Hainanese Chicken Rice

Meals that you cook for your family demands a lot from you, doesn’t it? You want them to be comforting, nourishing, flavourful and also it must appeal to everyone’s taste. This dish is a full package of everything mentioned above. In addition it is extremely time saving and easy to make.

Originally this dish belonged to the immigrants from Hainan in southern China however it spread widely to surrounding Asian countries. Now each has its own adapted version of the Hainanese Chicken Rice. In Thailand, it is a popular street food known as Khoa Man Kai, which comes as a set of the chicken rice served with clear soup and a dip. Khao man kai further branches out into having the option of picking poached or fried chicken. Sometimes even the combination of both types of chicken on the same plate.

For this post I am going to show you an easy method of cooking the rice and the chicken together in the rice cooker. Believe me, this is the simplest method without going astray from the authentic flavours of this dish.

Here goes…

Ingredients:- (serves 3-4)

  • 2-3 tbsp oil
  • a few slices ginger
  • 2-3 cloves garlic (crushed or sliced)
  • 2-3 coriander roots (pounded)
  • 2 cups jasmine rice
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • Water ( as needed to cook rice)
  • 150g chicken breast (skin on if you want it exactly like the street side)
  • 1 pandan leaf
  • 1 cucumber (for garnish)


  1. In a large pan, heat the oil.
  2. Sauté the garlic ginger and coriander together until fragrant.
  3. Add rice to the pan. At this point the rice is uncooked but washed and cleaned.
  4. Add soy sauce. Stir to combine.
  5. Transfer the ingredients of the pan into the inner pot of your rice cooker.
  6. Add water as needed (or as according to the rice cooking instructions).
  7. Place raw chicken breast on top of the rice. This method will allow the chicken to cook in the flavours of the rice while releasing fat into the rice in turn.
  8. Place the Pandan leaf into the pot as well.
  9. Close the rice cooker and set to cook.
  10. Once the rice is cooked, remove the chicken breast. Cut into thick strips.
  11. Also remove all the large pieces of ginger, garlic and coriander before plating.
  12. Put some rice in a serving sized bowl. Flip the bowl onto the plate. Place the chicken strips over the rice. Arrange some cucumbers on the side of the plate.
  13. Serve along side a bowl of clear soup with winter melon and a dipping of Thai sweet chilli sauce.