Hainanese Chicken Rice

by Zarina
Hainanese Chicken Rice

My love for this dish goes way back, a family favourite since I can remember… my own kids now crave it too… the weather has turned… we all feel like some comfort food.  

The whole chicken is submerged and poached in a pot of salted water, and this poaching liquid is then used to make a soup broth and cook the rice.  The chicken is removed, and sesame oil is added, then it is deboned with precision to be presented on a platter.  

The broth continues to boil with all the chicken goodness and the addition of spring onions, rice wine, and Chinese winter melon, a soft and tender squash-like vegetable that absorbs all the delicious flavours when cooked.  The jasmine rice is cooked in the poaching liquid, too, and lots of ginger, garlic, and sesame oil to give it a next-level flavour.

This combination of cold poached chicken, ginger garlic rice, steaming hot winter melon soup, along with the selection of 3 sauces, ginger and spring onion, chilli sauce, and sweet soya, is just ridiculously delicious.  This is one you need to try!

Hainanese Chicken Rice

Hainanese Chicken Rice

Serves: 6 Prep Time: Cooking Time:
Nutrition facts: 200 calories 20 grams fat
Rating: 5.0/5
( 1 voted )


  • SOUP
  • 1 Whole chicken washed, plunged into the stockpot of cold water
  • 1 tbsp Salt
  • 4 Spring onions cut thin rounds
  • ½ Winter Melon
  • Splash of rice wine
  • RICE
  • 500g Jasmine rice
  • 1 tbsp Ginger grated
  • 1 tbsp Garlic minced
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Sesame oil
  • Pinch of Sugar
  • 2 large pieces Ginger
  • 1 tbsp Dark soya
  • 1 tbsp Light soya
  • 1 tbsp Sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp Kicap Manis
  • 1½ tsps Sugar
  • 120ml Broth from chicken stock
  • 30g Ginger grated
  • 3 tbsps Broth from chicken stock
  • 1 tsp Sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp Groundnut oil
  • Salt
  • Chilli sauce
  • Cucumber garnish


  1. Submerge the whole chicken in a pot of cold water with salt. Bring to a boil, lower heat to a simmer, and cook for 10 minutes.
  2. Remove pot from the heat, leave the chicken to sit in the water, and cook itself.
  3. When cool, remove the chicken, place it on a plate, top with lots of sesame oil, and cover with cling film, set aside.
  4. Put the chicken stock back onto the heat and bring back to a boil
  5. Add cubed winter melon or cabbage, salt, rice wine, and spring onions to soup cook about 45 minutes – 1 hour until melon is soft.  Taste, add more salt to your liking
  6. Cook the rice with broth from the soup, ginger, garlic, salt, sesame oil, and sugar.  Add 2 large whole pieces of unpeeled ginger on top but bruise it first by bashing it with a rolling pin
  7. Mix dark sauce ingredients in a bowl, set aside 
  8. Mix ginger sauce ingredients in a bowl, set aside
  9. Peel cucumber in lines, slice on the diagonal and arrange around the serving plate for this chicken
  10. Debone the chicken carefully. You can google how to do this by typing in ‘how to de-bone a chicken Chinese style.’
  11. Arrange the chicken on a platter, add a few spoons of the dark sauce and a touch of the soup on top
  12. Serve room temperature poached chicken with boiling soup, steaming white rice, and all 3 sauces.
Did You Make This Recipe?
Would love to hear your feedback! If you make this recipe, please tag me on Instagram @zarskitchen.

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