Hainanese Chicken Rice

Recipe by Frederick Kho, executive chef of J5 Hotel Jen Tanglin Singapore

Serves 4


For the chicken: 

1 chicken (about 1.5kg),  at room temperature 

5 garlic cloves, unpeeled

5 thick slices ginger, unpeeled 


For the rice:

2 garlic cloves, chopped

2 thick slices ginger, unpeeled

2½ cups jasmine rice

2 pandan leaves (optional),  knotted

1 tbsp light soya sauce

½ tsp salt


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For the chilli sauce: 

6 red chilli padi

2 tbsp grated ginger 

2 garlic cloves, peeled

1 tsp sugar

¼ tsp salt

1 tsp lemon juice

1 tsp spring onion oil* 

1 tsp ginger oil


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For the ginger sauce: 


2 tbsp grated ginger
½ tsp grated garlic
½ tsp sea salt flakes

3 tbsp peanut oil


For the bean sprout salad: 

1 tbsp sesame oil

2 tbsp light soya sauce

400g bean sprouts, blanched



Prepare the chicken:

1 Trim any visible fat from the chicken and roughly chop it up.

2 In a small pan, cook the fat over very low heat for 60min until the fat releases oil. Remove the crispy bits and keep to use in fried noodles and rice. Set aside the oil to cool.

3 Place the chicken in a large pot and cover with water. Bring the water to below a simmer. 

4 Cook for 20min, cover the pot and turn off the heat. Leave for 30min, remove the chicken and set aside. Reserve the poaching stock.   

5 Brush the chicken skin with sesame oil and cling-wrap the chicken. It should be lightly cooked and pink near the bones. The skin should be gelatinous.


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Make the rice:

1 In a large pan over medium heat, heat 1 tbsp of the oil from the chicken fat. Add the garlic and ginger, and stir-fry until fragrant. 

2 Add the rice and cook until the grains are well coated with the garlic and ginger, and turn opaque.

3 Place this mix in a rice cooker. Add 1.25 litres of the poaching stock, pandan leaves, soya sauce and salt. Cook until fluffy. 


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Make the chilli sauce:

1 Pound or blend the chillies, ginger, garlic, sugar and salt into a paste. Mix in 1-2 tsp of hot poaching stock, plus the lemon juice and spring onion and ginger oils. Set aside.


Make the ginger sauce: 

1 Mix all the ingredients for the ginger sauce. 


Make the bean sprout salad: 

1 Mix the sesame oil and soya sauce with 60ml of the chicken stock. Toss with the bean sprouts.


To serve, cut up the chicken, set  it on a bed of bean sprouts and pour the dressing over it. Serve  with the rice, broth, and chilli and ginger sauces. 


*Available in the condiments aisle of major supermarkets.


Coordination Melissa Chang Photography Frencheschar Lim Art Direction & Styling Diane Ng