Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Hainanese Chicken Rice

Hainanese chicken rice comes from the Chinese subtropical island of Hainan and many of the sons and daughters of Hainan imigrated to Singapore in the past 100 years.
Hainanese chicken rice often considered as the "national dish" of singapore since this dish is famous among singaporean and overseas visitors and is often served at international expositions and global event aboard. 
Hainanese chicken rice is also one of a few local dishes served on Singapore Airlines flights. It's listed at number 45 on world's 50 most delicious foods complied by CNN Go in 2011.

In Singapore, hainanese chicken rice is serve at stalls and foodcourt even canteen vendors in schools. 
And this dish has capture the heart and palate of Brunei Fitness Zone owner, well... you know who I talking about - the king of foodie! :D 
He always looking for the dish when he is in Singapore or not. So you can imagine how famous the dish is.

In Indonesia? Well, not as famous as in Singapore but among the chinese people this dish is one to order everytime we go to the chinese restaurant. 

Hainanese chicken is serve with hainanese rice and 3 different sauce and broth. 
There's is two way to cook this dish. First is to boil or shimmer in a very low heat, so we have to keep the water in the pan not to boil, if not the skin will break down. But if you want to have a hainanese chicken that melt in your mouth you have to cook it in second way, which is to delicately poached the chicken with no "fire on heat". How could that be?
At the first time I'm guessing too, but after the dish done... the chicken is just melt in your mouth! 
Wanna try? :)

Ingredients and Method : 

For the Chicken :
  • 1 fresh Chicken (preferably free range)
  • 2 tbsp Chinese Rice Cooking Wine 
  • 2 tbsp Light Soy Sauce
  • 7 sliced fresh Ginger
  • 2 cloves Garlic 
  • 4 Scallion 
  • Salt (use sea salt if you have) 
  • 1 tsp Sesame Oil + 1 tbsp Light Soy Sauce = combine (for rubbing/ seasoned the chicken after the chicken is cooked)

  • This is the "funny" part. You have to give the chicken a nice-sea-salt-spa about 10 minutes... don't laugh! :D This part is crucial since it will effect the appearance of the chicken meat when it done. 
  • After a long-nice-spa with the sea salt, the skin of chicken which the first time is wrinkled now is smoot and "glowing"! Can you see the difference? :D

  • Bring a pot water to the boil, (the pan should large enough to fit the whole chicken
  • Prepare 2 scallion, 4 slice of ginger, 2 cloves of garlic, process with 1 tbsp of light soy sauce until it become a roughtly thick mixture in a chopper or with your hand blender.
  • Rub the inner side of the chicken with 2 tbsp rice cooking wine and 1 tbsp light soy sauce.

  • Place the thick mixture inside the chicken, rub again the inner side.

  • After the water boils, turn off heat and place the chicken inside the pan. 
  • Remaining the scallion and ginger into the pan.
  • Cover the lid.
  • Every 15 minutes turn on the heat again just until almost boiling poin, and then turn off the heat. (Repeat the process for 4 times, so total times for the chicken to stand in the pan is about an hour, this method will make the chicken very tender and juicy so be patient :) ).
  • While you waiting your chicken to be done you can make the sauce. 
  • After an hour, remove the chicken rub. Transfer the chicken into an ice-bath (water + ice cubes), set a side for 20 minutes. 
  • Make your hainanese rice. 
  • Give a light coat-rub the whole chicken with the soy sauce and sesame oil mixture. -
  • Debone the chicken and cut into size bite pieces.
  • Serve in a serving plate. 

For the Chili sauce :
  • 10 Red Hot Chilli Padi 9 (you use a regular red chili if you prefer the sauce less spicy)
  • 2 cloves Garlic
  • 5 cm Ginger
  • 2-3 tsp Chicken Stock, (from the "boiled" chicken) 
  •  1/2 Kaffir Lime, Juice
  • Salt, to taste
  • Puree the chili, garlic and ginger with a mortar or a hand blender.
  • Take the top part of the chicken stock (as shown on the picture below)
  • Mix all the ingredient and place in a serving bowl
For the Ginger Sauce : 
  • 10cm medium Ginger, grated
  • 4 cloves Garlic, puree
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 2 tsp Lime Juice
  • 2 tbsp Chicken Stock, (from the "boiled" chicken) 
  • If you "afraid" with lots of ginger inside this sauce, then don't be, after it done the sauce just make the chicken more delicious and you can't even taste "a spicy taste" of ginger in the sauce :) 
  • Mix all the ingredient and place in a serving bowl. 

