I actually don’t know the formal name of this dish. A quick Google search shows a lot of variation, including Pek Cam Kee, Pek Cham Kee, Pacamke, and others. But Pakcamke is how my mother says it, so here you go.

In essence, pakcamke chicken is an Asian/Chinese dish that means steamed chicken served with garlic-ginger sauce. It’s so easy, and so delicious. I make this dish every two weeks just because of the craving!

Whole chicken, deboned after steaming.

I totally grow up with this dish. My mom usually feeds a family of five, so at home she would steam a whole chicken. I cook for two people, so I usually just use chicken thighs or chicken marylands. (I even use chicken wings once.) The important this is to steam chicken meat that is still attached to the bones. And like me, if you find the idea of deboning a whole chicken daunting, I suggest you start with thighs/marylands. That way, you don’t even have to debone: just serve them as they are!

Note that the chicken will release a lot of juice when steaming. Do not discard this liquid. It’s sooo good. You will use it to make the sauce, and the leftovers to make accompanying clear soup if you want.

Liquid derived from two chicken thighs. If allowed, my husband would drink that like soup.

Deboned two chicken thighs. Enough for two people!

This dish is perfect for those lazy weeknights when you just can’t be bothered to cook fancy. Or even when you’re having guests over. Happy cooking!

Serves 2-6, depending on the amount of chicken
Cooks in 30 minutes
Difficulty easy


  • whole chicken/marylands/thighs (for 2 people, I suggest 2 marylands/thighs)
  • salt


  • 3-5 garlic, diced finely
  • equal amount of ginger, diced finely
  • fish sauce
  • sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp oil for stir-frying
  • juice from the steamed chicken, about 2 tbsp


  1. Rub the chicken with salt. Place in a bowl big enough to place the chicken, but small enough to fit in your steamer.
  2. Steam the chicken for 20-40 minutes, depending on how big your chicken is. Prick the chicken mean with fork and if the juices run clear—it’s cooked.
  3. Remove chicken from bowl and reserve the juice for cooking the sauce. Debone the chicken or serve as is.
  4. OPTIONAL: Use the rest of the juice for making soup. Simply put them all in a pot and add water, carrots, radishes or other veggies to your liking.
  5. Make the sauce: heat a pan on low-medium heat and add oil to the pan. Add garlic and ginger and stir-fry until they start to yellow. Turn the heat to low, add fish sauce and sesame oil. Turn off the heat and add the juice from the steamed chicken.
  6. Serve with steamed rice, chilli oil, cut chilli with soy sauce, chopped scallion, fried shallots, and your other favourite things!

Ps. Be careful when making the sauce, as they tend to splatter (that’s why I say to turn down the heat when adding liquid).

P.Ps. If you happen to have chicken leftovers, pull them and make chicken noodles for tomorrow. I’ll post a recipe next time.