Thursday, 26 November 2009

Hainanese Chicken Rice - The innovative way

After 10 days of eating out due to a hectic work schedule and parents being over, I was not able to cook much. Coming back at 10pm every night does not help either. Today is probably the first day I could cook with ease. Having had chicken in the fridge waiting to be cooked off, I went foraging for ingredients. A small fridge doesn't really allow me to keep much ingredients. In any case, the thought of having chicken rice in Germany sounded excellent. Remembering the basics of the ingredients that Kitchen Virgin and I used when attempting to cook it the first time round gave me enough motivation to go searching for the ingredients.

Hainanese Chicken Rice - The Innovative Way

Thankfully, Germany isn't so bad in terms of ingredients. The lack of Malaysian restaurants means the lack of certain ingredients. But most of what I needed was around. So what went in?


5 Stalks                  Spring Onions (sliced to about 5cm each, with roots thrown away)
Thumb sized           Ginger (skin taken off and sliced)
4 pieces                  chicken thigh (cleaned and insertions cut into the meat)
1 tbsp                     whole white pepper
2 to 3 bulbs of        shallots (skin removed and sliced into half)
1 tbsp                     vegetable oil
1 cup                      jasmine rice
2 tsp                       butter
1 clove                    garlic - finely sliced
1 tbsp                     soy sauce
                               salt and pepper to taste
A bunch of              lettuce leaves
1 large bowl of        water


  1. To prepare the chicken, make sure to clean all unwanted parts - feathers left over. Next cut deeply into the chicken so that it has enough space to stuff some ginger and spring onions - use the green part of the spring onions. You can opt to insert the spring onions underneath the skin of the chicken as well.
  2. Prepare a pot, add in the bowl of water and bring to boil. Whilst waiting for the water to boil, add in shallots, whole white pepper, the white part of the spring onions, oil and salt. 
  3. When water is boiling, add in chicken. Reduce the heat to allow soup to cook chicken.
  4. On another pot, wash a cup of jasmine rice. Cooking rice in a rice cooker and a pot is the same. Do not disturb it. But before we actually cook the rice, we add the sliced garlic, butter, spring onions and black pepper. Heat the pot up containing the rice. Ensure the butter starts to melt and constantly stir the rice to avoid it sticking to the pot. The butter will act as the oiling agent for the rice replacing vegetable oil. Here you can replace the butter with oil if you do not want to have it too fatty but trust me it tastes way better with butter. 
  5. Once the rice is coated thoroughly with butter and the spring onions is turning colour into a deep green, add in the right dosage of water. Here one cup of water would need 1 1/2 cups of water. Cover the pot and let it cook. The heat is what will cook the rice. Do not open the cover until after 10 minutes. Stir the rice and then cover again. Let it sit for another five minutes before switching off the fire.
  6. The chicken by now would be ready. Reduce the heat to the smallest flame available. Take out the chicken and let it sit. Using the soup, add in your lettuce leaves to blanch it. This would cook your vegetables and save you time in boiling up another pot of water to blanch your leaves. It also adds flavour to them.
  7. Serve up with chicken, vegetables and rice. For condiments, you can choose to have chilli sauce or for me Chiu Chow Chilli sauce. Not having a blender makes it difficult for me to serve up the chicken rice chilli sauce. But then again, this probably calls for innovative thinking :)
Truly, I ate the whole lot. My landlord came by and had a portion as well. \

As I had no rice cooker, I had to use what was available to me to cook the rice. I used this glass to measure my rice and my portion of water. It goes the same with other glasses. Just do not start using bowls. That would mean an overflow of rice.

The time I took to cook was about 45 minutes provided you have defrosted your chicken or bought fresh from the supermarket. It may be a tad long, but you will relish the taste after that.

Still savouring the taste,
The Innovative Baker


  1. ha ha, chicken rice eh. I still prefer my family's version cause been eating it since young and am a Hainanese anyway. =) though I think people might not be able to identify the conventional one to what they are serving restaurants, too many variations. I've even made chicken rice balls when I was young, hehe.

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  3. It has been adapted to the cooking style in Europe to make it easier. I like it! But I loved your version as well :) Must learn to make chicken rice balls soon.

  4. great stuff, Lyn! BTW, after frying the rice with the ginger,shallots, etc in butter, I put it in the ricecooker, is it?

    Hope to try this soon!

  5. Rina: yup! after frying, place it in the rice cooker. Or in the same pot where you've fried the rice, cook it straight through.


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