Learn how to make authentic Hainanese Chicken Rice recipe:

  • How to choose the right chicken for your Hainanese Chicken Rice
  • Why you need to exfoliate the chicken
  • How to cook the perfect chicken that is juicy, moist & tender
  • Cook Hainanese rice that’s flavorful & fluffy
  • Prepare a spicy, savory chili dipping sauce and a gingery-garlic sauce


How to cook Hainanese Chicken Rice

This is my family recipe for Hainanese Chicken Rice and I’ll show you step by step instructions. It’s a multi-step recipe, with 5 components:

  1. Chicken
  2. Soup
  3. Rice
  4. Garlic Ginger Sauce
  5. Red Chili Sauce

Hainanese Chicken Rice Recipe Video

Making the best Hainanese Chicken: EXFOLIATE!

This is an organic supermarket chicken (I wish we were all as lucky as Jess to be able to have fresh chicken!) Here’s the deal about the chicken. You gotta buy the best. Because this Hainanese Chicken Rice dish is all about the pure taste of the chicken, you really want to go with organic. It’s worth the money for your health, the environment and taste buds.

When you buy a whole chicken and are cooking it skin-on, and ESPECIALLY if you’re steaming or poaching the chicken, you want to make sure you get the “nasties” off.

Hainanese Chicken Rice Recipe - Step by step photos

I’m sure by looking at this photo you know what I mean. What I’m after is smooth, clean, unblemished skin.

So I give my guy a facial.

Yes, I’m totally serious!

I exfoliate my chicken.

How to give your chicken a spa treatment. Start with a small handful of kosher salt. Regular table salt is too fine to use for exfoliation. Sea salt is too expensive. Just use kosher salt. Even if you don’t have that loose skin on your chicken, it doesn’t mean you don’t need to exfoliate — there’s still hidden guck and yuck that is trapped in that chicken skin. TRUST ME. Your chicken will look and taste better this way.

Exfoliate chicken

Hainanese Chicken Rice Recipe - Rub chicken with salt


Be gone wrinkles!

Be gone trapped guck!

Be gone dead skin!

Work those pores!

Hainanese Chicken Rice Recipe - Rub chicken with salt

Rinse, pat dry and ta-da!!!







Hainanese Chicken Rice Recipe - Step by step photos

Check those lovely pores.

Hainanese Chicken Rice Recipe - Step by step photos

Hainanese Chicken Rice Recipe - Boil chicken with stuffings


I love this gadget by Nextrend! It minces garlic with just a simple twist.


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Chinese Spring Rolls with Chicken Recipe (Steamy Kitchen)

Aged Sriracha Hot Sauce Recipe (Steamy Kitchen)

Hainanese Chicken Rice Recipe

While your chicken is cooking, it helps to prepare the ingredients for your chili sauce and rice. Both of these are usually assembled after the chicken is done because they require the chicken broth, but you can get started washing and soaking the rice, chopping the garlic and ginger. In this recipe, all of the poaching broth is reserved -- some is used in the rice, a small amount is used in the chili sauce, and the remainder is saved to be heated and served as a simple soup to accompany the chicken.
4.82 from 43 votes
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Asian, Chinese
Servings 6 people
Calories 544 kcal



  • 1 whole chicken 3.5 lbs, 1.8kg, preferably organic
  • 1/4 cup kosher salt for exfoliating (the salt is for cleaning the chicken, this is not consumed)
  • 4 inch section of fresh ginger peeled and cut into 1/4'' slices
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 2 stalks green onion cut into 1" sections (both green and white parts)
  • 1 tablespoon Asian sesame oil


  • 2 tablespoons cooking oil like canola, vegetable, peanut
  • 2 cloves garlic finely minced
  • 1 shallot minced
  • 1 inch section of ginger finely minced (or grated on microplane grater
  • 2 cups long-grain uncooked rice
  • 2 cups reserved chicken poaching broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil


  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons reserved chicken poaching broth
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 4 tablespoons sriracha chili sauce
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 inch section of ginger peeled


  • 4 tablespoons cooking oil canola, vegetable, grapeseed
  • 2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
  • 2 cloves garlic finely minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon rice or white vinegar



  • 1. Boil a large pot of water. In the meantime, clean the chicken by exfoliating with kosher or coarse salt. Rinse chicken well, inside and outside.
  • 2. PRE-BOIL CHICKEN: When water is at a hard boil, add the chicken. Return to hard boil, let scum come to the surface. Boil for 5 minutes. Discard all the water, including the scum.
  • 3. Refill pot with clean water to cover the chicken by 1-inch, and add in the garlic, green onion and ginger. Bring the pot to a boil over high heat, then immediately turn the heat to low to keep a simmer. Cook for about 30 minutes more (less if you're using a smaller chicken). Check for doneness by sticking a chopstick into the flesh under the leg and see if the juices run clear or insert a thermometer into the thickest part of the thigh not touching bone. It should read 160F. The chicken will continue to cook to 165F during rest.
  • 4. When the chicken is cooked through, turn off the heat and remove the pot from the burner. Immediately lift and transfer the chicken into a bath of ice water to cool. The quick cooling will stop the cooking process, keeping the meat soft and tender, and giving the skin a lovely firm texture. After cooling, pat the chicken dry with paper towels and rub the sesame oil all over the chicken. This will help prevent the chicken from drying out.


  • Discard the garlic, ginger and green onion. Season the soup with salt to taste.


  • 1. Place rice into a large bowl, and fill with water. Use your hands to swish the water around, cleaning the rice. Tilt bowl to discard water, keeping the rice in the bowl Repeat 3 more times, until water is less cloudy.
  • 2. In a wok or pot, heat 2 tablespoons of cooking oil over medium-high heat. When hot, add the ginger, shallots and the garlic and fry until your kitchen smells like heaven. Be careful not to burn the aromatics! Add in your drained rice and stir to coat, cook for an additional minute. Add the sesame oil, mix well.
  • 3. Add 2 cups of your reserved poaching broth and bring to a boil. 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.
  • While the rice is cooking, make the sauces and carve the chicken for serving.


  • To make the chili sauce: Blend your chili sauce ingredients in a blender until smooth and bright red.
  • To make the ginger garlic sauce: In a small saucepan, heat the cooking oil until very hot, when you start seeing wisps of smoke. Turn off heat. Immediately add garlic and ginger and let it sizzle for a few seconds. Once it settles, stir in salt and vinegar.



Calories: 544kcalCarbohydrates: 56gProtein: 25gFat: 22gSaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 80mgSodium: 933mgPotassium: 494mgFiber: 2gSugar: 4gVitamin A: 420IUVitamin C: 9.3mgCalcium: 56mgIron: 2mg
Keyword asian chicken, chicken, rice
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