Day 21 ‘Get Your Jelly On’: Hainanese chicken rice

Hainanese chicken rice

Hainanese chicken rice

* This post is part of  the Royal Selangor Jellyriffic Competition where ten bloggers from around the world compete by posting recipes each day for 30 days in the month of October 2011 to raise awareness and support for breast cancer. *


Follow our progress and download our recipes in the “Cuisines of the World” by clicking the image below:




I am on a very low-carb diet. I maintain this diet not because of health reasons nor because I dislike carbohydrates.

I love spag bol. And I can eat a good nasi lemak bungkus every day for a month. I love cooking Ipoh hor fun because I love to throw Ipoh hor fun parties. Oh, did I mention Vietnamese pho on a cold winter day?

Last but certainly not the least, I love Hainanese chicken rice.

When I cook Hainanese chicken rice, I will either throw a big Hainanese chicken rice party for ten people with overloads that can last me another two days or I cook portions good enough for ten people and eat it all myself over the next five days.

So my low carb diet is to reserve my quota so that I can pig out on these few favourites of mine.

Hainanese chicken rice

Hainanese chicken rice

So, I would like to share my humble Hainanese chicken rice recipe with you using the Royal Selangor jelly mould.

Day 21: Main – Hainanese chicken rice

Hainanese chicken rice

Hainanese chicken rice

Hainanese chicken rice originated from China but Malaysians and Singaporeans have transformed this dish to another level with the way chicken is prepared.

Condiments of thick caramel black sauce, chilli and ginger sauce are a must to add more flavour to the steamed chicken.

Hainanese chicken rice

Hainanese chicken rice

The most important part of this recipe is to sautee the rice so that it would absorb all the flavours of the onion and garlic before it is cooked in the rice cooker with the pandanus leaves and ginger.

Sautee rice with diced onions, garlic and chicken fat

Sautee rice with vegetable oil, diced onions, garlic until fragrant

This step makes the rice so fragrant and tasty, it can be eaten on its own.

The hallmark of good chicken rice is that every grain is boldly al dente while it takes on fragrant aromas of chicken, ginger and pandanus leaves from the stock.

Cook rice in rice cooker with chicken stock, slices of ginger and pandanus leaves

Cook rice in rice cooker with chicken stock, slices of ginger and pandanus leaves (optional)

The slices of ginger impart a beautiful fragrant aroma into the rice when it is cooked.

Hainanese chicken rice

Hainanese chicken rice

There is absolutely nothing that can rival a beautiful Hainanese chicken rice enjoyed slowly over a lunch for two.

So dear readers, what is your favourite chinese dish?

Hainanese chicken rice

Hainanese chicken rice

*Note to readers: You can support and help raise the awareness of breast cancer by the following ways:

  • Share our recipes with family and friends on Facebook or Twitter.
  • Like chopinandmysaucepan on Facebook.
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  • Suggest to us any recipe, jelly or otherwise that you may like us to cook using the mould. Recipes do not necessarily need to incorporate gelatin and participants are encouraged to be as creative as possible. We need all the help we can get and would welcome any creative ideas and recipes from our readers.
  • Purchase a jelly mould from Royal Selangor. Remember, all sales proceeds will go towards improving the lives of women affected by breast cancer.

Win an Olympus  VG-110 camera

To encourage readers to support the cause for breast cancer awareness, we will give away an Olympus VG-110 camera to one lucky reader.

All you have to do over the next thirty days is to provide your comments, feedback, suggestions or any recipes and you will be in the running to receive this camera. This prize is open to any and all readers.

If you enjoy our daily posts throughout October 2011, do consider helping the cause for breast cancer by participating in any or all the the ways mentioned above.

We wish you good health and happy cooking!

