Hainanese Chicken Rice

25 Aug

This entry was inspired by what we had for Iftar last night. I especially love Hainanese Chicken Rice for the rich texture in the jasmine rice. And let’s not forget the tender chicken meat served with the oozing sauce. I have actually managed to cook this once and I love it!

Not too sure if the other family members feel the same way too. Haha 🙂

If you don’t really fancy the white meat, you can also fry it. Just drizzle the soya-sesame mixture over the chicken before frying it. And I used basmati rice for this recipe, simply for health reasons. It turned out just fine, equally as nice if jasmine rice was to be used.

I do have another recipe stashed somewhere. I will keep a lookout for it and give that a shot after Ramadhan. In the meantime, here’s the recipe for the much beloved Hainanese Chicken Rice.

Ingredients (For chicken and broth)

  • 1 whole chicken
  • 3 teaspoons salt
  • 3 litres water
  • 4 (1/8-inch-thick) slices fresh ginger, smashed
  • 2 Knorr or Maggi chicken stock cubes

Ingredients (For rice)

  • 2 cups jasmine rice
  • 4 shallots, thinly sliced
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced


  • 1 cucumber
  • 1 tomato
  • 4 tablespoons light soya sauce
  • 8 teaspoons sesame seed oil
  • 1 bunch watercress, coarse stems discarded

Ingredients (For chilli sauce)

  • 6 – 8 fresh red chillies
  • 1 shallot
  • 2 tablespoons peeled fresh ginger
  • 2 medium garlic cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup fresh lime juice


Prepare Chicken and Broth

Remove fat from cavity of chicken and reserve for rice. Rub chicken inside and out with 1 teaspoon salt.

Bring water with remaining 2 teaspoons salt, chicken stock cubes and ginger to a boil in a pot wide enough to hold chicken. Put chicken, breast down, in water and return to a boil, covered. Simmer chicken, partially covered, 20 minutes and remove from heat. Let chicken stand in hot broth, covered and undisturbed, until just cooked through, 15 to 20 minutes.

Letting broth drain from chicken cavity into pot, transfer chicken to a large bowl of ice and cold water and reserve broth for rice and soup. Cool chicken completely, turning once. Drain chicken and pat dry with paper towels. Cut into serving pieces.

Make chilli sauce while chicken is being cooked

Pulse chilli sauce ingredients to a coarse paste in mini food processor. You may saute it in a pan with a little bit of oil.

Make rice

Cook reserved chicken fat in a saucepan over moderate heat, stirring, until rendered, then discard solids. Add vegetable oil if necessary to make 2 tablespoons fat.

Wash rice under cold running water until water runs clear and drain well.

Cook shallots in fat over moderate heat, stirring, until browned. Add garlic and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Add rice and cook, stirring gently, 1 minute.

Add 3 cups reserved broth and bring to a boil. Boil until liquid on surface is evaporated and small bubbles appear from holes in rice, 3 to 4 minutes.

Cover and cook over very low heat until rice is tender and liquid is absorbed, about 15 minutes more. Remove from heat and let stand, covered and undisturbed, 5 minutes. Fluff rice with a fork and cover.

Assemble dishes

Cut cucumber in 2-inch length and put in another bowl of ice and cold water for 15 minutes. Drain well.

Stir together soya sauce and sesame oil.

Bring 6 cups reserved broth and watercress to a boil in a saucepan and simmer 1 minute. Remove pan from heat and let stand until watercress is a shade darker, about 3 minutes.

Drizzle soya-sesame mixture over chicken. Serve chicken with cucumber and tomato slices and individual bowls of rice, soup and chilli sauce.

Phewww… such a long entry! This is truly indeed leceh-nak-mampos (read: tedious) to cook but oh so sedap-nak-mampos 😉


4 Responses to “Hainanese Chicken Rice”

  1. Erny August 25, 2010 at 1:27 PM #

    maybe you should take a break during the fasting month. all these pictures are making me salivate. bad, you know. LOL!

    • cadymcbronzie August 25, 2010 at 3:32 PM #


      That bad, huh? Ok, duly noted. Will post food pictures that are less appetising :p

  2. lynnmaharet September 2, 2010 at 1:22 AM #

    I added 2 tblsp of sugar to the chilli sauce and used ard 5 to 7 small limes.

    • cadymcbronzie September 2, 2010 at 9:14 AM #

      Hi Lynn,

      Thanks for the tip! I will be featuring your recipe real soon 😉

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