Hainanese Chicken Rice/Nasi Ayam Hainan

Preparation time: 5 mins
Cooking time: 40 mins

Hainanese Chicken Rice

Delicious chicken rice Hainanese style served with sweet chilli sauce and chicken broth.

Chicken Rice is another classic dish from Malaysia. There are plenty of different variations of Chicken Rice back home ranging from poached chicken, fried chicken, roasted chicken, you name it!! Come to think of it, I could eat this dish every day and never get bored.

In my very humble opinion, Chicken Rice ticks all the boxes
–          Quick and easy to prepare
–          A very healthy and well balanced meal, and
–          Most importantly – tastes delicious!!!!

This Chicken Rice has always been my saviour – suitable for any occasions: friends gathering, birthdays, anniversaries, Valentines, everyday eating, the list can go on and on…..

Here is my version of the Hainanese Chicken Rice.

WARNING: Always prepare for twice the number of people you are serving ;). People will definitely go for seconds, thirds and even more.

For the chicken broth:-
3 chicken thighs
5cm cinnamon stick
1 star anise
5 cloves
2 fat lemongrass – bruised
50g ginger – sliced or bruised
1liter chicken stock – I dissolved 1 cube chicken stock in 1 liter of water

For the soy sauce:-
3 tablespoons oyster sauce
1 tablespoon dark soy sauce
1 tablespoon sesame oil
Small pinch of chilli powder
1 tablespoon chicken broth

For the sweet chilli sauce:-
2 fresh red chillies
Lemon juice of ½ or ¾ of a lemon
2 teaspoons granulated sugar
2 fat cloves of garlic
Small pinch of salt

For the rice:-
1 cup basmati rice
2 cups chicken broth
1 skrewpine/pandanus leave – optional
A knob of butter

For garnishing:
Cucumber – sliced
Tomato – sliced

Serves 2


  1. Firstly, poach the chicken thighs. Place the thighs in a cooking pot. Cover the thighs with chicken stock. Add the remaining ingredients to the pot.
  2. Bring the chicken thighs to a boil. Once boiled, reduce the heat and let the thighs simmer for 15-20 minutes.
  3. You will see some scum appearing when you boil the chicken. Scoop the scum out with a spoon and throw it away. Or you can use a muslin cloth later to drain the chicken broth.
  4. Once the chicken is cooked, you can start preparing the rice. Put a non-stick cooking pot on a medium heat. Melt a knob of butter and then lightly fry the basmati rice for few seconds.
  5. Add the chicken broth and the pandanus leave. Partially cover the cooking pot and reduce the heat to minimum.
  6. Let the rice cook for 20 minutes. You might want to stir the rice once while it is cooking.
  7. While the rice is cooking, prepare the soy sauce and sweet chilli sauce.
  8. For the soy sauce, mix all ingredients in a bowl and stir well.
  9. For the sweet chilli sauce, put the garlic, chilli, juice of ½ a lemon, 1 teaspoon sugar and a pich of salt in a liquidizer. Blend the ingredients well until it turns to a smooth runny sauce.
  10. Pour the chilli sauce in a dipping bowl. Taste the sauce to adjust the flavour. Add more salt and sugar if necessary. For more sharpness, add more lemon juice to suit your taste buds.
  11. Pour the remaining chicken broth in a bowl. Garnish with 1-2 coriander leaves and a few slices of spring onion.

To serve this beautiful Hainanese chicken rice, place the rice in the middle of the plate, put chicken thigh and garnishes on the side. Spoon 2-3 teaspoons of soy sauce and pour on top of the chicken. Drizzle some of sweet chilli sauce on the rice. Don’t forget the chicken broth…you can sip the soup while eating or add it to the rice.

Nasi Ayam Hainan

Hainanese Chicken Rice a.k.a Nasi Ayam Hainan

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