Hainanese Chicken Rice

Hainanese chicken rice originated from the Hainan region of southern China. It is an adaptation by Hainanese Chinese who migrated to Southeast Asia countries. Specifically derived from the famous Hainanese recipe named Wenchang chicken. It is extremely popular in Malaysia and Singapore, as well as in Vietnam and Thailand. They voted Hainanese chicken rice on CNN’s list of The World’s 50 Best Foods in 2021, at ranking number 45. Besides, they also credited it as one of the national dishes of Singapore.

The unique fragrance flavour of Hainanese chicken rice always brings back fond memories of my childhood. Every time I savour this dearly-loved dish. It is no doubt my favourite childhood hawker or street food. Which is broadly obtainable in many kopi tiam cafés (coffee shops), hawker stalls and even restaurants. In both Malaysia and Singapore.

Hainanese Chicken Rice Gluten Free

Gluten Free Hainanese Chicken Rice

For my gluten free version of this Hainanese chicken rice. I started with marinating the chicken with garlic, ginger and spring onion paste. Then immersing the chicken into boiling water and simmer on low heat for half an hour. Likewise, I used the chicken broth to cook the fragrant ginger and pandan leaves flavoured rice. And I also used the chicken broth as the complementary soup. I genuinely served up with a spicy chilli dipping sauce. Made from ground long red chillies, small red chillies, garlic and onion. Another sauce that accompanied this dish is loads of ground fresh ginger, garlic and spring onion.

Afterwards, I served the chicken together with the chicken soup. Plus fresh cucumber and sesame oil and gluten free light soy sauce dressing. They normally serve the chicken boneless in both Singapore and Malaysia. My gluten free Hainanese chicken rice is not only gluten free. But also dairy free, corn free, egg free and nut free.

You may like my other gluten free chicken recipes:

Hainanese Chicken Rice Gluten Free

Nutritional Values and Health Benefits of Chicken

Chicken is an excellent source of high quality lean white meat protein. With very low fat content, mainly made up of good unsaturated fats. It is beneficial for the growth and development of lean muscles in the body. For maintaining healthy body weight and facilitates weight loss. They often eat chicken as alternatives to red meat like beef and pork, which have more saturated fats.

Chicken has zinc which helps maintain a healthy immune system. Likewise it has iron required for the making of red blood cells and transportation of oxygen. Chicken also contains phosphorus which helps maintain healthy bones. Furthermore, chicken is an excellent source of niacin (vitamin B3), which supports healthy skin and metabolism. As well as pyridoxine (vitamin B6), vital for healthy nervous system and protein metabolism. Plus cobalamin (vitamin B12), a water-soluble vitamin, important for the central nervous system and in maintaining healthy red blood cells.

Nutritional Values and Health Benefits of Ginger

Ginger is a tropical root inhabitant to Southeast Asia, and they have been using it in cooking as a spice. Likewise, they have been using ginger for medicinal purposes for many eras. Ginger is the one of the main ingredients in making Hainanese chicken rice. Moreover, it is fragrant, pungent and spicy and it enhances a special tang and flavour to the dish. There are many health benefits of ginger. They often refer to ginger as a marvel spice due to its medicinal properties. Besides, they use ginger to soothe the digestive system. In addition, ginger contains extremely powerful anti-inflammatory compounds called “gingerols”. Which is effective in relieving the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. And may assist in defeating motion sickness, help amend symptoms of morning sickness. Furthermore, they use ginger to treat digestive system flatulence. And ginger may prevent colon cancer and aid in treatment of ovarian cancer.

Hainanese Chicken Rice Gluten Free
Hainanese Chicken Rice Gluten Free
Print Recipe
5 from 4 votes

Hainanese Chicken Rice

Popular and classic tender and juicy Hainanese chicken with fragrant rice. Served with hot chilli sauce, ginger and spring onion sauce plus cucumber.
Prep Time1 hour
Cook Time1 hour
Total Time2 hours
Course: Dinner, Lunch, Main, Rice
Cuisine: Chinese, Malaysian, Singaporean
Diet: Gluten Free
Keyword: Chicken, Corn Free, Dairy Free, Egg Free, Ginger, Ginger and Shallot, Nut Free
Servings: 6 people
Calories: 783.85kcal
Author: Daphne Goh


For the Chilli Sauce:

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 5 long fresh red chillies deseeded and cut into 3cm lengthwise
  • 3 small fresh red chillies deseeded (optional)
  • 3 cloves garlic peeled
  • 1 small brown onion peeled and cut into wedges
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons stevia
  • 1 lemon juiced

For the Ginger and Spring Onion Sauce:

  • 5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 200 g ginger peeled and thinly sliced
  • 6 spring onions (shallots) sliced into 2 inch lengthwise
  • 3 cloves garlic peeled
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 teaspoons stevia
  • 1 lime juiced

For the Fragrant Rice:

  • cups basmati rice
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 pandan leaves (screwpine leaves) each tied in a knot (fresh or frozen)
  • 2 inch ginger peeled, thickly sliced and bruised
  • chicken broth from cooking the chicken

For the Garnish:

  • 3 sprigs coriander (cilantro) including stems, roughly tear into 2 cm (0.8 inch) lengthwise
  • 3 Lebanese cucumber peeled and thinly sliced lengthwise

For the Dressing:


For the chilli sauce:

  • Put the extra virgin olive oil, red chillies, garlic and onion into the food processor and blend until you get a smooth paste. Remove from blender and put the paste into a small bowl. Then add the salt, sugar and lemon juice and mix well. Set aside. Rinse the food processor.

For the ginger and spring onion sauce

  • Combine ginger, garlic and spring onion into the food processor. Blend until you get a rough paste. Set aside 2 tablespoons for marinating the chicken. Then put the rest of the paste into heat resistant bowl.
  • Heat up 5 tablespoons of extra virgin oil in a frying pan and pour over the paste, add the salt, sugar and lime juice and mix well. Set aside.

For cooking the chicken:

  • Clean and wash the chicken, fat trimmed from under skin near the top and bottom of cavity. Then rub and marinade the chicken skin and cavity with 2 tablespoons of salt and 2 tablespoons of the ginger and spring onion sauce (without seasonings) set aside in step 2 above.
  • Fill a stock pot with half full of water and bring to a boil. Submerge the chicken into the boiling water and resume the boil and skim the surface. Add all the dried Chinese red dates. Once its boiling, turn the heat down to low, cover with lid and simmer for 30 minutes. Turn off the heat.
  • Cautiously remove the chicken and place on a plate and set aside. Reserve the chicken broth for cooking the rice and to serve as complementary soup. Discard the Chinese red dates.

For the fragrant rice:

  • Wash the rice and place into the rice cooker together with the extra virgin olive oil, pandan leaves and ginger. Cook in an electric rice cooker by adding number of cups of chicken broth (from cooking the chicken) as specified by the electric cooker water level.

For serving the chicken:

  • Cut the chicken into quarters and remove the chicken meat from the bones carefully. Next, cut the boneless chicken quarters into bite size pieces. Drizzle the dressing onto the chicken pieces and garnish with coriander.
  • Serve the chicken with fragrant rice, chilli sauce, ginger sauce, cucumber and remaining chicken broth garnished with coriander.


Dried Chinese red dates and pandan leaves can be purchased fresh or frozen from Asian groceries stores.
Allergens: Soy and Sesame, only in dressing sauce.
Nutrition Facts
Hainanese Chicken Rice
Serving Size
1 people
Amount per Serving
% Daily Value*
Saturated Fat
Trans Fat
Polyunsaturated Fat
Monounsaturated Fat
Vitamin A
Vitamin C
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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