Hainanese Chicken Rice

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A very popular dish in Singapore created by settlers from Hainan dao. May be replaced with baked chicken if prefered. A little tedious to prepare but result is well worth it. Not for the calorie conscienced

Preparation time: 1 hr
Cooking time: 1hr 30mins

Difficulty: Medium - some experience needed
Serves: 6


1 chicken, around 1.5 kg (3 lb)
2 cucumbers, peeled and sliced thinly
2 stalks coriander leaves, chopped roughly
1 tsp salt
2 stalks spring onions, knotted
1 thumb- length knob of ginger, bruised
5 garlic cloves, bruised with skin
oil for rubbing chicken
2 Tbsp light soy sauce
1 Tbsp sesame oil
pieces of julienned Iceburg lettuce leaves

4 cups thai jasmine rice
4 cups chicken stock (from cooking chicken)
5 garlic cloves, bruised with skin
2 slices ginger
60g chicken fat or 2 Tbsp oil
1 tsp salt
4 pandan leaves, knotted ( fragrant screwpin)

10-12 red chillies
2 cloves garlic, peeled
Lime juice
½ cup chicken stock
3 thumb-length knobs of ginger
salt and pepper to taste


1. Rub 1 tsp salt all over chix, stuff cavity with spring onion, ginger & garlic.
Bring 6 cups water to boil (or more to fully submerge chix). Immerse chix , cover and bring to boil again. Lower heat and simmer for 30mins.

2. Remove chix and cool in a basin of ice cold water. ( This will prevent chix from cooking further, and thus the meat will be tender)
When cooled, remove and rub oil over chix and set aside.

3. To cook the rice:
Sauté garlic, ginger in chix fat or oil till fragrant.
Add washed rice grains and mix well.
Transfer to a rice cooker, add chix stock, pandan leaves and salt and cook. When rice is cooked (machine signals sounds), let it stand for another 5 minutes before serving.
(In case rice is not well cooked, sprinkle with a little more chix stock and cook for another few minutes)

4. To make the sauce:
Process ginger and ¼ cup of chix stock in blender till fine. Season with salt and sugar to taste.
Next, process chillies with remaining stock and garlic. Add salt, sugar and lime juice to taste.

5. Chop or debone chix into pieces.
Mix soy sauce and sesame oil together.
Arrange chix on a bed of lettuce, cucumber and coriander. Drizzle with soysauce/sesame oil.

6. Serve with rice and rest of chicken soup, with chilli sauce and ginger at the side as dips.

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