Hainanese Chicken Rice is one of Singapore’s most famous dishes and is a must-order dish when visiting a hawker’s market. Steamed tender chicken served over fragrant rice with sesame oil and soy sauce. Topped with coriander lead and served with ginger and chilli sauce. Surprisingly, this delicious Singaporean dish is very easy to make at home.
Impress friends and family with this quick and easy 5 steps homemade recipe. Cook Hainanese chicken rice in less than 2 hours. This recipe calls for chicken thighs, legs or breasts and not a whole chicken which significantly reduces the cooking time needed.
How to Make the Best Hainanese Chicken Rice
The secret to making the best Hainanese chicken rice is in the name of the dish. Traditionally, the dish is made with a whole chicken to feed an entire household. Using a whole piece will allow you to use the stock as a soup and also flavour the rice. However, you can still achieve a flavourful dish with thighs, legs and breast pieces as well as premade stock.
For smoother texture on the skin, make sure to exfoliate the meat beforehand. You can use a handful of coarse kosher salt or table salt. Rub the salt on the surface of the meat for 5-10 minutes. Then rinse and pat dry.
Hainanese Chicken Rice Recipe
- 4 pieces chicken thigh, leg or breast will work well with this recipe
- 3 slices ginger
- 2 stalks spring onion
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 tsp fish sauce
- 1 stalk cilantro
- 3 cups rice white or brown
- 4 cups chicken stock
- 1 tbsp lemongrass (chopped)
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tsp chicken powder
- 3 tbsp butter
- dash tumeric powder
- 1 whole piece ginger
- ¼ cup oil
Chilli Sauce (Optional)
- 1 lemon medium sized
- 6 red chili small
- ½ tsp chicken powder
- ½ tsp salt
- 2 tbsp sugar
- Start by pouring 5 cups of cold water into a large stockpot and set aside. Slice 3 thick slices of ginger. Cut the spring onion in half and crush the onion head.Place the ginger and spring onion into the water and bring it to a boil. Let this boil for 30 minutes over medium-high heat. Meanwhile, prepare a bowl of ice water and set this aside.Once the water has boiled, add the meat. After 1 minute, remove the chicken and add it into the bowl of ice-cold water.Repeat this step four to five times. If you’re using breast, repeat this for only two to three times.
- Continue to boil the chicken in the stock on low heat for 30 minutes. After this, remove the meat from the stock and place it into the ice water with 2 tablespoons of salt, 1 teaspoon of fish sauce. Leave this for 40-60 minutes before slicing into bite-size. Keep the stock for later use.
- Wash the rice 3-4 times. Add 4 cups of the stock from the previous step with pandan leaves, butter, lemongrass, chicken powder, salt and a dash of turmeric powder. The turmeric powder will add a lovely yellow colour to the rice.Put this on normal settings in the rice cooker and stir halfway through cooking.
- For the ginger sauce, start by peeling the ginger skin with a spoon or peeler. Chop finely into the desired size or use a food processor and add salt to taste. Heat the oil in a small pan until the oil begins to smoke. Pour over the ginger and mix well. Leave this to cool slightly before serving.For the chilli sauce, finely chop the garlic, ginger and chilli before blending this with a food processor. Once this has turned into a paste, squeeze 1 lemon and add the chicken powder, salt and sugar to the mix.
- Assemble on a plate, laying the meat on top or on the side of the rice. Garnish with coriander (or cilantro) and some chili.
The traditional Singaporean hawker dish garnished with coriander, cucumber and chilli.
If you’re interested in using a whole chicken, watch this detailed step by step video from Jenny’s Kitchen (English subtitles available).
Delicious Additions and Swaps
This easy Hainanese chicken rice recipe can be dressed up by adding a few additions or made healthier with a few ingredient swaps. For instance, you can steam or lightly fry some leafy greens. This will make a good healthy addition on the side. We recommend trying Chinese cabbage, spinach or Choi sum.
To make the rice more fragrant, add a dash of sesame oil or more pandan leaves. Likewise, you can add cilantro, cucumber, tomato slices or carrots for decoration.
White rice can be substituted with brown rice or quinoa. This will make a healthy version of the Hainanese chicken rice dish.
Looking for more tasty recipes? Try this easy Traditional Moroccan Tagine recipe from UnoCasa now.