A super easy recipe for a fragrant and delicious Singapore Hainanese Chicken Rice, made in the Rice Cooker. This One Pot Meal is made from easy-to-find ingredients (I tested without pandan leaves, but also show you how to use pandan leaves if you can get them.)
⭐ Why This Recipe is a Star
- This Singaporean Chicken Rice Recipe is SUPER easy: Like Chinese Chicken Rice Soup, it's a one-pot meal. PLUS it's made in a rice cooker, so very hands-off! (Rice Cooker meals are so simple, they're the mainstay of Asian college students!)
- Readily available ingredients: Although pandan is an essential ingredient in authentic Hainanese Chicken Rice, it's not easy to find outside of Singapore. (You need to go to Asian markets.) I tested my Hainanese Chicken Rice Cooker recipe without pandan leaves, but also indicate what to do if you can get them.)
Note: we do not need the rice cooker-steamer attachment. The chicken and rice is added directly to the rice cooker pot. I use the same method for other rice cooker recipes, such as Chipotle cilantro lime rice, pumpkin rice and turmeric chicken rice.
I'm trying to get you to the recipe ASAP, so the History of Hainanese Chicken Rice is in the FAQs. (The info above is all needed to make the recipe!)
You will only need a few simple ingredients for this easy Singaporean recipe:
- chicken thigh: Use boneless chicken thighs as they cook more quickly. (Bone-in thighs may not cook fully when the rice cooker is done.) Do NOT remove the skin and fat if your meat comes with it- they will make the rice much more flavorful! If not, no worries- you can see I sometimes make this dish with skinless chicken thighs or cut-up chicken pieces too. I do NOT recommend using white meat/ chicken breast, as there is not enough fat to flavor the rice. You can, however, use bone-in chicken drumsticks.
- white rice: Use long grain jasmine rice. Preferably, do not use sushi rice or Korean rice- they texture will be totally wrong for Singapore Chicken Rice but, if you must, you must. (You still get a decent chicken rice dish.)
- chicken broth: You can also substitute with water and a chicken stock cube or chicken stock powder. If using homemade chicken stock with no seasoning, make sure to add salt.
- chicken stock powder: This is available at the Asian markets and tastes much more "chickeny" than regular chicken stock cubes. If you can't get it, just break up a chicken bouillon cube/ stock cube and add it to the rice cooker.
- sesame oil: We will be sauteeing the uncooked rice grains in sesame oil to make this Singaporean dish more aromatic. Chinese sesame oil has been toasted and burns easily so make sure you are quick when you do the stir-frying. You can also use chicken fat instead.
- shallot: substitute with red onions if you can't get them. Do not use onion powder.
- fresh ginger: do not substitute with ginger powder. The aroma of the fresh ginger (and garlic) is super important especially if we are not using pandan leaves. (Please add pandan leaves if you can get them, but as not everyone has access to them, I did not include them when testing this Chicken Rice Cooker recipe. You just knot then add the pandan leaves to the rice cooker.)
- fresh garlic: do not substitute with garlic powder.
- scallion: wash the green onion then tie in a loose knot before adding to the rice cooker pot.
🔪 Step-by-Step Instructions
1. Add ½ teaspoon chicken stock powder (replace with ⅛ teaspoon of salt if you can't get it) and ½ Tablespoon sesame oil onto 0.3 lb of chicken thighs.
Note: Let the chicken come to room temperature before cooking for the meat to be juicier.
Note: Chinese sesame oil burns easily so be quick and use low or medium heat. You can substitute with chicken fat if you have it.
2a. Heat up a frying pan and add 1 Tablespoon sesame oil.
2b. Add 2 shallots (sliced), 1" ginger (sliced) and 4 garlic cloves (sliced) to the pan and saute quickly till fragrant.
Optional Step: Water and oil will splatter and may burn you so be careful! Skip this step if you want to play safe (but note this makes the rice more fragrant.)
3. Add the washed and drained ½ Cup white jasmine rice to the pan and quickly stir-fry till fragrant. BE CAREFUL OF OIL SPLATTER.
4a. Transfer the rice, aromatics and oil to your rice cooker pot. Add ¾ Cup chicken broth then place the marinated chicken on top of the rice. Add the spring onions then switch on the rice cooker.
4b. When the rice cooker finishes, wait for 10 minutes before uncovering the rice cooker lid, then fluff up the fragrant rice before serving. You may want to add a drizzle of sesame oil over the chicken. (If you want it to look authentic, slice up the chicken before serving.)
