Xiaojidunmogu” 小鸡炖蘑菇/小雞炖蘑菇 is one of the signature dishes of the Chinese Dongbei cuisine 东北菜/東北菜. Literally translated as “small chicken braised with mushrooms”, the original recipe calls for a young chicken.

As with all home-cooked dishes, there are hundreds of variations to this recipe. The one which I am using here, is one which brings out most of the flavours of the Chinese Northeastern Dongbei cuisine.

What to look out for in making Xiaojidunmogu 小鸡炖蘑菇?

Firstly, the mushrooms required here is what is known as “honey mushroom” (Armillaria mellea), “Zhenmo” 榛蘑 in Chinese. The honey mushroom is quite common as it is spread around the northern hemisphere, but if you cannot find it, I suggest that you use chanterelles or oyster mushrooms. The Chinese prefer dried versions of the honey mushroom for an enhanced flavour, but fresh mushrooms work well too.

The other thing to look out for is the glass noodles. The most common recipe calls for a thick version of potato glass noodles for a good bite, like the one in the photo below. But you are definitely free to opt for other forms of glass noodles, like flat ones. Be aware that thread-thin glass noodles will dissolve quickly so I advise against using those.

Whatever you do, you should 1) NOT use either fresh or dried shiitake mushrooms, because the taste of these are very unique and overpowering 2) NOT use white button mushrooms because these give out liquid instead of absorbing them.

The first time I tasted this dish was in the Wutai mountains 五台山 in the Shanxi province in the north of China. There, with the cool mountain air and pristine nature, the dish was the tastiest I have ever tasted of a chicken dish! The cook there used the renowned wild honey mushrooms found in the mountain forest called Taimo 台蘑. In the Dongbei region, locals use the local variety of the honey mushroom called Dongbei Zhenmo 榛蘑 harvested in the prehistoric forests of the Daxingan Valley 大兴安岭. This variety of honey mushrooms only grow off the bark of the Asian Hazel (Corylus heterophylla) tree, native to northern China, Korea and Japan. Any respectable foodie who visits northern China should not forget to buy the precious Taimo or Dongbei Zhenmo!


  • 750g young chicken, cut into pieces
  • 75g honey mushrooms (Armillaria mellea)/”Zhenmo” 榛蘑 (if using dried version, soak in water until they turn soft)
  • 2 tbs dark soy sauce 老抽
  • 3 tbs light soy sauce 生抽
  • 1 tbs sugar crystal “Bingtang” 冰糖 (or cane sugar)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 shallot, sliced
  • 3cm ginger, sliced
  • 5-10 dried chilli
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 star anise
  • 1 dash of cinnamon powder or 1 cinnamon stick
  • 4-6 grains of Sichuan peppercorn
  • 1 slice “Baizhi” 白芷 (Angelica dahurica) [optional]
  • 5 tbs vegetable oil
  • 1 portion glass noodles
  • 500ml water

Servings: 2 persons


  1. Heat up your pot with oil on medium heat. Once the oil starts steaming, brown your chicken in it. The goal is to let the chicken be cooked on the outside. Set aside.
  2. In the remaining oil in the pot, sautee your shallot and ginger until fragrant.
  3. Add in your rehydrating mushrooms, then all the other condiments, spices, herbs and sauces.
  4. Add in your cooked chicken and once everything is mixed, add in the water. Cover and bring to boil.
  5. Once boiling, turn the heat to low and let it simmer for 20 minutes. Do not let the gravy turn too dry so add more water if needed. Check if the chicken is tender enough, if so, check the taste and add salt if necessary.
  6. Once done, add in your glass noodles and let it soak up the broth. Once the noodles are soft and tender, turn off the fire.
  7. Serve piping hot.

Last update: January 2024, originally written in March 2013.