Hainanese Chicken Rice

hainanese chicken rice

Hainanese Chicken Rice is a dish and consists of poached chicken accompanied by flavoured rice. Though first created in Hainan, China, this dish was adapted by locals in Singapore and is now Singapore’s national dish. In Singapore, it is often served with cucumber slices and light soy sauce.

If you ever get the chance to visit Singapore, I highly recommend Wee Nam Kee Chicken Rice Restaurant. It’s a restaurant located in the Novena area and they sell the best Chicken Rice I’ve ever tried. Their chicken is so tasty and tender, whilst their flavoured rice is just the perfect complement. It’s relatively cheap, especially if you buy it takeaway, as you don’t end up paying service charge or tax.

What ingredients I use:

After trying Hainanese chicken rice in Singapore, I really wanted to make this dish at home. The only ingredients I use for the poached chicken is a whole chicken, salt and boiling water. To make the rice, I use jasmine rice, garlic, ginger and the water used to boil the chicken. 

Alternative ingredients:

You don’t have to use chicken stock water to cook the rice. However, it adds to the flavour that the garlic and ginger creates.

Why I like this this Hainanese Chicken Rice recipe:

Hainanese Chicken rice is such a simple dish, yet so delicious. It’s very easy to make. Out of all the local specialities in Singapore, this dish has to be my favourite. When I was in Singapore, I would often buy this dish from the food court or a restaurant at a very good price. You can usually find a good Hainanese chicken rice for as low as 2 pounds. My absolute favourite place to eat Hainanese Chicken rice was at the Wee Nam Kee restaurant in Novena

What goes well with this dish:

In Singapore, Hainanese chicken rice is often accompanied by cucumber slices, chicken stock soup and various sauces, such as light soy sauce and chilli sauce. I like to eat my chicken rice with my spring onion and garlic dipping sauce. 

Hints and Tips:

  • If you want the skin to be tougher, take the chicken out of the boiled water after 2-3 minutes and cool it with cold water. Once cooled, put the chicken back into water and boil again.
  • If you don’t want the ginger in your rice, you can pick out the ginger pieces before you add the chicken water to the rice. However, it’s the ginger that gives the rice some flavour.

Similar Recipes:

Hainanese Chicken Rice

Recipe by YvonneCuisine: Hainanese/SingaporeanDifficulty: Easy


Prep time


Cooking time






  • 1 chicken

  • 5 tbsp salt

  • 5 medium-sized ginger slices

  • 2 garlic cloves

  • 3 tbsp sesame oil

  • 2 cups of rice

  • 1tsp oil


  • Poached chicken
  • Clean the chicken inside and out, including the cavity.
  • Massage the salt into the skin and leave it for 5 minutes before rinsing it off with cold water.
  • In a large pot, bring the water to boil before carefully adding the chicken. Place the lid on top and let the chicken simmer at medium heat for 30 minutes.
  • After 30 minutes, switch off the heat and leave the chicken in the water for a further 20 minutes. Don’t open the lid, as the chicken will cook in the residual heat.
  • Take the chicken out of the pot but keep the water (for the flavoured rice). You can test if it’s fully cooked by piecing the thickest part of the chicken, thigh or breast. The juice that comes out should be clear.
  • Cool the chicken with cold water for a couple minutes.
  • Pour the sesame oil onto the chicken and then debone, ready to serve.
  • Flavoured rice
  • Slice the ginger and finely chop the garlic.
  • Fry the ginger and garlic with oil in a non-stick pan. Add the uncooked rice.
  • Let this fry at medium heat for about 2 minutes.
  • Cook the rice mixture using either a saucepan or a rice cooker. With 2 cups of rice, you’ll need 3 cups of water. If you use a saucepan, cook the rice at medium heat until all the water is absorbed

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