• SE Market Foodie

Singaporean Chicken Rice

Updated: Feb 17, 2018

Now that I’m settled back in, I miss Singapore.  But I do not miss the heat and the humidity.  Yep, most definitely not the 90% humidity.  Still traumatized by it.

I miss SINGLISH!  How can I forget SINGLISH.    Here’s a short lesson in SINGLISH.

LAH- Add to the end of everything to emphasis.  OK-LAH! Let’s go Lah!

MEH – Add to the end of everything as a question.  Really Meh?

Nice- Instead of really good everything is nice.  Very Nice.  Quite Nice.

Siao/Siow- Crazy!

Wa Lao – WOW!

Can, can – I can do it/No Problem

Queue Up – Line up

A set – A combo

Upsize – Supersize

What I also miss the food!  If you happen to visit Singapore make sure to visit a hawker center.  Hawker centers are open-air food courts offering a variety of cheap and delicious food.   Stalls selling Singaporean, Chinese, Malay, Thai and many more line the complexes and can be quite overwhelming.  $3 for lunch! If you are really hungry, upsize to a $4 plate!  Best tip, the longer the line, the better the food.  But when in doubt, order Chicken Rice.

Chicken rice is probably one of my favorite Singaporean dish.  It looks so boring and simple but is rather tasty.  Chicken rice (also called Hainanese chicken rice) is the national dish of Singapore.  Whole chicken is cooked in a ginger and garlic broth and served with riced cooked from the chicken broth.  It’s served with chili garlic sauce and sweet thick soy sauce.

Since NO ONE serves it in Utah, I will have to make my own.



  • 1 whole chicken

  • 2 medium ginger knobs, sliced

  • 1 head of garlic, halved

  • 10 green onions

  • 2 tbsp light soy sauce

  • 1 tsp sesame oil

  • 2 tbsp Shaoxing Rice Wine

  • 2 tbsp salt

Chili Garlic Sauce

  • 10 red Thai chilies

  • 8 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped

  • 4  tbsp minced ginger

  • 1 tbsp lime juice

  • 1 tsp salt

  • 4 tbsp chicken poaching broth


  • 2 cups jasmine rice, washed and drained

  • 3  cups chicken poaching broth

  • 1 tsp salt

  • 4 garlic cloves chopped

  • 2 tbsp fresh ginger minced

  • 2 tbsp minced shallot

  • a few small pieces of chicken fat

  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil


  • Sweet, thick black soy sauce

  • Sliced cucumber

Prepare chicken by removing any remaining feathers.  Remove some fat under the skin and around the cavity.  Reserve about 2 tablespoons of the chicken fat.

Chop 1/2 of garlic and 1/3 of the ginger.  Blend in a food processor.   Mix the paste with light soy sauce and rice wine.  Rub the paste inside the chicken cavity.  Cut 6 green onions in half.  Stuff 1/3 of ginger and green onion into the cavity of the chicken.  Tie legs together with cooking twine.

Add salt, remaining green onions, garlic, and ginger to a pot of water.  Water should be enough to cover chicken.  Add chicken breast down first.   Bring to a boil and reduce to a low simmer.  Cover with a lid and allow the chicken to poach slowly for an hour.

Remove the chicken from the pot and discard the ginger and scallion.  Reserve 4 cups of chicken broth.  I save the remaining broth for later use in other recipes.  Bath chicken in ice water for 10-15 mins to cool and remove and drain.

While the chicken cools, make the rice.  Start by frying chicken fat and vegetable oil on medium high heat.  The chicken fat sounds disgusting but actually adds a lot of flavor to the rice.  Add minced garlic, shallots and ginger and fry for 2-3 minutes.  I love that smell! Discard any remaining chicken fat.    Add rice and mix well.

Transfer rice mixture to a rice cooker and add chicken poaching broth.  Cook rice based on rice cooker instructions.  Typically I use the knuckle test.   Standing water should be one knuckle above rice.  Works every time!  Sorry folks, I have no idea how to cook rice over the stove.  If you don’t have a rice cooker, I highly recommend it.

While the rice is cooking, make the chili garlic sauce.  Add all ingredients of the sauce into food processor and blend into a smooth paste.  The sauce is traditionally made from red chilies but I only have green chilies today.

Chop chicken and serve with rice.   Drizzle sweet soy sauce over rice and serve.

Very Nice, Lah!

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