This Instant Pot Hainanese Chicken Rice (Instant Pot Hainan Chicken Rice) is my take on classical Hainan Chicken Rice. With aromatic and fluffy rice, juicy chicken, and delectable sauces, this easy chicken rice will surely impress you!
🙋♀️ What is Hainanese Chicken Rice?
The roots of Hainanese Chicken Rice could date back to early Chinese immigrants from Hainan province in southern China. This delectable dish draws its inspiration from the renowned Hainanese dish, Wenchang chicken – one of the four significant Hainanese dishes.
As time passed, the Hainanese community in Southeast Asia adapted the dish, giving rise to the beloved versions of Hainanese Chicken Rice found in Singapore and Malaysia today.
You also could see other delightful variations of this dish like Thailand’s Khao Man Gai and Malaysia’s Nasi Ayam . Moreover, for those visiting China town in Saigon, Vietnam, the Vietnamese version of Hainanese chicken rice (Cơm Gà Hải Nam) is an absolute must-try.
Hainanese Chicken Rice is a humble yet incredibly delicious dish featuring poached chicken served alongside flavorful and aromatic “oily rice” (油飯).
It’s complemented by three special homemade sauces: chili sauce, soy – sesame oil sauce, and ginger dipping sauce.
Vietnamese people also have our own versions of Chicken Rice such as Cơm Gà Hội An (Hoi An Chicken Rice) or Cơm Gà Nha Trang (Nha Trang Chicken Rice, Nha Trang is also my beloved hometown).
These delightful dishes feature boiled chicken served with steamed rice infused with the distinctive tastes of Vietnamese cuisine.
❤️ Why this recipe works
The traditional preparation of authentic Hainanese Chicken Rice involves poaching a whole chicken in a large pot of gently boiling water.
However, this process can be quite time-consuming and demanding, particularly for some single individuals like me, who may find handling and finishing a whole chicken challenging.
As a devoted fan of Hainanese Chicken Rice, I started to explore simpler methods that preserve the dish’s delectable flavor without the fuss.
That’s when I stumbled upon a collection of quick and easy recipes, including this Instant Pot Hainanese Chicken Rice, or Rice Cooker Hainanese Chicken Rice, and One-pan Hainan-inspired chicken rice.
Find more Vietnamese and Asian recipes with Instant Pot here.
Two organic/free-range chicken leg quarters: Opting for high-quality chicken can truly make a difference.
Jasmine Rice: i always use it to cook South East Asian rice dishes. Sushi rice could work also.
Ginger, Scallions and Garlic: Essential aromatic ingredients for sautéing the rice and preparing the ginger-scallion sauce.
Soy Sauce, Sesame Oil, Lime Juice, and Chili: these ingredients come together to create the delightful soy dipping sauce.
Cucumber, tomatoes, or bok choy: Use these vegetables for garnishing and serving alongside the chicken rice.
📝 How to cook Hainan Chicken Rice with Instant Pot
Prepare the dipping sauces in advance:
Scallion – Ginger Sauce:
In a heat-resistant bowl, combine chopped scallions (green part), minced ginger, chopped chili (if using), sugar, and salt. Heat oil in a pan until it’s close to smoking point, then carefully pour it into the bowl with the other ingredients. Stir everything together and allow the sauce to cool.
Soy – Sesame Dipping Sauce:
Stir in some light soy sauce, fresh lime juice and a dash of sesame oil to form a sauce. Adjust the amounts according to your taste. Add some chopped fresh chili if you like some heat.
Prepare the chicken:
Gently rub the chicken legs with coarse salt, then rinse off the salt and pat them dry with kitchen papers.
Cook the Hainanese Chicken Rice with Instant Pot
Thoroughly wash and rinse the jasmine rice until the water runs clear. Drain the rice well and set it aside.
In the Instant Pot’s “Saute” mode, heat 1 tbsp cooking oil and add sliced ginger, chopped scallions (white part), and minced garlic. Sauté for 1-3 minutes until fragrant.
Add the drained rice and stir-fry for about 30 seconds until it becomes slightly translucent. Scrape the bottom of the pot to prevent sticking and burning. Season the rice with ½ tsp chicken powder.
