Hainanese Chicken Rice

Hainanese Chicken Rice

Guess who’s back? Back again? That’s right, I’m back from the dead (as some may say) and here with another post! I do apologise for not posting over the past few weeks. I just finished my first semester of my 4th year and it feels so good to have completed everything! I finished on Tuesday morning and practically celebrated the whole day – from a barbecue, to 22 Jump Street, and finally ending the night/early the next morning at a bar/club. I didn’t really get back into my cooking until this morning after having gone grocery shopping to fill up my empty fridge. It felt so good to see a shelf full of fresh fruit and vegetables, and meat.

Today’s recipe is something close to my heart, or should I say tummy? I remember growing up with Thien Thien Chicken Rice just a couple of blocks away from where I spent my early 7 years of life, and still continued to go back and forth there up until today. $3.20 chicken rice? Don’t mind if I do! Hainanese Chicken Rice here in Sydney is almost 3x (sometimes even 4x) more expensive and honestly not as delicious as chicken rice back home – but I can’t do anything about it. When I crave it, I just have to have it. I recently had some at Kreta Ayer in Kingsford with some friends and we were a bit disappointed. The chicken was well cooked, rice was mediocre, and the sauces, disappointed. Chilli sauce from a bottle? No spring onion and ginger oil? No soup to go with the dish? This must be a joke.

Hainanese Chicken Rice

After that disappointment, my friend and fellow housemate, Marissa, and I decided that when we were both free from assignments and exams, that we would make our very own Hainanese Chicken Rice, and that’s exactly what we did for today. I was in charge of cooking the chicken and rice, while Marissa took care of the sauces and carving of the chicken.

Check out the original recipes that we followed:

Hainanese Chicken Rice



For the chicken

  • 1 whole chicken (ours was 1.6kg)
  • 5-6 thick slices of ginger
  • 3 stalks of spring onion, cut into 1″ sections (both green and white parts)
  • 1 pandan leaf, washed and halved
  • 2 tsp chicken stock powder
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • Salt for cleaning and seasoning the chicken

For the rice

  • 3 cups uncooked long-grain rice, washed and drained
  • 3 cups reserved chicken poaching broth
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1 pandan leaf, washed and halved
  • 2 tsp grated ginger
  • 1/2 tsp sesame oil

For the chilli sauce

  • 6 red birds-eye chillies
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 2 tbsp reserved chicken poaching broth
  • 2 tbsp grated ginger
  • 1 tsp white sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp lemon juice

For the spring onion and ginger oil

  • 4 stalks spring onion, sliced thinly
  • 3 tbsp peanut oil
  • 2 tbsp grated ginger
  • 1/2 tsp salt

For the dressing and garnishes

  • 1 tomato, sliced
  • 1 lebanese cucumber, peeled and sliced
  • Sliced spring onions
  • 2 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp chicken poaching broth
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil

Hainanese Chicken Rice: Chilli Sauce

Hainanese Chicken Rice: Spring Onion and Ginger Oil


  1. Rub a small handful of salt all over the chicken, getting rid of any loose skin and dirt. Rinse chicken well, inside and outside, and season with a generous amount of salt. Stuff the chicken with the ginger slices, green onions and pandas leaves. Place the chicken in a large stockpot and fill with cold water to cover the chicken. Bring the pot to a boil over high heat, then immediately turn the heat to low to keep it to a simmer. Cook for about 30 minutes more (less if you’re using a smaller chicken).
  2. When the chicken is cooked through, turn the heat off and remove the pot from the burner. Immediately lift and transfer the chicken into a bath of ice water to cool. Discard the stuffing. The quick cooling will stop the cooking process, keeping the meat soft and tender, and giving the skin a lovely firm texture. The quality of the chicken skin is important in this dish! It’s all about the skin texture. DO NOT DISCARD THE CHICKEN POACHING BROTH.
  3. While the chicken is cooking, prepare the sauces and dressing. For the chilli sauce, combine chillies, ginger, garlic, sugar and salt in a mortar and pound to a paste. Add the lemon juice and chicken poaching broth, and pound again. Set aside.
  4. For the spring onion and ginger oil, add the spring onions, ginger and salt to a heatproof mortar and pound lightly with the pestle. Heat the oil in a small frying pan until smoking and pour onto the mixture. Once the sizzling stops, combine lightly with the pestle and leave to infuse for a few minutes.
  5. For the dressing, mix the sesame oil and soy sauce with the chicken poaching broth.
  6. For the rice, heat cooking oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat. When hot, add the ginger and the garlic and fry until your kitchen smells like heaven. Be careful not to burn the aromatics! Add in your drained rice and pandan leaves, and stir to coat, cook for 2 minutes. Add the sesame oil, mix well. Add the reserved poaching broth and bring to a boil. Immediately turn the heat down to low, cover the pot and cook for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let sit (with lid still on) for 5-10 minutes more.
  7. While the rice is cooking, remove the chicken from the ice bath and carve to serve.
  8. If you have any remaining chicken stock after that, you can season it and add a few onion slices. This can be served as a light soup to accompany the meal. We added some slices of hairy melon to our soup.

Hainanese Chicken Rice


– Ally xx



One thought on “Hainanese Chicken Rice

  1. […] Okay before I answer this question, I have a little disclaimer for everyone. Since the later part of 2019, I’ve unofficially labelled my Instagram page as “Pescatarian, Lacto-Ovo Vegetarian, and Vegan.” Despite that, I still eat chicken regularly, but I don’t share any more chicken recipes on my blog to keep in line with that. So, one of the dishes that I repetitively cook regularly, that you can also find on my blog is Hainanese Chicken Rice. […]

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