Sunday, September 26, 2010

Stir fry Chicken in Osmanthus Syrup

Osmanthus is a plant which produces flowers called gui hua (or cinnamon flower or cassia flower). The flowers are used to infuse with tea leaves to create a scented tea called gui hua cha. It can also be use to make jam, dessert and even in stir fry dishes. I bought some when I visit New York some time ago and I cooked chicken with it. This is an appetizing dish as it has the sweet, sour, salty and a nice fragrant of the osmanthus.

For more information about Osmanthus please refer here.


Half chicken – clean, remove skin and cut into bite size pieces
1 carrot – sliced
4 pieces dried black fungus – soak in water until soft
1/2 cup ginko nuts
1 clove garlic
2 tbsp rice vinegar
2 tbsp soy sauce
salt to taste
1/2 tsp cornstarch + 1 tbsp water
2 tbsp osmanthus syrup (more if you like a sweeter dish)

For the syrup:

1/2 cup water
1/3 cup sugar
2 tbsp dried osmanthus flower

Bring the water and sugar to boil.  When the syrup is slightly thickens add in the dried osmanthus flower. Let it simmer for another minute and turn off the heat. Let the syrup stand for 5 minutes before using.

1. Drain and cut the fungus. Heat up wok; add in about 2 tbsp olive oil.  Add in the chicken, spreading chicken on bottom and sides of wok to cook until it turns white and slightly brown about 2 minutes. Add garlic and stir-fry 30 seconds. Stir in fungus, gingko nuts and carrot.
2. Continue to stir-fry for another 30 seconds and add in about 1 cup of water (more or less depend on how much gravy you like). Bring it up to boil and add in the soy sauce and vinegar. Cover and simmer until the chicken cooks.
3. Add in 2 tbsp of the osmanthus syrup and continue to cook for another minute. Check seasonings. You might want to add a bit more salt or syrup to it. Add in the cornstarch mixture and bring it to boil and sauce thickens.
4. Dish out and serve with rice.

Note: Osmanthus flowers are available by mail order from You can keep the extra syrup to make dessert or to sweeten your tea.


Elin said...

Gertrude, this dish must be bursting with flavor. I will try to get some osmanthus syrup first. Not sure whether they sell it over here :) Have to check it out. Thanks for the recipe :)

ICook4Fun said...

Elin, you have to make your own syrup. All you have to do is get the dried osmanthus flowers.

Smoky Wok (formerly Tastes of Home) said...

I've never cooked with osmanthus flower but I like a Chinese dessert that uses it - osmanthus jelly I think. Your chicken dish sounds yummy!

Bakericious said...

I dun think I ever eat dish with osmanthus flower before, interesting :).

Love2cook Malaysia said...

Loved ur dish Gert! I'm drooling! :D

Elin said...

Thanks Gert, will look for the dried flowers then :) it is called gui hua ( mandarin ) rite?

Cheah said...

Never had this before, must be great as those China emperors were always eating osmanthus desserts or 'gui hua kou'!

ann low said...

I just bought a small packet of osmanthus the other day. Must bookmark your recipe, looks so delicious!

Noob Cook said...

I love gui hua a lot and have been collecting recipes using this ingredient. Now I know it can be used in savoury dishes and not just tong shui!

Sonia ~ Nasi Lemak Lover said...

flower + chicken, this is new to me, sound interesting!

Little Corner of Mine said...

Interesting dish! I wonder whether Carlos eat this?

ICook4Fun said...

Jen, the osmanthus flower is good for steam fish too.

Jess, if you have chance do try it out :)

Love2cook, thank you.

Elin, yes is gui hua in Mandarin.

Cheah, yes I plan to make some jelly from the left over syrup.

Anncoo, hope you like this dish.

Noobcook, yes you can.

Sonia, it goes well with pork too.

LCOM, he just had a few pieces of the chicken breast :)

Anonymous said...

Hi I live in Shanghai but am French and really am fond of osmanthus oolong tea. I had those osmanthus flowers for tea but didn't know how to use them in dishes so I tried your recipe and it is absolutely delicious so thank you for sharing this ������