Roast Hainanese Chicken Rice with Chilli & Ginger Sauce Recipe

Whilst at work one day, a group of us were discussing which one of us liked cooking or washing up more. Someone exclaimed that, “There’s nothing worst than grocery shopping!”  And another commented, “I absolutely hate cooking. I can’t think of anything worst to do at the end of the day!”

I had to look away and not comment. WHO were these monsters that had replaced my work mates??!! WHO? I thought I knew these people!! *sigh*

Grocery shopping is one of the highlights of my week, and I always look on longingly towards the weekend, where I can visit the supermarket or local markets to buy the freshest ingredients and stock up for the week ahead.

God forbid, should anyone take me to a hypermarket (thank God, it’s non-existent here, unless you count Costco, to which I am not a member for precisely this next reason to which I shall reveal).

I could happily walk up and down and select shopping trolleyfulls of things that I NEED right now :) Doesn’t help that I usually grocery shop before eating.. hence I end up with a hell of a lot of things at the cashier!

One day, whilst we were walking up and down the aisles of the local supermarket (because that’s how we roll and how we entertain ourselves), the Boy asked if there was anything that I’d like to eat.

I was in the mood for a hearty meal that would remind me of home. And so I told him, “I would like Hainanese Chicken Rice! The roasted one! Not the steamed version!”

And because I was doing the asking, I said, “Please.” And because I’m such a spoilt girl, he complied.

So, he walked down the deli and purchased a nice fat chicken along with the other ingredients needed for this dish. Aside from cooking this wonderful meal, he also wrote the next part of this post, all because I really wanted to curl up in my bed with the doona pulled up high to read my book (and I did 😛 )

How does your loved one spoil you? For indeed, as I’ve said many times before… I’m a really lucky girl! And if you do nothing but scroll all the way to the bottom, take note of the bolded text… it’s quite funny :)

Ingredients for the Chicken
1 Chicken (Whole) – gutted and cleaned with neck and feet removed
1 Tsp of Honey
1 Tsp of Maltose
1/2 Tsp of Molasses
1/2 Tsp of Five spice powder
Few dashes of Ground white pepper
1 Tbsp of Ginger juice
2 Tbsp of Light soy sauce
2 Spring onion stalks
5-6 slices of Ginger (5mm thick)
Handful of Kosher or any coarse Salt – for exfoliating the Chicken

Ingredients for the Rice
2 cups of Long grain rice
2 Tsp of Salt
5-6 slices of Ginger (2-3mm thick)
2 cloves of Garlic – finely diced
2 1/4 cups of Chicken stock
1 Pandan leaf (knotted)
2 Tbsp of Chicken fat with skin attached – obtained by trimming excess fat from Chicken
2 Tbsp of Water

Ingredients for the Soup
2 cups of Chicken stock
1/2 of a White radish/Daikon – cut into large chunks
1 Tsp of Salt
Few dashes of Ground white pepper
1 Tbsp of sliced Spring onions or Coriander leaves for garnishing

Ingredients for the Chilli Sauce
4 whole Red Chillies (fairly large sized)
2 cloves of Garlic – finely diced
4 slices of Ginger (2mm thick)
1 Tbsp of Lime juice (Calamansi lime preferred)
1 Tsp of Caster sugar
1 Tbsp of Chicken stock
1 Tsp of Chicken oil – obtained from rendered Chicken fat during the Rice preparation
A pinch of Salt (to taste)

Ingredients for the Ginger Sauce
40g of Ginger – finely diced
2 cloves of Garlic – finely diced
1 Tbsp of Spring onion – finely sliced
1 Tbsp of Lime juice (Calamansi lime preferred)
1 Tbsp of Chicken stock
1 Tsp of Chicken oil – obtained from rendered Chicken fat during the Rice preparation
A pinch of Salt (to taste)

Ingredient for the Sides/Healthy Bit
1 Cucumber – cut into half (lengthwise) and sliced into 2 cm slices (diagonally)


Step 1: All hail, for it is the Roasting of the Chicken

Trim off any excess fat and skin from the chicken and keep it aside (this will be used for the rice in Step 2). The next thing to do is to “exfoliate“! Exfoliating the chicken helps remove any trapped dirt or yucky stuff off the skin. Grab a handful of coarse or kosher salt and start rubbing all over the skin but at the same time being careful not to tear or damage the skin. You should see a smooth clean skin once completed. The next step is to give your chicken a work out! There is a theory that when most chickens are “killed“, their muscles tend to tense up and constrict. By giving the legs and wings gentle pulls and stretches, it should ease the muscle tension and thus giving you a more juicy and tender soft flesh at the end.

