October 14, 2010

Hainanese Chicken Rice

Chicken Rice is understandably a celebrated dish in Singapore because it is lip-smacking, aromatic and can be enjoyed by people of all ages.  The main excitement of this dish is in the, you've guessed it - chicken.  There are all kinds, from fried to roasted.  You can easily get lost in delirium as you sink your teeth into the tender and juicy chicken meat.  

I've always wanted to make my own Hainanese Chicken Rice but was dismayed at hearing how complicated the chicken cooking process could be.  Until I found a video on it.  It's like a windfall!  With my Netbook in tow, I wasted no time in getting the ingredients out of the fridge and following the video instructions fastidiously.  The result was an absolutely succulent chicken without a sweat. It's unbelieveably simple to poach the chicken to perfection that you won't want to fry your chicken for this dish ever again. Poaching the bird is healthier than frying it, anyway.  Love the aroma of garlic and ginger throughout the house while cooking was in progress. If Fried Rice was Paradise, then this Hainanese Chicken Rice is Ecstasy.

Succulent and tender, the chicken skin will rip off the meat easily


1 whole fresh chicken
1 tbsp light soy sauce
6 slices fresh ginger
1 garlic, slightly bruised
2 shallots, chopped
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tbsp light soy sauce
1/2 tsp salt

Chicken Rice
3 cups long grain rice
2 tbsp cooking oil
2-3cm ginger, grated
3-4 garlic, chopped very finely or grated
1-2 tsp salt (to taste)
3 1/2 cups chicken stock from the boiled chicken or amount according to rice cooker instructions
2 pandan leaves (optional)

Chilli Dipping Sauce
10 fresh red chillies, seeds removed
1-2 garlic
5cm fresh ginger
2 tsp chicken stock (from the poached chicken)
Kaffir lime juice to taste
Salt to taste


1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil.  Rub chicken's inside with soy sauce. Grind ginger, garlic and one shallot. Stuff mixture into chicken.

2.  When the water boils, turn heat off.  Add remaining ginger and shallot into water and gently sink in the chicken into the hot water. Leave chicken in the water for one hour. After the first 5 minutes, lift up the chicken, drain the water from the stomach cavity and put chicken back in the pot. Repeat this process 2 to 3 times during the poaching period to make sure the chicken is cooked inside and outside.

3.  After 30 minutes, turn on the heat to bring the water back to just before boiling point, then turn heat off. Do not allow chicken to boil so it will be very tender and juicy from the poaching (boiling the chicken will harden it). At the end of the hour, raise the chicken from the water and gently rub it with the remaining soy sauce, sesame oil and salt.  Cut into bite-sized pieces to serve.

4.  Wash the rice in the rice cooker pot and drain well.  In a wok, fry the ginger and garlic with oil.

5.  Add the fried ginger and garlic to rice.  Sprinkle salt to taste.  Add water and pandan leaves.  Cook rice according to the rice cooker instructions.

6.  For the chilli sauce, grind chillies, garlic and ginger. Add chicken stock, lime juice and salt to taste.

7.  For chicken soup, ladle a small amount of chicken stock into serving bowls. Add finely chopped shallot.

- Ensure that your pot is large enough to fit the whole chicken.
- If the chilli sauce tastes too hot, add a small amount of sugar into the sauce and squeeze a small amount of dark or sweet soy sauce when serving.
- The chicken skin gets very tender and succulent if chicken is correctly poached.  Handle the delicate bird with care.

Fearlessly Simple & Home Cooked


  1. looks good! :) And Happy cooking...!!! is there an option to post a comment using name and url?

  2. Thanks loads! You're my inspiration hehee. Will look into the technical issues and add more relevant features. Thanks for your feedback. Happy surfing!

  3. This looks easy, I wanted to do this dish but most of the recipes I find are a bit complicated, your are just right