top of page

Hainanese Chicken Rice Recipe

✦ This is a classic Singapore recipe you'd definitely want to have under your belt!

This is a well-loved dish especially in Malaysia and Singapore. It is said to have originated from migrants from the island of Hainan, China who came to Southeast Asia in the early 20th century. It is a beautifully fragrant dish, and even the rice is itself a delight. Anyone who has had Hainanese Chicken Rice will remember how seductively tender the chicken pieces are, with just enough oil to keep everything moist and smooth but not overwhelming. All the components of this dish are equally important. You just can't serve Hainanese chicken with plain rice. You'd know something's missing! Or the dish without the tantalising sauces. Again, that's sacrilege!

Master this dish, and you'd have family and friends being extra nice to you in the hope you'd make it again! There are quite a lot of ingredients involved, so get that notepad ready. As they say with anything, practice makes perfect and if it feels like a lot when you have a first go, you'll get better with the second!


(Serves 6 )


  • 3 lb whole chicken (1.3 kg), giblets removed

  • ¼ cup kosher salt (60 g), divided

  • 4 inch pieces fresh ginger, peeled and cut into ¼-inch (6 mm) slices

  • 1 bunch fresh scallion

  • 1 gal cold water (3.7 L), plus more as needed

  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil


  • ¼ cup sesame oil (60 mL)

  • 2 tablespoons chicken fat, chopped

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 2 cups long grain rice (400 g), rinsed and drained

  • 2 cups reserved chicken poaching broth (480 mL)


  • 2 tablespoons sambal

  • 2 tablespoons sriracha

  • 2 teaspoons sugar

  • 1 tablespoon garlic, minced

  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced

  • 1 tablespoon lime juice

  • 2 tablespoons reserved chicken poaching broth


  • 2 tablespoons fresh ginger, grated

  • 2 tablespoons garlic, finely minced

  • kosher salt, to taste

  • 3 tablespoons peanut oil

  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar


  • reserved fried garlic and ginger

  • 1 tablespoon oyster sauce

  • 3 tablespoons dark sweet soy sauce

  • 1 tablespoon light soy sauce

  • 2 tablespoons reserved chicken poaching broth

  • 2 cucumbers, thinly sliced, for serving

  • 1 bunch fresh cilantro, for serving

Hainanese chicken rice recipe by Brilliant-Online
A favourite dish amongst Singaporeans and Malaysians


  1. To clean the chicken, rub all over with a handful of kosher salt, getting rid of any loose skin. Rinse the chicken well inside and out. Pat dry with paper towels.

  2. Remove any excess fat from the chicken and set aside for later.

  3. Season the chicken generously with salt. Stuff the chicken cavity with the ginger slices and scallions.

  4. Place the chicken in a large stock pot, cover with cold water by 1 inch (2 cm), and season with salt to taste.

  5. Bring to a boil over high heat, then immediately reduce the heat to low to maintain a simmer. Cover and cook for about 30 minutes, or until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165°F (75°C). Remove the pot from the heat.

  6. Remove the chicken from the pot, reserving the poaching liquid for later, and transfer to an ice bath for 5 minutes to stop the cooking process and to keep the chicken skin springy. Discard the ginger and green onion.

  7. After it’s cooled, pat the chicken dry with paper towels and rub all over with sesame oil. This will help prevent the chicken from drying out.

  8. In a large wok or skillet, heat ¼ cup (60 ml) of sesame oil over medium-high heat. Add 2 tablespoons of reserved chopped chicken fat, the garlic, ginger, and salt, and fry until aromatic, about 10 minutes.

  9. Reserve ¼ of the fried garlic mixture, then add the rice to the remaining fried garlic and stir to coat. Cook for 3 minutes.

  10. Transfer the rice to a rice cooker and add 2 cups (480 ml) of reserved poaching broth. Steam the rice for 60 minutes, or until tender.

  11. While the rice is cooking, carve the chicken for serving.

  12. Make the chili sauce: combine the sambal, Sriracha, sugar, garlic, ginger, lime juice, and chicken broth in a small bowl and stir to incorporate.

  13. Make the ginger garlic sauce: in a small bowl, combine the ginger, garlic, salt, peanut oil, and rice vinegar, and stir to incorporate.

  14. Make the soy sauce: in a small bowl, combine the reserved fried garlic and ginger with the oyster sauce, dark soy sauce, light soy sauce, and chicken broth, and stir to incorporate.

  15. Serve the sliced chicken with the rice, dipping sauces, sliced cucumbers, and fresh cilantro.

And now, sit back and enjoy! We love our Hainanese Chicken Rice, and if you know of places that make authentic Hainanese Chicken Rice, do share the information! Many of us are foodies at Brilliant-Online and always eager to go on a culinary adventure!



Advertise with Brilliant-Online

✦ Brilliant-Online is the only publication that offers a single interactive multichannel advertising package.

✦ The purpose of Brilliant-Online is to push for a better world in the digital era.

✦ Brilliant-Online is an empowering read for progressive individuals and dynamic businesses.

✦ For all enquiries about advertising with Brilliant-Online, please contact us here.


bottom of page