Grandma’s Hainanese Chicken Rice

By Tamie Tui  •  0 comments  •   4 minute read

Grandma’s Hainanese Chicken Rice

You couldn’t go anywhere in Malaysia and Singapore without coming across the infamous Hainanese chicken rice. This hugely popular dish has even earned some makers Michelin stars! Below is our (Malaysian) grandma’s legendary Hainan chicken rice recipe – it’s a sure fire hit every single time! If you give this recipe a try, we’d love for you to share it on our social channels – it would make our grandma very proud!  Don’t forget to look out for our top tip in the recipe below to make it into two meals in one! #winnerwinnerchickendinner


  • 2 chicken carcasses 
  • 1 whole chicken
  • Salt
  • Washed coriander (optional) – however much you and your guests like
  • 1 x washed and sliced cucumber


Thoroughly wash your chicken and the chicken carcasses. Pat the whole chicken dry and rub salt all over the chicken to ensure it is super clean and to give it a bit of seasoning. Rinse the salt off – no need to pat dry again. Once ready, put enough water in the pot to cover the chicken and bring to the boil. Make sure to turn the chicken around every 5 mins. Add some salt to taste. When the chicken starts to float and there’s a good layer of fat built at the top, it’s generally done. Scoop out about half a rice bowl of fat from the top and put aside for the rice below (this is our secret to super tasty rice). Once done, turn off the stove and leave the lid on to let it slowly cool down. When ready for serving, remove the chicken and reheat the soup to serve at the same time.

Boiling chicken in large pot for Hainanese chicken rice dish.


  • The amount or cups of rice you use is dependent on how many people you’re cooking for. We like to use Jasmine rice.
  • 3-4 slices of fresh ginger
  • 2 cloves of garlic chopped
  • 2 soup spoons (not Chinese soup spoons) of cooking oil 
  • 1/2 tbsp/or cube of concentrated chicken stock
  • 3-4 pandan leaves



Wash the rice by thoroughly swirling the rice with your hands to release any impurities – drain the water and repeat this up to 7/8 times until the water starts to go clear. Once all drained, leave it for at least 10 to 15 mins to sit in the bowl.

Heat a wok over low-medium heat (don’t have it too high) with the cooking oil. When the oil comes to temperature, put in the garlic and ginger and fry until the garlic turns light brown and it becomes quite fragrant. Put all the rice in and fry for a couple minutes, continually stirring.

Put the cooked rice above, pandan leaves and chicken stock in the rice cooker and fill the rice cooker with the chicken soup (made above) to the first line on your index finger (this is THE BEST tip on making fluffy rice). Every now and then quickly open the cooker and stir the rice for even absorption of the soup (this will make the rice super tasty). Once cooked, keep it warm in the rice cooker before serving.

Chilli Sauce

  • 2 slices of fresh ginger 
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 2 shallots chopped 
  • 5 big chillies (not birds eye)
  • 2 tbsp of soup fat taken from soup above
  • 1 tbsp of cooking oil
  • 1 tbsp of sesame oil


Fry the garlic and shallots over a low-medium heat until golden brown. Switch off the heat and put the rest of the ingredients (including the cooked oil) into a blender and blend it into a fine paste. Add sugar and salt accordingly to your taste.

Black Sauce

  • 1 clove of chopped garlic or shallot onion
  • 2 tbsp cooking oil
  • Half bowl of filtered room temperature water (use a rice bowl)
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp thick caramel sauce
  • 1 soup spoon of Oyster sauce
  • 1 tbsp sugar


Fry the garlic or shallot onions over a low-medium heat until golden brown. Once golden brown, add water. Then add soy sauce, thick caramel sauce and oyster sauce. Add sugar and make sure it melts. Cook slowly and stirring continually until it becomes a thick honey-like consistency. Should taste more towards sweet than salty and should be quite fragrant.

Time To Serve!

Once all the above is done, cut the chicken up and lay out on a plate – garnish with the coriander if you like (grandma doesn't really like) and lay the cucumber out around the edge of the plate, on a separate plate or under your chicken. Serve the sauces beside the plate of chicken. Serve a bowl of rice and soup for each guest. Dive in!

Top Tip 👉

Use left overs for a beautiful chicken noodle soup – two meals in one!

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