Hainanese Chicken Rice

This dish frequents our meal plan fortnightly. It's wholesome and so comforting. My husband grew up eating this dish and he and my best friend introduced it to me all those years ago. There are so many versions, but for me it's the fragrant garlic and ginger rice that really makes this meal special. It's a fantastic one for the whole family and so much easier to make than what it looks.
hainanese chicken rice
Ingredients

Chicken and broth

  • Whole chicken (1.1-1.8kg, anything larger – increase cook time by 20 mins)
  • 2 spring onions, whole, tops removed
  • 2 chicken stock cubes
  • 1 tsp grated ginger (I freeze whole ginger and grate on demand)
  • 2 large garlic cloves
  • 1/4 cup shaoxing wine (chinese cooking wine)
  • 1/4 green cabbage roughly sliced
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp tamari (or light soy sauce)

Rice 

  • 1 cup jasmine rice
  • 2 garlic cloves finely chopped
  • 1 tsp ginger (I freeze whole ginger and grate on demand)
  • 1 chicken stock cube (or 1.5 cups of chicken broth)
  • 1 tbsp canola oil (or any low flavour oil, not olive oil)

Shallot sauce

  • 4 spring onions finely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp grated ginger (I freeze whole ginger and grate on demand)
  • 4 tbsp canola oil (or any low flavour oil, not olive oil)

Chilli sauce

  • 4 birds eye chilli’s
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 tbsp canola oil
  • 1 tsp rice wine vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp white sugar
  • 1 tbsp chicken poaching liquid
    OR
  • 1 tbsp store bought sambal oelek chilli paste mixed with 1 tbsp chicken poaching liquid

Kecap Manis

  • 1/2 cup tamari (or light soy sauce)
  • 1/2 cup caster sugar
    OR
  • 1/2 cup store bought kecap manis

To serve

  • 2 tbsp sesame oil to drizzle on soup (optional)
  • 2 tbsp tamari (or light soy sauce) to drizzle on soup (optional)
  • 1/4 cup kecap manis
  • 2 cucumbers roughly chopped
  • 1/2 bunch coriander, leaves picked
Method

Chicken and broth

  1. Rinse chicken (this creates a clearer broth). Place in a large pot and cover with approximately 2 litres of water, so that the chicken is fully submerged.
  2. Add the whole spring onions (bend them or tear them if you need to fit them in the pot), chicken stock cubes, grated ginger, garlic cloves and shaoxing wine.
  3. Turn on high heat, once the soup comes to boil, reduce to low heat and place lid on, slightly ajar.
  4. Simmer for 1-1.15 hours or until the chicken is falling off the bone.
  5. Remove the chicken from the broth and set aside in a small bowl. Drizzle with 1 tsp each of sesame oil and tamari (or light soy sauce if using). Cover with foil to keep warm. Allow to rest at least 10 minutes before eating.
  6. Add cabbage to the pot, cook for 5-8 minutes until soft.

Rice

  1. In a large skillet, sauté the garlic, ginger and canola oil on a medium heat for 30 seconds or until fragrant and soft. Add the rice, stirring for 1 minute.
  2. Pour contents into a rice cooker – Lots of recipes call for the stovetop absorption method but I find this fool proof and easy (see note 1 for stovetop absorption method).
  3. Add 1.5 cups of water and the chicken stock cube (or 1.5 cups of chicken broth if using). Cook as per rice cooker instructions.

Shallot sauce

  1. Combine chopped shallots, canola oil, ginger and salt in a small bowl. Allow to sit at room temperature for at least 10 minutes. The shallots will start to breakdown and release their flavour creating a delicious accompaniment.

Chilli sauce

  1. In a food processor, blend the chilli, garlic, canola oil, rice wine vinegar, salt, sugar and chicken broth until smooth.

Kecap manis

  • Add tamari (or light soy sauce if using) to a small pot along with sugar. Turn heat on medium and bring to a gentle simmer.
  • Simmer 2 mins until the sugar dissolves and the sauce begins to thicken, the sauce will also thicken as it cools.
  • Store refrigerated for 2-3 weeks in an air-tight jar.

To serve

  • Cut chicken into quarters, serve alongside rice, cucumbers, coriander, chilli sauce and shallot sauce. Drizzle chicken and rice with kecap manis.
  • Serve soup along side individually and season to taste with remaining sesame oil and tamari (or light soy sauce if using).

Note 1: Cooking rice using the absorption method.

  1. In a large skillet, sauté the garlic, ginger and canola oil on a medium heat for 30 seconds or until fragrant and soft. Add the rice, stirring for 1 minute.
  2. Add 1.5 cups of chicken broth or 1 chicken stock cube and 1.5 cups water. Bring to the boil and then immediately reduce to the lowest heat. Cover and cook 10 minutes or until the surface is dotted with pits and no liquid is visible.
  3. Cover and cook for another 10 minutes.
  4. Remove from heat, allow to rest 15 minutes before fluffing up with a fork and serving.

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Nicole The Simple Housewife Bio

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I’m Nic, wife and Mum to two little people. I’m based in Sydney, Australia. I created The Simple Housewife to inspire others to buy with intention, eat well with simple ingredients, own less and live more.

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