Hawker Hainanese Chicken Rice

Hainanese Chicken Rice – Malaysian Hawker Favorite

One of the most loved hawker dishes in Malaysia and probably the adopted national dish of Singapore, Hainanese Chicken Rice (more often called ‘chicken rice’). You will find this delicious dish in most, if not all, food courts and hawker centres.

The dish consists of succulent poached chicken served with richly flavored rice and accompanied by chicken broth, chilli garlic sauce and a thick and sticky sweet soy sauce. The combination of all these elements is what makes this dish complete.

Although predominant across Malaysia and Singapore you can find Hainanese Chicken Rice throughout South East Asia. Each country has its own version, but it is usually the accompanying dips, condiments or garnishes that differ.

What makes the chicken rice so special is its pure simplicity. No complicated techniques are needed to prepare it. The only thing really needed is time. Each item needs to be prepared separately. However the chicken needs to be prepared first because you will use some of the cooking broth in each of the remaining items.

This recipe I believe recreates a perfect hawker-style Hainanese Chicken Rice!

AuthorHolisticJB
RatingDifficultyIntermediate

A classic Singaporean / Malaysian dish of succulent poached chicken and flavored rice served with chilli-garlic sauce, soy sauce and a clear chicken soup.

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Hawker Hainanese Chicken Rice

Yields2 Servings
Prep Time15 minsCook Time1 hr 30 minsTotal Time1 hr 45 mins

For Cooking The Chicken And Broth
 4 Chicken Thighs(skin on)
 ½ tbsp Soy Sauce
 1 inch Ginger(sliced)
 1 Green Onion cut into slices
 Water(Enough To Cover the chicken)
 Salt(To Taste)
 Pepper(To Taste)
For The Ice Bath
 Water
 Ice Cubes
For The Glaze
 1 tsp Sesame Oil
 ½ tsp Salt
For The Rice
 ¾ cup Rice
 Chicken FatFrom cleaning and preparing the chicken
 1 Garlic Clove(minced)
 ½ inch Ginger(minced)
 1 Shallot(minced)
 1 ½ tsp Soy Sauce
 1 ½ tsp Sesame Oil
 1 Pandan / Screwpine Leaves
 1 ⅓ cups Chicken Broth(from cooking the poached chicken)
For The Sweet Soy Sauce
 1 tsp Sugar
 1 tsp Warm Water
 1 tsp Soy Sauce
 1 tsp Rice Vinegar
 1 tsp Sesame Oil
 2 tsp Chicken Broth(from cooking the chicken)
For The Chilli Garlic Sauce
 4 Red bird's eye chilli pepper
 5 Garlic Cloves
 2 Inch Ginger
 2 tsp Rice Vinegar
 ½ tsp Salt
 ½ tsp Sugar
 2 tsp Chicken Broth(from cooking the chicken)
To Serve
 1 Green OnionSliced
 1 Cilantro
 1 Cucumber

To Cook The Chicken And Create The Broth
1

Rinse the clean the chicken pieces well. Remove any excess fat from the chicken and set it aside.
Lightly rub the chicken skin and flesh with a coarse sea salt. Keep rubbing until all the loose skin is removed and the chicken skin shines. Then rinse the chicken under running water to remove excess salt. Pat dry.

Chicken Pieces - Hainanese Chicken Rice

2

Fill a large saucepan or stockpot with water and add the chicken. Ensure there is enough water to cover the chicken. Add the green onions and ginger and bring to the boil. Once the water boils, turn the chicken over. Cover the pot and let the chicken and broth simmer for approximately 15 minutes.

Chicken Pieces - Hainanese Chicken Rice

3

After 15 minutes prepare a large bowl of ice water. Remove the chicken from the saucepan or stockpot. Leave the broth gently simmering.
Place the chicken into the ice bath. Leave for 20 seconds, remove and prepare the glaze by mixing the sesame oil and salt.
Brush the glaze onto the skin of the chicken.
Continue simmering the broth for 40 minutes. The more you simmer the more tasty!
Add salt and pepper, if required.

Poach the chicken

To Cook The Rice
4

Wash rice and place a saucepan over a medium heat. Add the chicken fat that you had kept aside. Render the fat until the oils are released and the solids start to turn brown and crispy. Remove the solids from the rendered chicken fat before they burn. Add the minced garlic, ginger and shallot to the chicken oils. Sauté in the chicken fat until fragrant. Add the washed rice and sauté for about a minute.

wash the rice

5

Add soy sauce, sesame oil and pandan to the rice. Mix well.
Pour the broth into the rice. Stir to mix and leave to cook over high heat.
Once the rice mixture boils, reduce the heat and simmer with the saucepan covered until cooked. Approximately 10 minutes.

Pandan leaves

To Make The Sweet Soy Sauce
6

Dissolve sugar in warm water. Then, add the remaining ingredients, mix well and your sauce is ready.

