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Hainanese Chicken Rice Recipe.
4.93 from 14 votes

Hainanese Chicken Rice Recipe

This Hainanese chicken rice is a simple dish with incredible flavors! The tender poached chicken is served along with an addictive ginger scallion sauce and garlicky rice. Absolutely delicious!
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 1 hr
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Chinese, Indonesian, Malaysian, Singaporean
Servings 6
Calories 683 kcal


  • an 8 quart stock pot


Poached Chicken

  • 1 whole chicken, (about 4 pounds, neck and giblets removed)
  • 6 thin ginger slices, (about 2 inches long for each slice)
  • 5 bunches scallions
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 1 gallon water

Ginger Scallion Sauce

  • oz finely chopped scallions
  • oz finely chopped ginger
  • 6 tablespoons neutral and high-smoking point oil, (peanut, vegetable, canola, or sunflower oil)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • teaspoon rice wine vinegar, (optional)

Hainan Rice

  • ¼ cup chicken fat and skin, (chop into small pieces) from step #1
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 2 cups long-grain rice , (rinse and drain well)
  • 2 cups reserved chicken poaching water
  • tablespoons minced ginger
  • tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, (use more or less according to your liking)

To Serve

  • fresh cucumber, (sliced)


Poaching the Chicken

  • Remove any excess loose skin from the chicken cavity and near the tail (at least ¼ cup of it), pat it dry with paper towels then chop into small pieces. Set aside to make the rice later.
  • Stuff the cavity of the chicken with ginger slices and scallions. Place the whole chicken (breast side up) in a large stockpot. Add the salt and water.
  • Bring the mixture to a boil over high heat then quickly reduce the heat to low. Simmer, uncovered, for 45 minutes or until the chicken is fully cooked. Skim off the scum from the surface of the broth.
  • Once the chicken is cooked, transfer it to an ice bath. Let it sit for 5 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a platter, pat it dry with paper towels and rub with sesame oil. Set aside.

Ginger Scallion Sauce

  • In a heatproof bowl, combine minced scallions, ginger, sesame oil, and salt.
  • Put the oil in a saucepan and heat up over high heat until really hot and begins to smoke. Pour the oil into the bowl then stir to combine.
  • Taste the sauce, and add the optional rice wine vinegar, more sesame oil, or salt if needed.

Hainan Rice

  • In a skillet over medium-high heat, cook the chopped chicken skin/fat with sesame oil for 4-5 minutes or until the skin is crispy and the fat is rendered. 
  • Add garlic and ginger. Cook for 1 minute. Add the rice and toast it for about 3-4 minutes until it becomes a golden brown color. Do not burn!
  • Transfer the rice mixture to a rice cooker or instant pot, and add 2 cups of reserved poaching broth and salt. Cook accordingly.


  • Bring the remaining poaching broth to a boil until it is reduced in half. Adjust the seasoning with salt, and black or white pepper if needed. 


To maximize your time, start making the garlic scallion sauce and preparing ingredients for the garlic rice while waiting for the chicken to fully cook so everything will be ready at the same time.
Customizing. This recipe is adjustable. You can adjust the amount of salt in rice or ginger in the sauce according to your liking. 
If you are limiting your salt intake, add salt to the rice at a later step. Once the rice is fully cooked, give it a taste and add salt according to your liking.
Cooking the Rice. You can cook the rice using a rice cooker or Instant Pot. I personally cooked the rice using my instant pot for 3 minutes on the manual setting and let the pressure naturally release for 15 minutes.
Here's a good tutorial on how to cook the rice in an Instant Pot
Testing Chicken for Doneness. Do not overcook the chicken. It's very important to gently simmer the chicken slowly and at low heat so the chicken gets plenty of moistness from its poaching liquid. 
Insert the thermometer into the inner thigh area near the breast but not touching the bone. The safe internal temperature should register at 165°F.
Ice Bathing the Chicken. Once the chicken is cooked, remove it from the stockpot and immediately transfer it to an ice bath to stop the cooking process. This is an important step to ensure the meat is tender and the skin is crisp. 
Ginger Scallion Sauce. It's important to heat the oil until it is hot and begins to smoke. To test it out, you can pour a few drops of hot oil onto the scallions ginger mix. If you don't hear a sizzle, heat the oil a bit longer. 
Check out more information about the ginger scallion sauce recipe here. 
Storing.  To store the leftovers, transfer the chicken, sauce, rice, and soup into separate airtight containers. Properly stored, the leftovers will last 3-4 days in the fridge. 
Reheating. To reheat the leftovers, place the chicken, rice, and sauce on a microwave-safe plate. Cover the plate with wet paper towels to prevent the rice and chicken from drying.


Calories: 683kcalCarbohydrates: 55gProtein: 30gFat: 37gSaturated Fat: 8gPolyunsaturated Fat: 11gMonounsaturated Fat: 15gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 95mgSodium: 1092mgPotassium: 512mgFiber: 2gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 495IUVitamin C: 9mgCalcium: 62mgIron: 2mg
Keyword hainan chicken rice, hainanese chicken rice recipe, nasi ayam, nasi hainan
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