Ever tried the famous Hainanese Chicken Rice? I’m not quite sure if this popular dish was originated from Singapore or Malaysia. Some friends told me that it was from Singapore. Is it right? No matter you go into a Singaporean or Malaysian restaurant, they would definitely offer this dish on their menu, not very expensive and worth trying if you didn’t. The chicken meat is very smooth and tender, going so wonderful with the unique chili sauce. I can’t describe how yummy is the rice. It’s not ordinary white rice, but is cooked with chicken broth. So you can imagine that’s a luxury treat when you order Hainanese chicken rice with not-so-expensive price, enjoying a dish with rich flavours. However, it’s quite disappointed when I go into some restaurants that only offer salty and oily rice instead of the premium rice cooked with chicken broth.
When it comes to cookIng this dish, there’s a traditional way of using the whole chicken. Due to my family’s craving for chicken legs, I simply used chicken legs so that I saved more of my energy and time for cooking. That’s good to me and my family.
- 2 chicken legs
- 4 to 5 slices ginger
- 1 spring onion (shallot), sectioned
- 2 cups white rice, rinsed and drained well
- 2 tsp minced garlic
- 1 tsp grated ginger
- 2 to 3 bay leaves
- Salt, to taste
- 2 cups chicken stock
- Cucumber, few slices for garnish
- 1 bowl water, should cover the chicken
- 20 ice cubes
- 2 to 3 chilies (depends on how hot you like)
- 5 slices ginger
- 6 cloves garlic
- 3 Tbsp lime juice
- 4 Tbsp chicken stock
- sugar, to taste
- salt, to taste
- Heat oil in wok, sauté minced garlic and grated ginger until aromatic. Be cautious, don’t let them burn. Or else your rice would turn brown when cooked. Add drained rice and stir fry for 3 minutes. Toss in bay leaves and pour chicken stock into the rice. Bring to a boil. Transfer to electric cooker and cook rice as usual.
- Rinse chicken and drain well. Place spring onion and ginger on chicken and steam over high heat, covered with a lid, for about 20 minutes, or until cooked through. Insert a chop stick or needle into the thickest part of chicken leg. If clear liquid runs out, it’s cooked. Immediately transfer chicken legs into iced water and soak for 15 to 20 minutes. This is an old traditional Chinese way of making the skin and meat of steamed chicken become smoother and tenderer.
- To prepare chili sauce, just process all ingredients with a food processor for a minute. Add salt and/or sugar to taste.
- When the chicken legs cool down, drain well. Chop into chunks and serve with cooked chicken rice. Garnish with cucumber slices if desired. Many Chinese people like eating steamed chicken with minced ginger and spring onion sauce. Just heat up a bit oil in wok or saucepan. When the oil becomes very hot, immediately pour the oil onto minced ginger and finely chopped shallot. Add salt or soy sauce to taste. That’s the popular ginger and shallot sauce for chicken. This Hainanese chicken tastes fantastic, accompanying with both chili sauce and minced ginger shallot sauce.