open from 4:30 p.m. to midnight, it is located in Zihciang Night Market (Wujia Shopping Area in Fongshan City).
By 7:00 p.m. the stall is crowded with customers and enticed by its steamy aromas. The hearty soup is thick, yet it is not overpowered by sesame oil. Its outstanding flavor is due to the generous amount of tender chicken drumsticks that are added to every dish. It is one of their most popular items and regular customers often come to get it as well as stir-fried pork kidneys for a take away. Popular side dishes include thread-noodles infused with sesame oil and sesame oil fried eggs.
The now chef and owner started working at Hung's Three-generation Sesame Oil Chicken Soup four years ago and was only a junior staffer at that time. She worked hard to master the technique of how to make the most perfect sesame oil chicken soup. When her former boss offered her the chance to run the stall, she took up the challenge. She continued to improve her recipes and soup broths and sought to include higher quality ingredients. One of her secrets to her popular soup is marinating ginseng in rice wine before it is fried in sesame oil and then later adds to the soup. She then adds ground Bay leaves and licorice powder while frying the chicken. Only chicken drumsticks are used for taste and texture.
One of the secrets to her success is her attention to detail and hard work. The chef meticulously prepares the ingredients by herself, fries the chicken and simmers the broth. Although the stall closes around 1:00 a.m., after work she heads to Fongnong Market to pick up the freshest ingredients for the next day.
Fortunately, the chef gets a lot of help from her family. She works long hours and finds it can be tiring running such a successful business. However, she is devoted to her cooking and feels her hard work is rewarded by the lines of customers that come every night to get her soup.
Sesame Oil Chicken Soup is especially delicious in the winter and a popular dish in Taiwanese cuisine. Hung's Three-generation Sesame Oil Chicken Soup stall in the Zihciang Night Market is popular with local customers and a great place to try this delectable comfort food.