Hainanese Chicken Rice

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Ready : 2 hr 10 mins [Prep : 10 mins † Cooking : 2 hrs]
Serve :  4 pax
Generic :  Poach/Boil
Level :  Trickly/Tedious
Idle :  2 hrPrintable Recipe.

An Absolute Favorite Hawkers Food Delight

“Hainanese Chicken Rice” is a dish adapted from early Chinese immigrants originally from the Hainan province in southern China and there are probably countless different recipe for the dish. It’s often considered as Singapore’s national dish although most Malaysian will disagree. In any case, Hainanese Chicken Rice is most commonly associated with Malaysian and Singaporean cuisines. A good plate of Hainanese Chicken Rice is defined by three major factors, namely; soft tender poached chicken, fragrant aromatic rice and last but not least, the dipping sauce. Here’s The Viand’s take on Hainanese Chicken Rice which comes with three dipping sauce, your normal Chilli sauce, Ginger puree and Sliced Shallots/Scallions Light Soya sauce (believed to be The VianD’s family home recipe).



  • Chicken Thighs (Free range chicken/Kampung chicken would be good). Long-grain white rice.


  • (1) A few slices of Old Ginger, a few cloves of crushed Garlic and a handful of Scallion – cut to 2-3 inches long. Pandan leaves. No image.
    (2) Ginger and Garlic puree and lots sliced Shallot.
    Optional – nice if U can get some chicken fat (U can properly get free from the Poultryman) but very unhealthy. Cube the chicken fat roughly to the same size. Else U substitute with Margarine/Butter.


  • Salt. Optional – Butter/Margarine. All to taste. ** Note : Just dash of everything, if U prefer a stronger intensity of an ingredient flavor, simply add a little extra of that ingredient/spice – no rocket scientific measurement here. Always taste your Seasoning !!!


There are a total of three parts of preparation.

  • Step 1 : Chicken Poaching – Start by poaching the chicken. U’ll need the chicken stock from the poaching to cook the rice. The extra leftover chicken stock can be turned into a pot delicious soup (with a few added ingredients). This can be done in a few hours advance.
    Boil a pot of water with Side Ingredients 1 (except the Pandan leaves). Submerge the Chicken Thighs, make sure enough water to cover the chicken. Bring it boil and turn to low heat and let it simmer for abt 30-40 mins – unlid. To test if the chicken is cooked thru, simply poke a skewer into the thickest part of the chicken, remove the skewer and observe the oozing juice – clear and no sign of pink (blood) means the Chicken is done. Do not over-cooked the Chicken.
    When the chicken is done, transfer it to a pot of running tap water for a few mins (till the chicken is totally cool down). Chop to bite size (if U like, U can debone, like The VianD did here). Set aside. Simply re-heat b4 serving. Brush/drizzle a little Sesame oil on the chopped chicken just b4 serving.
    Keep the chicken stock for cooking the rice and soup. At this point, measure out the amount of stock for the rice (try to get the chicken oil on the surface – this will add flavors to the rice).
    If U R interested in the soup from the extra chicken stock, add in a few Red Dates, a pinch of Tung Choy, a dried Cuttlefish and a few pieces of “Yuk Chuk – 玉竹/Solomon’s seal (all wash in warm water). Bring it to boil again, then set it to low heat and let it simmer for an hours or so. Flavor with some Salt and Sugar to taste and U have your pot of soup.
  • Step 2 : Preparing The Fragrant Rice : Long-grain white rice washed and rinsed. Set aside.
    Optional – render the Chicken fat in low heat. U want the aromatic oil. Sieve and set aside. U need to mix into the rice b4 boiling.
    Using the Chicken oil (or normal cooking oil), saute the sliced Shallot on low heat till slightly brown. Add in the Side Ingredients 2 (Ginger/Garlic puree) and saute till golden brown and aromatic. At this point, U can add the Butter/Margarine if U fancy.
    Add the Rice, mix well. Transfer to Rice-cooker, add the correct amount of chicken stock. Add Pandan leaves and Salt to taste. Cook as usual.
  • Step 3 : Preparing The Dipping Sauce : Chilli sauce: Fresh red chili, Ginger, Garlic, Lemon juice and a pinch of Salt and Sugar to taste. Blend well with a little water. Set aside. Can be done in advance.
    Ginger puree: Simply puree Ginger with some oil. If U want to get rid of the strong raw Ginger smell, simply saute it a little while. Set aside. Can be done in advance.
    Special Scallion/Shallot Light Soya Sauce (believed to be The VianD’s family home recipe) : Julienned Scallion, a small amount of sliced Shallot, Light soy, a dash of Sesame oil, a dash of Oyster sauce and most important, the oil from the chicken stock (simply sieve a little from top of the soup). When the rice abt ready, simply let the sauce steam together with the rice.

How To Serve

U can basically serve this in one of two ways. First, if U r having it alone at the Hawker establishment, U’ll probably be served with an individual plate of rice, with the chicken piled on top/side. Second, but if U r having in a group, the rice and the chicken will be served separately, like how The VainD is doing here. Serve it whatever way U fancy!

Copyright © 2014 The VianD · All Rights Reserved

3 Comments Add yours

  1. Ng Yoke Hing says:

    mum’s scallion sauce recipe…superb!


    1. theviandd says:

      Yap and the kids love it !!!


  2. theviandd says:

    First foray with this dish. Turns out…pretty darn good !!!


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