How to Make Hainanese Chicken Rice

This is one of the most popular dishes from my Concord restaurant days, and it’s the first time I’ve divulged the recipe. Which, by the way, is my stepmom’s, so full credit to her.

There’s a lot of “agak-agak” – ie. “guesstimating” – in this dish. Different brands of soya sauce, oyster sauce etc. etc. will affect the flavour of some of the components, so keep this in mind as you play around with quantities and ratios.

Hainanese Chicken Rice



  • 1 whole chicken, about 1.6kg
  • Water for boiling
  • Sesame oil


  • 2-inch piece of ginger
  • 10 cloves garlic
  • ½ brown onion
  • 1 Tbsp chicken powder or ½ Tbsp salt
  • ⅓ cup oil
  • 3 cups jasmine rice
  • 5 cups chicken stock (approximate)


  • ⅓ cup ginger pieces
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 4 Tbsps oil


  • 5 large chillies
  • 2-inch piece of ginger
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp sugar


  • 3 Tbsps sesame oil
  • 3 Tbsps oyster sauce
  • 4 Tbsps soya sauce
  • 1 Tbsp cooking caramel (aka thick soya sauce)
  • ⅔ Tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp chicken powder



  1. Bring water to a boil in large pot.
  2. Holding the chicken by its leg, ladle water over the surface of the skin.
  3. Place chicken in pot, making sure it’s completely submerged in the water.
  4. Reduce heat to a very low simmer, cover and cook for 8 minutes.
  5. Turn off the heat completely but leave the chicken in the pot with lid on for another 35-40 minutes.
  6. Remove chicken and place under cold running water for 10 minutes.
  7. Soak chicken in cold water another 10 minutes.
  8. Pat dry and coat generously with sesame oil.
  9. Debone/cut chicken into pieces.
  10. Drizzle with more sesame oil and top with crispy onion.


  1. Mince ginger, garlic and onion in food processor.
  2. Fry with oil until aromatic.
  3. Season with chicken powder.
  4. Add rinsed rice and mix well.
  5. Transfer into rice cooker or saucepan. Add chicken stock and/or water to cover rice to about 2-3cm above its surface. Cook until done. I used an Optimum Induction Pressure Cook Pro and cooked it for 18 minutes on the rice setting.


  1. Mince ginger in food processor.
  2. Saute with oil and season with salt.
  3. Allow to cool before storing in jar.


  1. Combine chilli, ginger, water, salt and sugar in blender.
  2. Blend until fine.
  3. Store in refrigerator for up to one week or in freezer for 3 months.


  1. Combine all sauce ingredients in saucepan.
  2. Simmer until sugar and chicken powder are dissolved.

To serve, assemble rice and cucumber slices on plate, drizzle sauce on chicken and serve with ginger relish and chilli sauce, plus some chicken broth (lightly seasoned with chicken powder and white pepper, and sprinkled with coriander and green onion), on the side.



*** I used an Optimum Induction Pressure-Cook Pro for the Hainanese Chicken Rice recipe in this post. More details on this appliance can be found at Prestige Home Appliances.

tn_Lenovo         Rode Mic   Prestige Home Appliances


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