  • Prepare the kecap manis in the serving bowl. 

For the Chicken Rice :
  • 500 gram uncooked Long-Grain Rice
  • Canola Oil
  • 2 cm Ginger, grated
  • 4 cloves Garlic, finery chopped
  • 1-2 tsp Salt, to taste
  • Chicken Stock, according to rice instructions (reserve from "boiled" chicken) 
  • 2 Pandan Leaves

  • Saute garlic and ginger with canola oil until brown.
  • Rinse the rice, tranfer into a rice cooker pan.
  • Stir in garlic, ginger, salt and pandan leaves.
  • Add the chicken stock as much as the rice instuctions.
  • Cook using the rice cooker until rice is fragrant. 
  • Your hainanese chicken, rice and dipping sauce is ready. 
  • Enjoy! ;) 

The best way to enjoy this hainanese chicken is when as soon as it be cooked. Dip in the chili sauce, then the ginger and kecap manis in series then you will have a tender and juicy hainanese chicken with a little kick of spicy and sweet flavor :)

Chinese new year is around the corner, what is your CNY eve dinner plan menu? Hope this dish can give you an inspiration :)
Ready to taste the mild and rich taste of this Singaporean famous dish? 

Stay Healthy and Loves Your Kitchen More! ;) 

Difficulty : Easy
Preparing time : 10 minutes
Cooking Time : 1 hour 45 minutes
Makes : 1 whole hainanese chicken, a pan of hainanese rice and 1 serving of 3 dipping sauce
Knowledge source : Wikipedia


  1. Yummy,,,Yummy,,,,Great post!! looks yummy and bikin aku ngacay is because chicken sea-salt-spa LoL :)

  2. Oooh, these flavors sound wonderful! Now I'm off to visit the 49 other top foods :)

    PS...this would taste wonderful followed by chocolate chunk cookies!!!

  3. Awesome recipe!! The click is so tempting too !! Hoping to see your participation for my 'Valentine's Day Event' :)

  4. This looks amazing! I am surprised that I could hop a flight and have this as the in flight meal. I can completely understand why it is in the top 50-yum! Now I am off into that link of the 50! Great post!

  5. wow the chicken looks so dang succulent and tender!

  6. Elise - this is incredible! I bet the flavors were amazing! ...and the sauces are incredible! Thanks for sharing this one - it's stunning!

  7. This sounds involved but lovely. I'm going to try this when I get some time to experiment. Hopefully, that will be next week. Have a wonderful weekend. Blessings...Mary

  8. wow..that looks so yummy..:)Loveeeeeeeeee chicken...:)



  9. In Indonesia, Hainanese chicken rice is popular in Medan :)

    Even the rice itself is already tasty. I could eat the rice and with sambal only for this :)

  10. Hi Elies, love this dish, used to be one of my favourites at hawker centres! It's one of the most frequently requested at my Cookery School! Obviously, us Singaporeans are not the only ones crazy about it! Am following you on Google Connect, hope to see you on my site sometime! it's Chocolate month there in Feb! Look forward to sharing! xx

  11. I've never seen a poaching method like that before, but I bet it helps keep the meat nice and tender. I'll have to give it a try sometime!

  12. Your Hainanese Chicken Rice is amazing. It's my husband's favorite rice! I hope to make i one day. He'll be really happy. You know, those special dishes that you are crazy about. This is his. :-) Thanks for the recipe!

  13. Hi!thk u for this awesome recipe n tips!May I ask that
    1)When we need to turn on the heat every 15minutes or so, should we use high, medium or low heat?Should the whole process be done covered or uncovered?
    2)You mention that we should turn off heat first before putting in the chicken when the water boils. Is this crucial? Or can we turn off the heat after putting in the chicken?


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