Sweet Soy Sauce

To Make The Chilli Garlic Sauce
7

Deseed the red chillis. Add the chilli peppers, garlic cloves, ginger and vinegar to a blender and grind until smooth. Add salt and sugar to taste. Add some of the cooled chicken broth to the sauce to gain your preferred consistency (I use 2 teaspoons)

Chilli Garlic Sauce

Serving
8

On a plate add a serving of rice. Cut the poached chicken into thin long slices and place on top of rice.
Pour some of the sweet soy sauce over the chicken.
Warm the broth, add to small soup bowls and garnish with chopped green onions and cilantro leaves.
Serve your Hainanese Chicken Rice at room temperature, with warm soup, cucumber slices, chilli garlic sauce and add a dipping bowl of sweet soy sauce on the side.

Hainanese Chicken Rice Serving

Ingredients

For Cooking The Chicken And Broth
 4 Chicken Thighs(skin on)
 ½ tbsp Soy Sauce
 1 inch Ginger(sliced)
 1 Green Onion cut into slices
 Water(Enough To Cover the chicken)
 Salt(To Taste)
 Pepper(To Taste)
For The Ice Bath
 Water
 Ice Cubes
For The Glaze
 1 tsp Sesame Oil
 ½ tsp Salt
For The Rice
 ¾ cup Rice
 Chicken FatFrom cleaning and preparing the chicken
 1 Garlic Clove(minced)
 ½ inch Ginger(minced)
 1 Shallot(minced)
 1 ½ tsp Soy Sauce
 1 ½ tsp Sesame Oil
 1 Pandan / Screwpine Leaves
 1 ⅓ cups Chicken Broth(from cooking the poached chicken)
For The Sweet Soy Sauce
 1 tsp Sugar
 1 tsp Warm Water
 1 tsp Soy Sauce
 1 tsp Rice Vinegar
 1 tsp Sesame Oil
 2 tsp Chicken Broth(from cooking the chicken)
For The Chilli Garlic Sauce
 4 Red bird's eye chilli pepper
 5 Garlic Cloves
 2 Inch Ginger
 2 tsp Rice Vinegar
 ½ tsp Salt
 ½ tsp Sugar
 2 tsp Chicken Broth(from cooking the chicken)
To Serve
 1 Green OnionSliced
 1 Cilantro
 1 Cucumber

Directions

To Cook The Chicken And Create The Broth
1

Rinse the clean the chicken pieces well. Remove any excess fat from the chicken and set it aside.
Lightly rub the chicken skin and flesh with a coarse sea salt. Keep rubbing until all the loose skin is removed and the chicken skin shines. Then rinse the chicken under running water to remove excess salt. Pat dry.

Chicken Pieces - Hainanese Chicken Rice

2

Fill a large saucepan or stockpot with water and add the chicken. Ensure there is enough water to cover the chicken. Add the green onions and ginger and bring to the boil. Once the water boils, turn the chicken over. Cover the pot and let the chicken and broth simmer for approximately 15 minutes.

Chicken Pieces - Hainanese Chicken Rice

3

After 15 minutes prepare a large bowl of ice water. Remove the chicken from the saucepan or stockpot. Leave the broth gently simmering.
Place the chicken into the ice bath. Leave for 20 seconds, remove and prepare the glaze by mixing the sesame oil and salt.
Brush the glaze onto the skin of the chicken.
Continue simmering the broth for 40 minutes. The more you simmer the more tasty!
Add salt and pepper, if required.

Poach the chicken

To Cook The Rice
4

Wash rice and place a saucepan over a medium heat. Add the chicken fat that you had kept aside. Render the fat until the oils are released and the solids start to turn brown and crispy. Remove the solids from the rendered chicken fat before they burn. Add the minced garlic, ginger and shallot to the chicken oils. Sauté in the chicken fat until fragrant. Add the washed rice and sauté for about a minute.

wash the rice

5

Add soy sauce, sesame oil and pandan to the rice. Mix well.
Pour the broth into the rice. Stir to mix and leave to cook over high heat.
Once the rice mixture boils, reduce the heat and simmer with the saucepan covered until cooked. Approximately 10 minutes.

Pandan leaves

To Make The Sweet Soy Sauce
6

Dissolve sugar in warm water. Then, add the remaining ingredients, mix well and your sauce is ready.

Sweet Soy Sauce

To Make The Chilli Garlic Sauce
7

Deseed the red chillis. Add the chilli peppers, garlic cloves, ginger and vinegar to a blender and grind until smooth. Add salt and sugar to taste. Add some of the cooled chicken broth to the sauce to gain your preferred consistency (I use 2 teaspoons)

Chilli Garlic Sauce

Serving
8

On a plate add a serving of rice. Cut the poached chicken into thin long slices and place on top of rice.
Pour some of the sweet soy sauce over the chicken.
Warm the broth, add to small soup bowls and garnish with chopped green onions and cilantro leaves.
Serve your Hainanese Chicken Rice at room temperature, with warm soup, cucumber slices, chilli garlic sauce and add a dipping bowl of sweet soy sauce on the side.

Hainanese Chicken Rice Serving

Hainanese Chicken Rice

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