Some Chinese dishes are so well known that there’s already an accepted English name for them. It certainly minimizes confusion when all the restaurants use the same name on their menu. We have no doubt what Hot & Sour Soup is. We recognize the word wontons and Ma Po Tofu signals heat to us.  For every widely known Chinese dish, there’s at least 5 that have not met with such fame and fortune. I don’t read much Chinese so even I get confused when reading the English translations on menus.

It always causes me to think about naming when I write these recipe posts. Sometimes, like this time, I really didn’t know what to call this dish. In Chinese, it’s called Jee Jwen, which translates to Chicken Roll.

Chinese Chicken Roll 6

The problem is, when I think of Chicken Roll, I think of the one from pizzerias, chicken cutlets smothered in red sauce, covered in mozzarella, and rolled up in pizza dough. (I ate a ton of them in high school.) I thought to clarify by calling it a Chinese Chicken Roll, but there are many kinds. Some are served cold, like this one. Others are served hot. Some are fried. This one is steamed. There’s a variety of different possibly ingredients, and yet they are all called Jee Jwen in Chinese. Chinese Steamed Cold Peppery Chicken Roll with Carrot just doesn’t sound eloquent so I was still left with Chinese Chicken Roll.

My mom doesn’t like to do much deep-frying at home so she likes to make the steamed ones. It’s pretty healthy and makes a nice cold appetizer for the summer. The chicken flavor really stands out while the carrot is really only for visual appeal. There is a definite peppery aroma to every bite countered by the sweet and tangy dipping sauce (to be used lightly).

Chinese Chicken Roll 3

Chinese Chicken Roll
~8 servings

  • 2 large chicken legs
  • 1 tablespoon fine sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon Chinese pepper powder
  • 2 bean curd sheets (circular)
  • 4 carrot sticks, cooked
  • thinly sliced ginger to garnish

Dipping Sauce

  • 6 tablespoons ketchup
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic

Instructions –

1. De-bone chicken legs while maintaining the skin on. Remove any excess globs of fat. Set aside.

2. Combine salt, pepper, and Chinese pepper powder in a small bowl.

spice mix

3. Sprinkle seasoning on meat-side of the chicken, a little more generously on thicker parts. It’s ok if you have some seasoning left. (It will depend on the size of your chicken legs.)

spiced chicken 3

4. Lay out a bean curd sheet. Sprinkle with a little water. Place one seasoned chicken leg, skin side down, towards the lower end of the circle, in the center. Place two carrot sticks across the center.

spiced chicken and carrot 2

5. Roll it up like a burrito, tightly.

spiced chicken and carrot in bean curd skinbean curd skin wrapping 2
bean curd skin wrapping
bean curd skin wrap

6. Wrap in aluminum foil.

aluminum foil wrap

7. Repeat steps 4, 5, and 6 for a second roll.

8. Steam the two aluminum wrapped chicken rolls for 30 minutes on medium heat. Remove from steamer and allow to cool. Refrigerate until completely chilled. It can keep for 5 days.

9. When ready to serve, remove aluminum and cut into 3/8″ slices. Garnish with thin slices of ginger. For the dipping sauce, stir together ingredients in a small bowl. Serve cold.

dipping chicken roll in sauce 3

posted by jessica at 08:54 AM Filed under Chinese, Recipes. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.