Hainanese chicken rice

Tender juicy chicken, fragrant rice, that gorgeous ginger and garlic dip and the wholesome steamy chicken broth, Hainanese Chicken Rice is one of my ultimate comfort food cravings. Unfortunately it is only accessible in London at select Malaysian / Singaporean restaurants across town, Bugis St Kitchen and Ekachai being one of the few, and nowhere to be seen on a deliveroo or ubereats menu. So the other day, after a frenzied visit to Bugis St Kitchen (and paying £30 for two portions of Hainanese Chicken Rice), I decided to take matters into my own hands and try to make this little dish for myself. It was much easier than I thought and I have collated a few recipes together to create this easy to follow one that I used the other day! I hope you enjoy this dish as much as I do and happy cooking!

Cooking time: 1 hour
Serves 4

Shopping List:

  • 1 Whole Chicken or 3 Baby Cornish Hens
  • 5-6 knobs of Ginger
  • 1 large stalk of Spring Onion
  • 2 bulbs of garlic
  • Cucumber
  • Sesame Oil
  • Long Grain Rice
  • Oyster Sauce
  • Light Soy Sauce
  • Sambal
  • Siracha
  • Ice

    Now for amounts:
    (ref for total amount of ginger and garlic)
    – 4 tablespoon diced Ginger (total amount, see below for what it’s used for)
    – 4-8 slices of Ginger
    – 4 tablespoon diced Garlic (total amount, see below for what it’s used for)
    – Salt
    – 1 Whole Chicken (find one with fatty yellow skin) or in our case as we live in London, we used 3 baby Cornish Hens from H Mart as they have the fatty yellow skin
    – 8 slices for Whole Chicken or 4 slices of Ginger per Cornish Hen
    – 1 whole stalk of long Spring Onion or 1 stalk split three ways for Cornish Hen
    – Sesame Oil to garnish
    – Ice and Water for your Ice Bath
    – 4 tablespoon Sesame Oil
    – 2 tablespoon diced Ginger
    – 2 tablespoon diced Garlic
    – salt to taste
    – 2 cups Long Grain Rice (I use Royal Umbrella Thai Jasmine Rice)
    – 2 cups Chicken Broth (from cooking the Chicken)
    Garlic & Ginger Sauce
    – 1 tablespoon diced Garlic
    – 1 tablespoon diced Ginger
    – salt to taste
    – 1 tablespoon Sesame Oil
    – 1 tablespoon Chicken Broth
    Spicy Chilli Sauce
    – 1 tablespoon diced Garlic
    – 1 tablespoon diced Ginger
    – 2 tablespoon Siracha
    – 2 tablespoon Sambal
    – 1 tablespoon Chicken Broth (from cooking the Chicken)
    Soy Oyster Sauce
    – 2 tablespoon reserved garlic and ginger mixture
    – 1 tablespoon Oyster Sauce
    – 1 tablespoon Light Soy Sauce
    – 1 tablespoon Chicken Broth (from cooking the Chicken)
    – 4 slices of Cucumber per plate


1. First slice off the skin and chop 4-8 slices of Ginger and tail the Spring Onion. Next we salt the Chicken and give it a good rub and exfoliate before rinsing under water and drain.

2. Now trim some skin and fat off and put to the side, we will use this to flavour our Garlic and Ginger and Rice. Salt the Chicken again and stuff the Ginger and Spring Onion that you prepped into its bum.

3. Place Chicken into a large pot, fill the pot with cold water until it covers the top of the Chicken, season with a bit more Salt and bring to a boil. Once boiled, bring down to a simmer and cook for 30 mins.

4. Now dice all your Garlic and Ginger. You should have approx four tablespoons of each. Set aside half (two tablespoons) of the fresh Ginger and Garlic for the sauces.

5. Heat up a large pan and pour in your sesame oil, once warm, toss in your Chicken skin and fat and allow to sizzle for a few minutes. Now toss in your Garlic and Ginger and allow to simmer. Once fragrant, take out 2 tablespoons of the garlic and ginger mixture and save it for your sauce. Now toss in your Rice directly into the pan and stir in all the flavours.

6. `By now, the Chicken Broth should be nearly done. Transfer your Rice to your rice cooker and top with two cups of your Chicken Broth, set to cook. If you don’t have a rice cooker, you can easily leave the Rice in the pan and pour in two cups of broth there instead and cover with a lid.

7. Now let’s make our sauces! We will start with the Ginger and Garlic sauce, mix one tablespoon of Ginger and one tablespoon of Garlic with one tablespoon of `Sesame Oil. Top with one tablespoon of Chicken Broth and stir.

8. For the Chilli Sauce, mix one tablespoon of Ginger and one tablespoon of Garlic (this should be the last of your fresh Ginger and Garlic) with two tablespoons of Siracha and Sambal. Top with one tablespoon of Chicken Broth.

9. For the Soy Oyster Sauce, mix your reserved Garlic and Ginger mixture with one tablespoon of Oyster Sauce and one tablespoon of Light Soy Sauce. Top with one tablespoon of Chicken Broth.

10. By now the Chicken should be finished, prepare an Ice Bath to dip your chicken into to stop it from overcooking and to keep it bouncy, juicy and tender. Once chilled, chop your Chicken into chunks and brush the top of the skin with Sesame Oil.

11. Chop your Cucumber and garnish your plate. Slide on your chicken and rice and set out all three of your sauces on the table. Finish with a bowl of steamy warm Chicken Broth and you have yourself a beautiful meal. Enjoy!

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