Chopinand & Mysaucepan


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24 Responses to Day 21 ‘Get Your Jelly On’: Hainanese chicken rice

  1. Sissi says:

    Seeing such wonderful dishes I have never heard of or even less seen in Chinese restaurants, I realise I don’t know much about the Chinese cuisine.
    My favourite Chinese dish is definitely spare ribs simmered for several hours in soy sauce and spices. I could have them every other day for the rest of my life.

  2. Sophia says:

    Why are you on a low-carb diet? I didn’t think that was possible in SE Asia. Everything good, especially chicken rice is carbilicious!

  3. Fiona N says:

    A smile came across my face when I saw the headline.. I LOVE a good Hainanese Chicken Rice… Well done, yours looks both delicious and imaginatively plated all at once! It’s early in the morning, but I find myself quite hungry already 😉
    Just when I think that you guys might run out of ideas for the Jelly comp, I get another pleasant surprise… I am sure you’ve got first prize in the bag. Well done again!

    • Chopinand says:

      Hi Fiona N,

      We love a good Hainanese chicken rice too so we had this for dinner last night. Not sure about the first prize since there are so many creative recipes among all of us.

  4. Mmmm… Hainanese chicken rise is such a clean but comforting dish! Love it!

  5. JasmyneTea says:

    YUMMMM, I love hainanese chicken rice! I love your creativity when it comes to these moulds :) My favourite chinese dish is what I order all the time at Yum Cha, those pork and mushroom dumplings that are shaped like footballs, lol.

  6. Your presentation for this dish is beautiful. I love the detail :)

  7. I’ve got to say, Hainanese chicken rice does look pretty sophisticated in conical form!

  8. One more delicious and beautiful recipe…..

  9. Luuuuuurve chicken rice! Do you serve it hot or cold? Had it once cold in a restaurant and wasnt a fan :(

    • Chopinand says:

      Hi Nic

      The chicken can be served at room temperature. In Singapore and Malaysia, the cooked chickens are usually hung on display at chicken rice stalls and are only chopped up when customers order. However, the rice must be served hot to bring out all the flavours of the ingredients that went into cooking it.

  10. Wait, that’s a joke with your low-carb diet no? 😉

    I like the idea of first sautéing the rice and then cooking it with ginger and that leaf (which I’ve never heard of – I know dried lemon and curry leaves, is it comparable to one of those?) – never tried that!

    Your table arrangement is so beautiful again.

  11. Your Hainanese chicken rice looks flavorful! Love your creative plating too, like a flower.

  12. This is one of my favourite dishes and I love that you have made this into a cone! :)

  13. Cheah says:

    This pyramid Hainanese chicken rice looks so unique, high and mighty!

  14. I love Hainanese chicken rice, great use of a cone

  15. This is one of my husband’s favorite dish that I’ve promised (long long time ago) that I would cook for him. I’d love to have this dish at the nice table setting at yours… I love you have the drum (?) at home! That’s so cool!

    • Chopinand says:

      Hi Nami,

      Chicken rice is definitely one of my all-time favourites! The ‘drum’ is actually a large gong that we got from our travels in Thailand :)

  16. Ann says:

    So beautiful – I think the beautiful, decorative plating of this one is my favorite so far….

  17. Great shot with the gong in the background, very befitting decor!

  18. Celia says:

    Oh, this is a very sensible portion – I’m like you with the chicken rice and tend to cook enough for ten people at a time (and then try to eat it all on my own!). The presentation in the cone is just gorgeous, and reminds me a little of chicken rice I ate last time I was in Singapore – it came out in a little pyramid shape. :)

    (PS. Please don’t enter me in your very generous contest – I already have a couple of cameras…)

  19. betty says:

    oh wow this looks great!

  20. Lidya says:

    Hainanese chicken rice was actually invented in Singapore/Malaysia [much disputed], but DEFINTELY NOT IN CHINA. Just fyi (:

    • Chopinand says:

      Hi Lidya,

      The issue of origin is much disputed and as little as I care where it came from, I would be interested to see documentary evidence of your claim.

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