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If you ask any foodie in Malaysia about the top pick of their favourite food, they will tell you that Hainanese chicken rice is one of them. There is no doubt about that. It is enjoyed by many, and it awakens everyone’s sense of taste! Hainanese chicken rice is a recipe of poached chicken and seasoned rice, served with chilli sauce and usually comes with cucumber garnishes. What do people love best about it? Flavourful rice, magical sauce, the rich flavour of the soup, you just can’t tell.

You’ll end up finishing every last grain of rice to every drop of the soup. To some people, an appetising Hainanese chicken rice depends on the rice, others might say it depends on the sauce and the chicken. Well, that’s the fun part. Everybody gets to be the judge! Fun fact: every food tastes delicious as it is for those who truly enjoy it.

Hainanese chicken rice recipe

Although Hainanese chicken rice originates from Hainan province in southern China, it holds a special spot particularly in the hearts of the Malaysian and even Singaporean! There is no escaping the desire to savour the delicious Hainanese chicken rice.

Rather than fighting it, embrace it and give a Hainanese twist with the ever best chicken rice. It makes a great meal and perfect for a family meal! Here’s a recipe for you to try to cook at home. No more ordering from restaurants!

Hainanese Chicken Rice RecipeShop Now at Happyfresh


  • 1 chicken (preferably organic)
  • 1 tbsp salt (plus more, for exfoliating)
  • 4 inch section of fresh ginger (peeled and cut into 1/4” slices)
  • 2 stalks green onion cut into 1″ sections (both green and white parts)
  • 1 tbsp Asian sesame oil
  • 2 tbsp cooking oil like canola, vegetable, peanut (alternatives)
  • 2 cloves garlic (finely minced)
  • 1 inch section of ginger finely minced (or grated on micro-plane grater)
  • 2 cups long-grain rice
  • 2 cups reserved chicken poaching broth
  • 1/2 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • 2 tbsp reserved chicken poaching broth
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 4 tbsp sriracha chilli sauce
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 inch section of ginger (peeled)
  • 4 tbsp cooking oil (canola, vegetable, grape seed)
  • 2 tbsp grated fresh ginger
  • 2 cloves garlic finely minced
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp rice or white vinegar
  • 1 bunch fresh cilantro
  • 2 cucumbers (thinly sliced or cut into bite-sized chunks)
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  1. Clean the chicken with a small handful of salt and rub the chicken all over, getting rid of any loose skin and dirt. Rinse the chicken well, inside and outside.
  2. Season the chicken generously with salt inside and outside. Stuff it with the ginger slices and the green onion.
  3. Place the chicken in a large stockpot and fill with cold water to cover by 1 inch.
  4. Bring the pot to a boil over high heat, then immediately turn the heat to low to keep a simmer.
  5. Cook for about 30 minutes (less if you’re using a smaller chicken).
  6. When the chicken is cooked through, transfer the chicken into a bath of ice water to cool and discard the ginger and green onion. (reserve the poaching broth for rice, sauce, and the accompanying soup).
  7. After cooling, pat the chicken dry with paper towels and rub the sesame oil all over the chicken.


  1. Clean the rice and let it soak for 10 minutes, then drain the rice.
  2. In a wok or pot, heat 2 tablespoons of cooking oil over medium-high heat.
  3. Add the ginger and the garlic and fry until fragrant.
  4. Add in the drained rice and stir to coat, cook for an additional minute. Then, add the sesame oil, mix well.
  5. Add 2 cups of your reserved poaching broth, add salt and bring to a boil.
  6. Immediately turn the heat down to low, cover the pot and cook for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let sit (with lid still on) for 5-10 minutes more.


  1. Remove the chicken from the ice bath and rub the outside of the chicken with the sesame oil.
  2. Carve the chicken for serving.

(Chili sauce):

  1. Blend chilli sauce ingredients in a blender until smooth and bright red.

(Ginger Garlic sauce):

  1. In a small saucepan, heat the cooking oil.
  2. Turn off heat when there are wisps of smoke.
  3. Immediately add garlic and ginger and let it sizzle for a few seconds. Once it settles, stir in salt and vinegar.


  1. Add in six or seven cups of the reserved poaching broth left over to serve as soup.
  2. Taste and season with salt as necessary.
  3. Serve the chicken rice with chili sauce, dark soy sauce, cucumber slices, and a bowl of hot broth garnished with cilantro or scallions.

delicious malaysian hainanese chicken rice recipe

Phew! Too much to take in? No worries, all the time and energy invested into making this Hainanese chicken rice will be so much worth it when you feast on it. Mind you, you might want to go for the second round!

First things first, why don’t you find all the ingredients on HappyFresh? You’ll definitely save time and energy on grocery shopping with us! Have a happy Ramadan this year with this Hainanese chicken rice recipe as you’ll crave for it the most during Ramadan!

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