Monday, November 22, 2010

Hainanese-ish chicken rice

Do you know three things I love the most? Garlic My husband, garlic, and procrastinating. I`ve learnt the last one very well when I was in grad school. Turns out I`m still pretty good at it. I know, it`s not something to be proud of. That`s why I forced my self to sit here and start typing before I started wondering why I can`t be more productive. Two posts in a day! So not typical of me.

Well well, still related to my previous post about Malaysian dishes, this time I`m going to show you how to cook my Hainanese-ish chicken rice. For the XXXth time, I must remind you that this recipe is somehow not the real Hainanese chicken rice. It`s either I had to or I wanted to modify the ingredients and the way to cook it. I was happy with the result, though. My husband loved it too (well, he kind of had to, lol), So let me share our happiness with you.

Before I go further, I think it`s better for you to know that it takes 3 big parts in preparing this chicken rice. Boiling the chicken, cooking the rice, and preparing the sauce. However, I, for so many (laziness-related) reasons, only worked on part 1 and 2. I would show you more on this later on.

Spice paste. Now I just realized that I mostly start my cooking rituals with sauteing spice paste. And I also realized that that`s exactly the part that makes me happy. The aroma, the sizzling sound, the stirring..oh..wonderful. The only downside is when my hair ends up smelling like a shrimp paste. Well, that`s his problem, not mine.

So, for the paste, from what I got from here and there, it only needs ginger and spring onion. I was like ,"What?!"  as my mind was anticipating with a long list of spices. But I just had to trust those recipes I guess. But, due to my crazy addiction on garlic, I include some of it (a lot, actually) in my paste. See? Two spices plus one. So simple as it is!

When the spices start smelling wonderful, dump in chicken and pour in some water just a little bit upper the top of the chicken. I was planning to serve this chicken rice like the real one, but then I just thought, oh I`ll just go with shredded chicken. It`s easier to serve (I`m terrible at cutting) and store the leftover. So, I cooked the chicken in a pressure cooker. This saves me a lot of energy and time.
So, set the cooker`s lid on, and let it cook.

While the chicken is being cooked, watch your favorite TV shows. Or update your Facebook status. Or wash the dishes. Or (nicely!) ask your husband/boyfriend to wash them. There`s nothing you can do until your chicken is ready, really. You need the chicken stock to cook the rice anyway.
Alright, if you insist, you can start preparing the rice. First, you need to saute a garlic and ginger paste. Then, throw it in together with washed (wash and rinse it, please) uncooked rice in a rice cooker. I also used shiitake mushroom and yuba. Trust me, nothing can go wrong with all those ingredients. 

Now, the chicken is ready now. First thing to do is take out the chicken and set them aside.

Then, using a laddle and strainer, bring the chicken stocks carefully into your rice cooker. I wanted to skim off the excess fat floating on top of the stock, so I used that strainer. Don`t worry about loosing the spice goodness, because the stock has a lot of chicken and spice flavors and you already added freshly prepared spice on the rice. Don`t forget the salt but not too much, because you still can adjust it later when the rice is cooked. Lightly stir up the rice, then turn the cooker on.
By the way, save some of the chicken stock for serving.

And back to the chicken. I was holding this bowl while watching TV with him. Boy, I`m tired.

So this is to show you why I`m so crazy about my pressure cooker. I only used my wooden spatula to break them apart very, very easily.
Season the chicken with sesame oil (very important!) and ginger powder. Salt and pepper too, because I did not include any salt at all during the boiling process. I completely forgot about the salt, but it turned out alright, because this way I can control the salt easier. Duh! This is me talking about low sodium food. 

And I was carried away being a chicken shredder. Keep adjusting the taste while shredding it up. When you`re done, set it aside.

When your rice cooker says, "Your rice is ready, Princess", open it, and quickly stir it up.  Adjust the taste too.

 Arrange the chicken on top of rice and serve with the soup.
 And what is that red thing that suddenly appears? So this is the reason why I didn`t include the sauce. I have my shrimp and tofu balado (spicy tomato gravy) for its side dish.
I must say that the balado a bit overpowered the chicken rice due to the heat and sweetness, but other than that, we really enjoyed the rice! I overate.

For chicken:
Ginger (whole and powder)
Spring onion
Sesame oil
Salt and pepper

For rice:
Shiitake mushroom
Chicken stock
Salt and pepper


  1. Wow, mouth watering pictures!
    Atid, yg merah itu kimchi kah?

  2. hihihi...itu cuma balado udang dan tahu kok mbak. tp silahkan coba aja pake kimchi, keliatannya enak dan seger :)

  3. omg! I LOVE MY PRESSURE COOKER too! heheheh....ditambahin shiitake mushroom kayaknya manteb banget tuh...nyontek yahhh ;)

  4. PC rocks!! food processor rocks too! ga punya ulekan sih :p silahkan silahkan dicontek, I hope you`ll like it too!