How to make Singapore Hainanese “Roasted” Chicken Rice

If you’re a fan of Asian cuisine, you’ve probably heard of chicken rice. One of the most popular variations of this dish is the Hainanese “roasted” chicken rice from Singapore. Known for its flavorful rice and tender chicken, this dish is a must-try for any food lover.

To make Singapore Hainanese “roasted” chicken rice, you’ll need a few key ingredients and some cooking techniques that will help you achieve the authentic flavors and textures of this dish. The main components of the dish are the chicken, the rice, and the sauces. The chicken is poached to ensure it remains tender and juicy, while the rice is cooked with chicken broth for added flavor. The sauces, which include chili sauce and ginger sauce, complement the chicken and rice perfectly.


  • 1 whole chicken
  • 2 cups jasmine rice
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons oyster sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 cucumber, sliced
  • Fresh cilantro, for garnish

Start by poaching the chicken in a pot of boiling water seasoned with ginger, garlic, and salt. Once the chicken is cooked through, transfer it to an ice bath to cool and then rub it with sesame oil, soy sauce, and oyster sauce. Prepare the rice by cooking it in chicken broth and adding sesame oil for extra flavor.

Once the chicken and rice are ready, serve them together with cucumber slices and a generous drizzle of the chili sauce and ginger sauce. Sprinkle some fresh cilantro on top for added freshness and enjoy this delicious Singapore Hainanese “roasted” chicken rice!

Step-by-Step Guide to Making Singapore Hainanese “Roasted” Chicken Rice

  1. Prepare the chicken: Start by cleaning and preparing the chicken. Rub the chicken with salt and let it sit for about 10 minutes. Then, rinse the chicken thoroughly to get rid of any impurities. Stuff the chicken cavity with ginger slices and spring onion.
  2. Poach the chicken: Fill a large pot with water and bring it to a boil. Gently lower the chicken into the boiling water, breast-side down. Let it simmer for about 45 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through. You can check the doneness by inserting a skewer into the thickest part of the chicken. If the juice runs clear, the chicken is cooked.
  3. Shock the chicken: Once the chicken is cooked, remove it from the pot and immediately plunge it into a large bowl filled with ice water. This helps to stop the cooking process and gives the chicken a firm and tender texture.
  4. Cook the rice: In the same pot of water used to poach the chicken, add in washed and drained rice, garlic, and pandan leaves. Bring it to a boil and then lower the heat to a simmer. Cook the rice until it is fluffy and fragrant.
  5. Prepare the sauce: While the rice is cooking, prepare the sauce by combining grated ginger, minced garlic, chicken broth, soy sauce, sesame oil, and salt in a bowl. Mix well to combine all the flavors.
  6. Serve the dish: Once the rice is ready, remove the chicken from the ice water and pat it dry with a paper towel. Cut the chicken into serving pieces. Serve the chicken on a plate, accompanied by a bowl of fragrant rice and a small dish of the sauce. Garnish with cucumber slices and cilantro.

Now, you can enjoy the authentic flavors of Singapore Hainanese “Roasted” Chicken Rice in the comfort of your own home. It’s a dish that is sure to impress your family and guests!

Gather the Ingredients

Gather the Ingredients

  • Chicken: You will need a whole chicken, approximately 3-4 pounds in size.
  • Salt: To season the chicken.
  • Peanut oil: For rubbing on the chicken skin.
  • Ginger: You will need about a thumb-sized piece of ginger, peeled and sliced.
  • Garlic: About 4 cloves, minced.
  • Chicken stock: To cook the rice.
  • Jasmine rice: Use about 2 cups of uncooked rice.
  • Sesame oil: To add flavor to the rice.
  • Soy sauce: For seasoning the rice and serving.
  • Cucumber and cilantro: For garnish.

Note: The quantities mentioned above are approximate and can be adjusted according to your taste preferences.

Prepare the Chicken

Prepare the Chicken

Here’s a step-by-step guide on preparing the chicken:

  1. Remove any excess fat and feathers from the chicken.
  2. Rinse the chicken under cold water, both inside and out, to remove any dirt or impurities.
  3. Pat the chicken dry with paper towels to remove excess moisture.
  4. Optional: Rub the chicken with a small amount of salt, both inside and out, to help remove any remaining odors.
  5. With the chicken breast-side up, gently massage the chicken to loosen the skin from the meat. Be careful not to tear the skin.
  6. Optional: Stuff the chicken cavity with aromatics such as garlic, ginger, and scallions to add flavor.
  7. Tie the chicken legs together using kitchen twine to help keep its shape during cooking.

Once the chicken is prepared, it’s ready to be cooked using the traditional Hainanese method, which involves poaching the chicken in a flavorful broth. This cooking method helps to achieve tender and succulent meat without drying it out.

How to Cook the Rice for Singapore Hainanese Chicken Rice

How to Cook the Rice for Singapore Hainanese Chicken Rice

  1. Wash the rice: Start by rinsing the rice several times in cold water until the water runs clear. This helps to remove any excess starch and impurities.
  2. Saute the rice: In a large pot, heat some oil and saute finely chopped garlic and ginger until fragrant. This step adds a delicious aroma to the rice.
  3. Measure the water: For each cup of rice, use one and a half cups of water. The ratio of rice to water is important for achieving the perfect texture.
  4. Cook the rice: Add the measured water to the pot with the sauteed garlic and ginger. Bring it to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and cover the pot. Let the rice simmer gently for about 15 minutes or until the water is absorbed and the rice is cooked.

After cooking, let the rice rest for about 10 minutes, covered, to allow it to fully absorb any remaining moisture and to achieve a fluffy texture. Fluff the rice with a fork before serving.

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