Chicken Rice Hainan-style


Chicken Rice Hainan-style is one of my ‘from home’ comfort foods – I remember having this occasionally at the coffee-house of Holiday Villa in Subang growing up. The flavours of ginger and soy sauce shine through in this simply cooked dish, and I love that it is a hearty and filling dish that can be eaten all year-round. The soup makes it a warming dish for the winter, and the simple and light flavours make it suitable to be eaten during the summer too.

I have made this dish several times since I have started this blog, but I have never documented it properly. It’s my husband’s birthday today, so I made this dish for him and took a lot of pictures!

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Ingredients: (serves 4)


  • 1 whole chicken, about 1.5 – 2kg in size
  • 1 -2 tbsps of kosher salt
  • 75g of ginger, sliced
  • 4-5 medium-sized garlic cloves, lightly crushed
  • 1 stalk of spring onion, cut into 2
  • 1 tbsp of dark soy sauce
  • 1 tsp of light soy sauce
  • water


  • 2 cups of Jasmine Rice, rinsed clean
  • 2-3 tbsps of olive oil
  • a thumb-sized piece of ginger, sliced into 2
  • 1 clove of garlic, lightly crushed


  • a thumb-sized piece of ginger, grated fine
  • 2 stalks of spring onion, sliced thin (save a handful for garnish)
  • 1 tsp of kosher salt
  • 1 tsp of olive oil
  • chilli sauce (homemade or store-bought)
  • 1 tsp of good toasted sesame oil
  • 4 tbsps of dark soy sauce
  • 2 tbsps of light soy sauce




  1. Prepare the chicken by rubbing kosher salt all over the outside of the chicken. This is a trick that I learnt from a good friend – by scrubbing the chicken skin with kosher salt, not only do you slightly season the meat, but you also exfoliate the skin off anything that stays on the skin like tiny leftover feathers. Rinse off the salt, and set aside.hainanchickenrice03
  2. In the cavity of the chicken, add the ginger, garlic and spring onions.
  3. Place the chicken in a big pot, and cover with water until the chicken is totally submerged.
  4. Bring to a rapid boil, and once the liquid has started bubbling, you can lower the heat and skim the scum that appears at the top of the stock.
  5. Season with the soy sauces.
  6. Cover, and on low heat, let the stock simmer gently for 35-40 minutes.
  7. Check with a sharp edge of the knife at the thickest part of the chicken at the thigh (by the bone) and if the juices run clear, means it is fully cooked.
  8. Remove the chicken from the stock, and set aside to rest, covered so it’ll keep warm. Remove the chunks of ginger, garlic and spring onions, and discard.
  9. Sieve the stock to remove any impurities, and set aside.


  1. In a different pot, heat up the olive oil on medium low heat.
  2. Lightly sauté the pieces of ginger and garlic for a minute.
  3. Add the rice and coat the grains with the olive oil thoroughly.
  4. Add 3 1/2 to 4 cups of the stock from above. (1 1/2 to 2 cups of liquid to every cup of rice)
  5. Cook on medium high heat, until you see the tell-tale craters at the top the rice mixture.hainanchickenrice04
  6. Turn off the heat, and cover. Let the rice steam for the next 10-15 minutes.
  7. After 20 minutes, uncover and fluff rice with a fork. Remove and discard the chunks of ginger and garlic. Set aside.


  1. Have 3 bowls ready.
  2. In the first bowl, mix the spring onions, salt and olive together. Set aside.
  3. In the second bowl, mix 2-3 tbsps of chilli sauce with 1 tbsp of the soup stock, and a small pinch of the grated ginger.
  4. In the third bowl, mix the soy sauces together, with the sesame oil and 1 tbsp of the soup stock. Set aside a few tbsps of the mixture that will be used to garnish the chicken. Place the grated ginger in the center of the condiment bowl. hainanchickenrice05

To serve:

  1. Carve the chicken breast, and slice it into pieces with the skin on. Carve the rest of the chicken (thighs, drumsticks and wings) and serve on a platter. Season and garnish with the soy sauce mix that you have set aside from the condiments, and the spring onions.
  2. Serve some of the soup stock in a bowl.
  3. Put some rice in a medium-sized soup bowl, and press down to mould it. Turn it over onto a platter, and garnish with some spring onions and soy sauce.
  4. Serve the condiments by the side of the soup, chicken and rice.hainanchickenrice06
  5. Additionally, you can serve with a side of sliced cucumbers. (not in pictures)
  6. Enjoy!



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