See "Expert Tips" below for how to make the essential Singapore Chicken Rice Chili Sauce!
Food Safety Tip: A food thermometer should measure 165F (75C) when inserted into the thickest part of the chicken.
🥡 How to Store
Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge and consume by the next day.
👩🏻🍳 Expert Tips
Tip #1: In Singapore, this dish usually comes with sliced cucumbers, tomatos, and a bowl of chicken soup.
Tip #2: Serve with dark soy sauce, Singapore Chicken Rice Chili, and Singapore Chicken Rice Ginger Sauce.
Tip #3: To make the Chicken Rice Chili, you need to blend garlic, ginger, calamansi lime juice, big red chilies, chicken stock/ broth (or just add chicken stock powder/ bouillon cube), and a bit of white sugar and salt. Alternatively, use a food processor to blitz the ingredients. (If you're rushed, you can (I suppose) use Sriracha or Sambal Oelek instead, but note that they won't taste as good!)
Also known as 海南鸡饭, this Chicken recipe was brought to Singapore from Southern China by Hainanese immigrants. (In Singapore, many Hainanese immigrants became cooks.) The original recipe featured plain white rice. In Singapore, the recipe evolved to have a seasoned rice. The whole chicken is first poached, before the resulting chicken stock is used to cook the rice, resulting in a REALLY flavorful rice. (There's also a 2nd version which is served with roasted chicken.) In the early days, an old hen was used, as it had more flavor, but this meant the meat would be much tougher. Today, we favor a young and tender chicken. Some places even put the cooked chicken in an ice bath!
🥗 Suggested Accompanying Recipes
Enjoyed this easy Singapore Hainanese Chicken Rice Recipe? Please leave a 5-star 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟rating in the recipe card below! If you REALLY liked this Singaporean dish, please consider supporting it by buying me a bottle of soy sauce! 🙂 (No obligation though!) Thank you and have a great day!
Hainanese Chicken Rice (Rice Cooker)
- 1 sieve
- 1 Pan Optional (only if you're saute-ing the rice grains before adding to the pot)
- 0.3 lb boneless chicken thighs (136g) Don't remove the skin and fat, if yours comes with.
- 1½ Tablespoon sesame oil ½ Tablespoon to rub into the chicken and 1 Tablespoon for stir-frying later.
- ½ teaspoon Chicken Stock Powder Substitute with ⅛ teaspoon for salt if you can't get it.
- 2 shallots Peel, slice and smash with the back of your knife. You can substitute with red onions but do not use onion powder.
- 1 inch fresh ginger No need to peel. Just slice and smash. Do not use ginger powder.
- 4 garlic cloves Peeled and smashed. Do not use garlic powder.
- ½ Cup white rice Use uncooked Jasmine rice. Do not use sushi rice or Korean rice. Wash and drain carefully to reduce oil splatter.
- ¾ Cup chicken broth Substitute: equal amount of water and 1 teaspoon chicken stock powder or 1 chicken stock cube (If using unseasoned homemade chicken sotkc, you will need to add salt.)
- 1 green onion Rinse and knot or cut in thirds.
Prepping the Chicken
- Add ½ teaspoon chicken stock powder (replace with ⅛ teaspoon of salt if you can't get it) and ½ Tablespoon sesame oil onto 0.3 lb of chicken thighs. Note: Let the chicken come to room temperature before cooking for the meat to be juicier.
For extra flavor
- Heat up a frying pan and add 1 Tablespoon sesame oil.Note: Chinese sesame oil burns easily so be quick and use low or medium heat. You can substitute with chicken fat if you have it.
- Add 2 shallots (sliced), 1" ginger (sliced) and 4 garlic cloves (sliced) to the pan and saute quickly till fragrant.
- OPTIONAL: Water and oil will splatter and may burn you so be careful! Skip this step if you want to play safe (but note this makes the rice more fragrant.)Add the washed and drained ½ Cup white jasmine rice to the pan and quickly stir-fry till fragrant. BE CAREFUL OF OIL SPLATTER.
In the Rice Cooker
- Transfer the rice, aromatics and oil to your rice cooker pot. Add ¾ Cup chicken broth then place the marinated chicken on top of the rice. Add the spring onions then switch on the rice cooker.
Note: the nutritional information is an estimate automatically calculated using the WPRM recipe maker and I am not responsible for its veracity.
If this Rice Cooker Chicken Rice recipe was helpful, maybe you'd like to sign up for my newsletter in which I send you more tips and tricks to make easy Asian food?