Hainanese Chicken Rice (海南雞飯) – poached chicken with seasoned rice.
This is one of the most popular dish in Southeast Asia. It was created by immigrants from Hainan in southern China, and now it is most commonly seen throughout Southeast Asia, especially country like Malaysia, Singapores and Indonesia.
Growing up in Malaysia, Hainanese Chicken Rice was always the to-go lunch that my mother would buy for me after my school dismissal. I still remember the moment when I was eating chicken rice in the car or sometimes under a tree. I was sweaty, meanwhile I had to be very careful of holding it so that it won’t spilled. I was sweaty because it is always humid and hot in Malaysia. I had to be careful because in Malaysia, it is very common for the restaurant to wrap chicken rice in wax paper for to-go order. Then, we will just eat it out from that with a plastic spoon. After all the mess, I still had to rush to the tuition centers for additional “knowledge transfer”. This was a frequent occurrence till that I took this dish for granted, and even grumbled about it.
As you know, life/ human always works this way : ” You will not appreciate until it’s gone.” When I went abroad for my studies, whenever I was busy or tight in schedule, I wished that to have this simple, delicious yet very filling dish as my lunch or dinner. However, this dish is super rare in a Western country, especially I was in a small town, that located in the middle of no where but corn field!!
So, I decided to learn and simplify the cooking method of this dish, to
(i) solve my cravings
(ii) save my cooking time
(iii) fuel myself with good food in a busy day
I made this using instant pot, so it becomes a one pot meal for me. Another bonus for me, since I do not need to do dishes. Haha, typical college students: the fewer the dishes, the better the life will be.
Hainanese Chicken Rice Recipe
Yield: 3 to 4 people
Time : 15 minutes active time
- 3 cm thick ginger
- 1 bunch scallions
- 2 – 3 medium shallots
- 3 cloves of garlics
- 1lb Chicken (chicken thigh)
- 3 cup of uncooked rice
- Chicken stock
- Soy sauce, salt and pepper for seasoning
- Mince the garlic, ginger, scallion and shallots. Before mincing them, save 1/4 of the ginger, cut them into slices.
Note: You can blend them as well if you want to save some cutting effort.
- Give a few shallow cuts on the chicken.
- Preheat the wok/pan. Pour it some oil.
- Sauté the spices in (1) until fragrance, then add in the uncooked rice.
- Stir fry it until they mixed well.
- Put the rice into rice cooker. Fill with water, few pieces of gingers and scallions. Season with soy sauce, salt and pepper.
Note : if you want it to be more flavorful, you can use chicken stock instead.
- Lay the chicken on top and press the “white rice” button on the rice cooker.
- Once the rice cooker is done, take the chicken out and slice it.
- Serve the chicken with soy sauce and top with some chili sauce, of course, with a bowl of rice too!
Note: I personally recommend Thai chili sauce with some bird eye chili to pair with the dish. I love spicy food, so the more the merrier.