Hainanese Chicken Rice Recipe (Singapore Style)
The first I encountered Hainanese Chicken Rice was when I visited Singapore years ago. Every hawker station had stalls that would sell them. Turns out, it’s their national dish. I was unintentionally hooked to it, because, I was on a budget going around Singapore. So I can only afford hawker Hainanese Chicken Rice at $2 a plate. 😂😂
Anyway, through the years, I’ve been making this dish at home. I made some adjustments to the recipes that I would find online and adding more flavor by doubling-down on spices.
Speaking of spices, it’s easy to find in your kitchen. Even in a Filipino kitchen. What’s interesting about this dish is it gives a different profile that I hope that fellow Pinoy’s will like in their kitchen.
I’ve been told that Hainanese Chicken rice originated in Hainan, China. It’s pretty obvious though given its name. So as I discover this dish, turns out, there is the white-colored version that at first glance you would question if the chicken is evenly cooked. The other version is dark and somewhat roasted. For this recipe, it's going to be white-version. Yes, it might not look too appealing, but trust me, they are AMAZING!
I’ll break down the ingredients into 3 sections so it’s easier for you guys to follow through. Note that this recipe is good for 4 to 6 hungry people.
INGREDIENTS: Chicken Meat and Broth
Thinly sliced ginger - 2 thumb size
Pandan leaves - 2 leaves cut into 3
Tanglad (also known as lemongrass) - 3 stalks
Crushed garlic - 4 cloves
Medium size red onions - cut into quarters
2 whole dressed chicken - room temperature
Coriander, also known as Yansoy
Spring onions - 2 stalks
INGREDIENTS: Fragrant Rice
Finely chopped ginger - 2 thumb size
Pandan leaves - 3 leaves cut into 3
Chopped garlic - 4 cloves
Medium size white onions - chopped
3 cups of rice
Chicken stock from the slow-cooked chicken meat - 6 cups
Chicken Meat and Soup
- Boil water into a large pot, once it boils. Dip the dressed chicken for a few seconds to a minute while making sure you have all its parts in the water. What we are doing is tightening the chicken skin so make sure not to bruise the chicken skin as you do it. Once the skin turns white, carefully remove it and put them in a bowl with cold water, then set aside.
- Clean up the large pot, or use a new one. When making this dish the goal is to make sure that the skin stays intact and smooth. So I’ve added the pandan leaves and lemongrass as the bed for the chicken meat. This avoids the chicken skin sticking to the pot. Add in the ginger, then the meat. Then the onions and garlic. Add water and make sure it covers the meat. Then sugar and salt. Cover and cook for 45 minutes to an hour.
- While the chicken is being cooked, prep the garnish. Separate the top and bottom stalks of the coriander. Use the bottom stalks for other dishes. They add quite a flavor! So don’t throw them out. Thinly cut the spring onions, and make sure to have a lot of ‘em. Ideally about a cup. Then thinly slice the cucumber.
- Once it's cooked. CAREFULLY remove it making sure that you don’t bruise the skin. The next step is to soak it in ice-cold water while carefully removing any foam stains on the skin. Once the chicken meat is at room temperature, remove it from the water.
- Cut the chicken meat into half, then cut each side into 3 to 4 sections. Making sure that you do not bruise the skin. Then carefully line the cuts to a serving plate. Garnish with the cucumbers on the sides. Then topped with the chopped onions and coriander/yansoy.
- As for the soup, reheat the remaining chicken broth and add in the chopped spring onions for garnish.
1. Rinse the rice 3 times, and soak it for 30 minutes.
2. Using a separate pot, sautee the onions. Add a bit of salt to let it sweat for more, then the ginger and garlic. Sautee for another minute.
3. Then add in the rice. Mix it from time to time making sure that the water has evaporated and you have a thick consistency on the rice.
4. Add in the chicken broth from earlier. Avoid any lumps by making sure you stir them. And add more pandan leaves. Set the heat to high, then adjust to low-medium once it boils. This ensures that you have an even cook on the rice. Cooking time will take about 30 minutes.
5. Serve with a soy-sugar dipping sauce and your favorite Chinese Chili Oil. If you don’t have that in your pantry. You can use make your own by following my recipe here.