Hainanese Chicken Rice – Famous Malaysian Cuisine

When people think of Malaysian cuisine, nasi lemak and laksa often spring to mind. Yet one of the country’s most beloved dishes is actually Hainanese chicken rice!

Originating in China’s Hainan province, the recipe was brought to Malaysia by Chinese immigrants during British rule. It can be found on menus throughout Malaysia, from street food carts to high-end restaurants, and influences from both cultures are evident in its preparation. The ingredients may be Malaysian, but the flavours and techniques involved are distinctly Chinese, making an interesting mix that appeals to locals and foreigners alike.

The hero of Hainanese chicken rice is steamed, boiled or roasted chicken. It’s served with jasmine rice cooked in chicken stock, with a fragrant sauce on the side made from ginger, garlic, shallots and pandan (screwpine) leaves. The meal includes a suite of accompaniments: chilli and ginger sauce made from freshly grated ginger root, soy-based sauce, sesame oil, chopped cucumbers, and coriander. A small bowl of rich, clear chicken stock is often served to sip as you eat.

This classic dish stands out for its simplicity: despite its sparse ingredients, the harmonious flavour combination is memorable. To order Hainanese chicken rice like a local, request either “white” (steamed) or “red” (roasted) chicken. If you’re feeling adventurous, ask for half white/half red!

Hainanese chicken rice is easy on your wallet: you can get a hearty meal without breaking the bank. It’s a staple of hawker centres, those open-air food courts where vendors serve a variety of Malaysian fare at affordable prices.

Shop name:
Ah Choon Chicken Rice
Restoran 838, 2, Lebuh Keranji,
Taman Mutiara, 14000

Other outlets:

91, Lebuh Bishop, George Town, 10200 George Town,

012 4879202

Famous Malaysian cuisine is a 50-video series produced by Masters of Malaysian cuisine(MOMC) in partnership with Tourism Malaysia.

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