Combine the Honey, Maltose, Molasses, Five spice powder, White pepper, Ginger juice and Light soy sauce in a bowl. Stir to mix the marinade and generously rub all over chicken including the cavity. Stuff the Spring onions and Ginger slices into the cavity. Tie the two legs together with a kitchen twine to help cover the cavity. Leave the marinated chicken to air dry in the refrigerator for at least 6-8 hours or overnight.

Take the chicken out 30-45 mins before roasting to allow it to reach room temperature. Preheat oven to 220 degrees Celsius. When oven is hot enough, turn it down to 200 degrees Celsius and place the roasting pan with chicken into the oven for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, reduce the heat to 180 degrees Celsius and roast for a further 30-45 minutes (depending on the size of the chicken) until skin is crisp and dark brown in colour. Once done, take the chicken out to rest before cutting into pieces.

Step 2: Oh, so divine that fragrant smell of freshly cooked Rice

Wash the rice with 3 to 4 changes of water to remove excess starch and other impurities. Soak rice in water (water must completely cover the top) with 1 teaspoon of salt added. Soak for 10 minutes and drain once completed.

Remember that excess chicken fat at the start of Step 1? I’m assuming you have about 2 tablespoons worth of chicken fat. You’ll need to render that fat. To do so, heat a wok on medium heat and add the chicken fat with 2 tablespoons of water. Bring it down to a low simmering boil for about 10 minutes until oil is released from the fat. Keep 2 teaspoons of the oil for your Chilli and Ginger sauce while the rest of it will be used for the Rice.

In the same wok, add garlic and ginger and fry until fragrant (1 to 2 minutes) under medium heat. Add in rice and 1 teaspoon of salt and continue to fry for another 2 minutes. Discard the piece of chicken fat and transfer all other ingredients into a rice cooker. Add chicken stock and pandan leaf and cook rice until done. Once cooked, use a fork to fluff the rice.

Step 3: NO Soup for YOU!!!

This is a pretty simple soup to prepare. Boil chicken stock and white radish in a large saucepan or small stock pot (if you have one) on medium heat until white radish softens. Season with salt and pepper. Simmer or keep warm on very low heat until ready to serve. Garnish with spring onion slices or coriander leaves when serving.

Step 4: Chilli Sauce, spicing up your love life since ’69’

For the chilli sauce, it will depend on whether you prefer it with more heat or less. If you prefer it with less heat, remove the chilli seeds. Do this easily by cutting a slit along the chilli (lengthwise) and remove the seeds by scrapping away using the sharp end of the knife. Keep the seeds if you prefer it hot and spicy. Now, remove the stalk and finely dice the chillies. Once done, it’s time to make the sauce.

There are two ways of doing this. The hard way (Arrghhh… Me HULK, Me SMASH!!!) or the easy way (Whizzzzz … Bizzzzzzz…).

Me HULK, Me SMASH!!! way of doing things a.k.a. Mortar & Pestle: Grab a mortar and pestle. Add chillies, garlic and ginger and start pounding. POUND!… POUND!.. POUND! .. or maybe SMASH!.. SMASH! … SMASH! Continue pounding until you get a paste like consistency. Transfer chilli paste into a bowl and add all other ingredients. Give it a good stir and your sauce is ready.

The Easy way of doing things a.k.a. Got a Blender handy?: Add all ingredients into a blender or food processor. WHIZZZ!!! until you get a sauce like consistency. Done.

Step 5: Ginger sauce, oh ginger sauce…

The same choices as the previous step… doing it traditionally or blend-away.

Traditionally: Grab a mortar and pestle. Add ginger, garlic and spring onions and start pounding. Keep pounding until you reach a paste like consistency. Transfer ginger paste into a bowl and add all other ingredients and give it a good stir. Your sauce is good to go.

Using a blender: Add all ingredients into a blender or food processor. Start blending until you get a sauce like consistency. Done.

Plating Up:

Fill a small bowl with rice and turn it over onto a plate. Move bowl away and your rice should have a shape of a semi sphere. You can garnish the rice with spring onions, coriander or some fried shallots. Place some chicken pieces and cucumber onto the plate and drizzle some juices from the roasted chicken over them.

