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Hainanese Chicken Rice

A delicious and comforting dish made with poached whole chicken in a ginger and scallion broth, and the chicken rice is the best part. It's stir-fried with ginger, garlic, chicken fat, and broth before it's cooked. So, so good.
Course Main Course
Cuisine Asian, Chinese
Keyword Chicken Recipes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings 4 people


For the Hainanese Chicken

  • 3 lb whole chicken, giblets removed
  • 1/4 cup kosher salt
  • 1 knob ginger (3-4 inches), unpeeled and sliced
  • 3 scallions, left whole
  • water to cover the chicken
  • 1 tbsp mirin
  • 1 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil (for coating the chicken afterwards)

For the Chicken Rice

  • 2 tbsp sesame oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp ginger, peeled and minced
  • excess chicken fat and skin, chopped
  • 2 cups Jasmine rice, rinsed and drained
  • 2 cups chicken poaching broth

For the Ginger Garlic Sauce

  • 2 tbsp fresh ginger, grated
  • 2 tbsp garlic, minced
  • pinch of salt, to taste
  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tbsp rice vinegar

For the Chili Sauce

  • 4 tbsp Sriracha sauce
  • 1 tbsp garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp ginger, peeled and minced
  • 1 tbsp lime juice, freshly squeezed
  • 2 tbsp chicken poaching broth
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce

For the Soy Dipping Sauce

  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp ginger, minced
  • 1 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 2 tbsp dark sweet soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp chicken poaching broth

For the Chicken Gravy

  • 1 tbsp oil for frying
  • Giblets (minced) and neck from the chicken
  • 1 chicken bouillon cube
  • 2 cups chicken poaching broth
  • 1 tbsp flour (mixed with 1 tbsp water)


Cook the Chicken

  • Wash and dry the chicken with paper towels. Using kitchen shears or a knife, cut off any dangling skin or pieces of fat, especially around the neck area. (Save these for the rice.)
    Rub the chicken all over with salt inside and outside. Use your hands and really rub the salt on the chicken skin. This helps give it a glossy sheen during cooking.
    Stuff the chicken cavity with the ginger slices and the scallions.
  • Put the chicken in a large stock pot and cover completely with water. Add the mirin and rice wine vinegar. Bring the pot to a boil over medium-high heat. Skim off any scum that rises to the surface.
    Once the water is boiling, reduce the heat to low and simmer with the lid on for 45 minutes, or until a meat thermometer reaches 165 degrees F.
  • Remove the chicken from the pot (be careful - the meat will be tender), and immediately transfer to an ice bath for 5 minutes.
  • Transfer the cooled chicken to a cutting board. Dry the skin with paper towels and rub the skin with sesame oil.
    Carve when you're ready to serve.
    Easy Hainanese Chicken Rice Recipe

Making the Chicken Rice

  • In a medium skillet, heat the sesame oil over medium-low heat. Add the minced garlic, ginger, and chicken fat. Saute for 3-4 minutes, or until the chicken fat gets nicely browned.
    Add the rice and stir-fry for 2 minutes.
  • Place the stir-fried rice in the rice cooker with 2 cups of the chicken poaching broth. Follow the rice cooker's directions and cook the rice normally.
  • While the rice is cooking, make your sauces.

For the Ginger Garlic Sauce

  • In a bowl, combine all the sauce ingredients (grated ginger, minced garlic, pinch of salt, oil, and rice vinegar.) Stir together until well mixed.
    For a more fragrant sauce, you can fry the ginger and garlic in the oil for 1 minute, or until it releases the aroma.

For the Chili Sauce

  • Combine all the ingredients in a small bowl (Sriracha sauce, fish sauce, lime juice, chicken poaching broth, sugar, garlic, and ginger.)
    Taste and adjust the seasonings to your liking.
    Add more Sriracha if you desire it more heat. (You can also add minced fresh chili peppers).

For the Soy Dipping Sauce

  • Heat the sesame oil in a small frying pan. Add the garlic and ginger and stir-fry until fragrant. Turn off the heat and add the other ingredients (oyster sauce, dark sweet soy sauce, soy sauce, chicken poaching broth). Mix well to combine.

For Chicken Gravy (the American "sauce")

  • For the Americans in your family, this is a great sauce to serve.
    Heat oil in a sauce pan over medium-heat. Fry the giblets and the neck bone for 2-3 minutes, or until they are nicely browned. Add the bouillon cube and chicken poaching broth and cook for 4-5 minutes. Bring it to a nice rolling boil.
    Whisk in the flour (mixed with water) until the gravy is thickened. Taste.
    (Add more pouching broth if the gravy is too salty.)

Carve and Enjoy with All The Sauces!