Hainanese Chicken Rice: A Traditional Chinese Recipe

LSG_chicken_rice_fritz-grossFritz Gross, Director of Culinary Excellence Asia Pacific, lives in Hong Kong and today, he is sharing his favorite local dish with us: Hainanese Chicken Rice.

Hainanese chicken rice is a traditional Chinese poached chicken dish served with fragrant rice, soy sauce, garlic-chili sauce, warm broth, coriander and cucumber. This traditional recipe was first spread from southern China to other parts of Asia, like Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand, by Hainanese immigrants in the 19th century.

Today, Hainanese chicken rice has many enthusiasts across Asia and the world.

Does the idea of cooking traditional Chinese food intimidate you? Here’s a little reassurance from Fritz Gross, Director of Culinary Excellence Asia Pacific: “This dish is very simple to do! It’s also easy to cook at home.”


Recipe: Hainanese Chicken Rice



  • 1 whole chicken
  • salt
  • 10 cm fresh ginger
  • 2 stalks green onions
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil



  • 2 tablespoons chicken fat
  • cloves garlic (minced)
  • 3 cm section of ginger (minced)
  • 2 cups long-grain uncooked rice
  • 2 cups reserved chicken poaching broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt


Chili Sauce:

  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 2 tablespoon reserved chicken poaching broth
  • 2 teaspoon sugar
  • 4 tablespoon sriracha chili sauce
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 3 cm fresh ginger
  • salt



Wash and soak the rice. Chop ginger and green onion for chicken. Clean the chicken by rubbing it with salt and rinsing inside and out. Season generously with salt and stuff with ginger slices and green onion. Place the chicken in a large stockpot and fill with cold water to cover by 1 inch. Bring the pot to a boil over high heat, then immediately turn the heat lower to keep at a simmer. Cook for around 45 minutes. You can prepare the ingredients for the chili sauce and rice while the chicken is cooking because they both require the use of the chicken broth.

When the chicken is cooked through, remove the pot from the burner and transfer the chicken into a bath of ice water to cool immediately. Discard the ginger and green onion. Don’t forget to save the poaching broth.

LSG_chicken_rice_sambal-belachan-chili-sauceDrain the rice. In a wok or sauce pan, heat 2 tablespoons of chicken fat over medium-high heat. When hot, add ginger and garlic and fry. Add the drained rice and stir for 2 min. Add the sesame oil and 2 cups of your poaching broth, salt and bring to a boil. Immediately turn the heat down to low, cover the pot and cook for 15 min. Remove from heat and let sit for 5-10 min more. While your rice is cooking, remove the chicken from the ice bath and rub the outside of the chicken with sesame oil. Carve for serving.

For the chili sauce, blend all ingredients in a blender until smooth and bright red. Use the remaining 6 or 7 cups of the poaching broth to serve as soup. Just before serving, heat up the soup, taste and season with salt as necessary.

Serve the chicken rice with chili sauce, dark soy sauce, cucumber slices, and a bowl of hot broth. Garnish with cilantro or scallions.

This recipe serves 6, with a prep time of 20 minutes and a cook time of 1 hour.

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