Fill a small bowl with the soup. Place chilli sauce and ginger sauce into mini dipping bowls. Voila!

Check out my other Hainanese Chicken Rice (Poached Version) recipe.


    • It is Malaysian by origin! It is even more delicious when u can eat your own version :)

  1. I tried the roasted version of chicken rice when I was in Singapore and it was really good! And yes I don’t understand people who don’t enjoy food shopping etc. It’s all part of the fun! Although I am married to one of those people 😛
    Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella recently posted…Flavour of India- Edgecliff

    • Opposites attract I guess!

  2. Grocery shopping is my Happy Place. It amazes even me that I can happily spend 45m in the local Coles I visit multiple times a week… Your colleagues are the weird ones 😉
    Hannah recently posted…Staring Down The Evil Bill Of Doom

    • I know!! Weirdos!! hahahaha… I better say something else, they read my blog! They are very nice weirdos!

  3. Jeez, your boy sure does spoil you! (And now I know he’s real and not a figment of your imagination.) Hahaha. And I love grocery shopping! I particularly love going to supermarkets and food markets when I’m overseas – SO MUCH FUN! Sadly, it bores Alastair silly, but he does humour me for a little bit.
    Agnes recently posted…Garden Tuscany

    • The funnest aisles are in JAPAN!! And OMG.. if you go to Bangkok.. you have to stroll up and down their 7-11 aisles.. even that is more interesting than most shopping places here!

  4. HI! We’re Msians currently living in Russia. Right now when I’m typing….my version of Hainanese roasted chicken is smelling nice in the oven! Missing-home case LOL. Found the recipe somewhere else but am writing now to thank you for the chilli and ginger sauce. I shall make them. My rice and soup done. It’s 5pm….dinner will be served soon! :)

    • Wow! Russia!! Well done :) Share with me an email on how the sauce went :)

  5. I found this site while searching for Malaysian Chicken Rice recipe – Became addicted to it while I was there!! Just one question from a novice, it is my first time using Maltose and it is very gummy and sticky and doesn’t seem to want to blend with the other ingredients.. It has made my marinade all lumpy. Does this matter? Is there a top tip for how to get it to relax into a paste and make the marinade more consistent? My chicken is currently air-drying in the fridge as I type so I can’t change it now but if this turns out how I think it will it is going to be a regular guest on my dinner table!

    • Hi there. Yes, maltose is sticky and has a similar texture as glucose syrup. Try slightly diluting it with some warm/hot water and bring it to a “honey-like” consistency. But don’t water it down too much. This should help the maltose combine with the other marinade ingredients better. To be honest, I don’t think it is a big issue as long as the marinade coats the chicken entirely. Hope your Hainanese Chicken Rice turns out!

  6. yes. i love grocery shopping. so much so that i collect the two main catalogues and compare. on my day id spend hours down the aisle back and forth for the weekly dinner ideas. then to the butchers and greengrocers. i mmainly do the cooking at home as wifey doesn’t mind the aftermath. most of the time its one pot meals or stir frys and my two boys like.
    the wifey spoils me by splurging out on sweets and viet rolls at springvale (now there is shopping heaven) and a early dinner afterwards. thats all i need, and im happy.

  7. btw this recipe is similar to how i make,( in fact tastier as i haven’t marinated the chiken :( ) and id put the cucumber, tomatoe and onion into a petite salad. love the photos to.

    • Aww that’s lovely! Thank you :)

  8. Hi, can you give me some tips on how to chop the chicken? Thanks!

    • Hmm this is difficult as it is the blind leading the blind :) Usually by the time it gets out of the oven, it is pretty easy and malleable. I follow the shape of the thighs and cut along that before cutting the breast meat out, away from the bone. It’s hard to type about it. Perhaps you could google for some pictures?

  9. OMG you make me lau nuah!

    • oops! Sorry!

  10. Nice recipe and very well explained… Food preparation and serving supervisors oversee the kitchen and non-kitchen staff in a restaurant or food service facility.

  11. Old post but good recipe. keep it up chef

    • Thanks for your support!

  12. look delicious

  13. What if I want to roast the chicken on th burner? Pls would u help me replying how can I roast the chicken on a burner instead of oven? Thx


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