Hainanese Chicken RiceWhile the Hainanese Chicken is the national Singaporean dish, its roots came from China. The Hainan people began with this dish as the Wenchang Chicken, a dish made with fowl that has very little meat to it. When the Chinese immigrants from the Hainan province took this dish to Singapore, the locals made it their own and created the dish as we know it today.

A very popular dish in Singapore as well as the rest of the world, the Singaporean Hainanese Chicken is a very fragrant, delectable dish that  serves not only to satiate your appetite, but your taste buds as well. Looking at the finished product you might think that there isn’t much to it due to its simplicity. However, a lot of work and ingredients are invested to make the dish utterly to die for. Now, you can make your own version of this dish at home, since we all can’t fly to Singapore at the drop of a hat!


Serves 4

  • 1 whole fresh chicken (about 1.5kg), at
  • room temperature
  • 7 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 7 slices ginger, unpeeled
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp light soy sauce
  • Coriander, sliced cucumbers and spring
  • onions for garnishing
  • 675g jasmine rice
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt


  • 2 tbsp grated ginger
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 6 red birds-eye chillies
  • 1 tsp caster sugar
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • Spring onion and ginger oil
  • 4 spring onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 tbsp grated ginger
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 3 tbsp peanut oil


  • 2 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil


Wash the chicken really well. Trim off all visible fat and roughly chop it. Put in a small saucepan and cook over low heat for1 hour until the liquid fat renders. Pour into a bowl and set aside.

Put 5 whole garlic cloves and 5 ginger slices into the chicken cavity. Place it breastside down into a large pot, cover with water and simmer for 20 minutes. Turn off the heat, cover the pot and leave the chicken for 30 minutes. Take out the chicken and set aside the poaching stock. Brush the chicken skin with sesame oil and wrap the whole chicken with plastic wrap.

In a large saucepan heat 1 tbsp of chicken fat over medium heat and stir-fry the 2 slices of ginger and chopped garlic. Add the jasmine rice and toss until the grains are well coated with oil and turning opaque. Add 1.25 liters of the reserved chicken stock, soy sauce and salt, transfer everything into a rice cooker and cook the rice.

Make the chilli sauce by combining all the ingredients except the lemon juice into a mortar and pound until they turn into a paste. Add 1 to 2 tbsp of hot chicken stock and the lemon juice and pound again to mix. Put the sauce aside.

Prepare the ginger and spring onion oil by lightly pounding the dry ingredients in a heat-proof mortar. Heat the peanut oil in a small pan until it is smoking and pour over the rest of the ingredients. Combine everything when the sizzling stops. Leave the mixture to infuse.



About The Author

Leave a Reply