Monthly Archives: November 2012

Hainanese Chicken Rice…. “revisité”


I love Chicken Rice! Traditionally of Chinese origin, it can now be found through out Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand! Simple in appearance, but smashing in flavor, this revisited version of the dish attempts to capture it’s core features, while presenting them in a novel way!

Chicken Rice "Revisited"

Chicken Rice “Revisited”

Ingredients (serves 4 as entrée)

  • 2 chicken thighs
  • 1 large knob of ginger
  • 5 cloves of garlic
  • 1 shallot
  • 2 spring onion stalks
  • 2 litres of water
  • 1 cube of chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons of light soy sauce (not Japanese)
  • 2 tablespoons of sesame oil
  • 2/3 of a cup of rice
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup of flour
  • 1 cup of breadcrumbs (preferably “panko” – a Japanese type of breadcrumb)
  • 1 tablespoon of tomato sauce (i.e. ketchup)
  • 1 teaspoon of sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 tablespoon of vinegar
  • Oil for deep frying, or shallow frying


  1. Start with the chicken. Bring a pot of boiling water to an intense boil, and plunge the chicken thighs in. 
  2. Boil heavily for 10 minutes, then reduce heat to low.
  3. Add half the ginger (grated), the shallot and 2 cloves of garlic, together with salt and pepper and a cube of chicken stock and leave to simmer very gently.
  4. Next start the rice by bring a sesame oil in a pot to a hot heat, but not smoking.
  5. Add one clove of garlic (chopped) and brown very lightly, then add the rice and stir until it is evenly coated in oil and garlic
  6. Next, add 1 cup of the chicken stock and simmer for 15 minutes, or until the stock has been absorbed and the rice is cooked well. Add salt and white pepper, then cool.
  7. Next, prepare the ginger and chili sauce by pounding together the remaining ginger, garlic and the chilies in a mortar and pestle. 
  8. Next, fry the pounded ingredients in some sesame oil for a couple of minutes, then add the vinegar, salt, sugar and tomato sauce. Simmer until liquid has reduced.
  9. Now, remove the chicken thighs from the stock, reserving the stock!
  10. Remove the meat from the bones (it should be very tender!) and coat lightly with sesame oil and light soy sauce.
  11. Next add the ginger and chili sauce and coat the chicken.
  12. Now, it is time to make the balls. Take a piece of plastic film and place 3 tablespoons of rice, pressing to form a flat layer.
  13. Place the chicken mixture in the middle, then bring together the corners of the plastic film to so that the rice encases the chicken and twist the plastic film to make a ball. 
  14. Do the same thing over, to make four balls then place them in the freezer for around 15-20 mins (or the fridge for an hour or so).
  15. Next, gently unwrap the rice balls and coat first in flour, then in egg (beaten), then in the breadcrumbs. 
  16. Fry balls in a hot deep fryer, or shallow fry in a pan, until golden.
  17. Serve with the delicious chicken stock. 
  18. I suspended mine using a chop stick, as to ensure they did not touch the stock, however be inventive!

Inside, chicken rice ball

Inside, chicken rice ball

Traditional Chicken Rice, just so you know!

Traditional Chicken Rice, just so you know!