My parents spend their summers in Singapore, where one can get a killer serving of Hainan chicken and rice in many of the city’s wonderful open-air food markets. The dish’s wonderfully light and tender chicken is great – my favorite part has always been the fragrant and fluffy rice. My mom recently sent me a recipe for Chicken Rice that she received from one of the food stall vendors that she vaguely conveyed over WeChat: “ginger, stock, and coconut cream”. Below is my attempt at recreating this recipe at home, finished in a rice cooker. Verdict: mmmn goooood.

I can eat this stuff every day.
I can eat this stuff every day.

Ingredients for approximately 4 servings:

  • 3 cups of basmati rice
    We get the Kirkland brand from Costco
  • 1 can of low-sodium chicken stock, about 14 oz.
    Vegan version: substitute with vegetable stock
  • 1/3 can of coconut cream
    Picked this up from Trader Joe’s
  • 1 teaspoon of freshly grated ginger
  • 1-2 tablespoons of vegetable oil
  1. In a large bowl, mix the coconut cream and the stock as evenly as you can. Set aside.
  2. Heat up the oil in a large skillet and drop in the ginger, let the ginger bloom for a few seconds in the hot oil.
  3. Mix in the basmati rice and toast for a few minutes, stirring often, until the rice is starting to brown. Be careful not to burn the rice!
  4. Pour the ginger-toasted rice into your rice cooker, and fill up to the appropriate water line using the stock and coconut cream mixture. Since I’m cooking 3 cups of rice, I filled it up to the 3-cup line, which used up most of the stock/coconut mix with only a tiny bit leftover (shh, don’t tell my mom – she wouldn’t like that I’m wasting anything at all).
  5. Hit the “cook” button.

Note: the measurements are all approximate, and I can’t imagine this recipe requiring exact amounts other than the rice to water ratio required by your rice cooker. As long as that is balanced, the idea is that you’re cooking ginger-toasted rice in a mixture of stock and coconut cream. I’m sure that coconut milk will also work and can result in a different flavor, as it contains a different sugar and fat content than coconut cream.

Because we’re in the ‘burbs in the US of A, our Hainan Chicken Rice tonight is being served with a Costco rotisserie chicken and a side of steamed asparagus. My mom is already telling me that I should make stock with the Costco chicken, and use that to make more chicken rice.