Turn off the “Saute” mode. Place the chicken leg quarters on top of the rice. Add 1 cups of water (240ml) to the pot (ratio for rice: water is 1:1).
Close the lid and cook the chicken rice on high pressure for 8 minutes. Allow the pressure to release naturally for 15 minutes.
Serve Hainan Chicken Rice:
Once the cooking is complete, remove the chicken. Brush some sesame oil onto the chicken and set it aside.
Use chopsticks or a rice paddle to fluff the rice, especially the part that was in contact with the chicken, which may be slightly soggy but will improve after fluffing.
Remove the bones from the chicken and slice it into bite-sized strips.
Plate the rice individually and place the chicken on the side, accompanied by cucumber slices (or tomato slices, blanched bok choy, etc.).
Drizzle the ginger-scallion sauce over the chicken and rice. Serve the chicken rice with a delightful sesame -soy sauce and enjoy!
🌟 Helpful Tips
- Make sure to drain the rice well, as this will impact the water-to-rice ratio during cooking
- You could use chicken broth instead of water for a richer and more flavorful rice.
- Opt for high-quality organic or free-range chicken.
- Select chicken with the skin and bones intact, as both the chicken fat and bones will enhance the flavor of the rice.
If you’ve tried this recipe or any others from my blog, please share your creations with me on Instagram by tagging #savour_thepho or mentioning me in your stories with @savour_thepho . I would be thrilled to see what you’ve made and it would definitely brighten my day! Don’t forget to stay in touch with me on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, YouTube 🥰.
Instant Pot Hainanese Chicken Rice
- 1 6-quart Instant Pot (6-liter)
- 2 chicken leg quarters (organic or free-range chicken)
- 1 cup jasmine rice (220g)
- 1 cup water (240ml)
- 2 sprigs scallion (only white part) (finely chopped)
- 1 garlic clove (minced)
- 1 thumb-sized ginger (peeled, thinly sliced)
- Coarse salt
- Chicken powder
Scallion – Ginger Sauce
- 2 sprigs scallion (only green part) (finely chopped)
- ½ thumb-sized ginger (peeled, minced)
- 1 pinch salt
- 1 pinch sugar
- ¼ cup neutral cooking oil (60ml)
- Chilli (optional, finely chopped)
Soy – Sesame Sauce
- 1½ tbsp All-purpose Soy Sauce (to your taste)
- 1 tbsp Sesame oil (to your taste)
- 1 tsp lime juice (or Chinese black vinegar) (to your taste)
- Chilli (optional, finely chopped)
You also need:
- Sliced cucumber (Sliced tomatores or blanched bok choy…)
Preparing two kinds of sauce in advance:
- Scallion – Ginger Sauce:In a heat-resistant bowl, mix chopped scallions (green part), minced ginger, chopped chili (if using), sugar, and salt. Heat oil in a pan until it's close to smoking point, then carefully pour it into the bowl with the other ingredients. Stir everything together and let the sauce cool.
- Soy – Sesame Dipping Sauce:Stir in soy sauce, fresh lime juice (or Chinese black vinegar), and sesame oil together. Adjust the flavor to your taste. For those who enjoy a bit of heat, add some chopped fresh chili.
Prepare the chicken:
- To prepare the chicken, gently rub the chicken legs with coarse salt, then rinse off the salt and pat them dry with kitchen paper.
Cook the rice and chicken with Instant Pot:
- Wash and rinse the rice thoroughly until the water runs clear. Drain the rice well and set it aside.
- In the Instant Pot's "Saute" mode, heat 1tbsp cooking oil and sauté ginger, scallions (white part), and garlic for 1-3 minutes until they become fragrant.
- Add the drained rice to the pot and stir-fry for about 30 seconds until it becomes slightly translucent. Remember to scrape the bottom of the pot to prevent sticking and burning. Season the rice with ½ tsp chicken powder.
- Turn off the "Saute" mode, then place the chicken leg quarters on top of the rice. Add 1 cup of water to the pot, following a rice-to-water ratio of 1:1.
- Close the lid and cook the chicken rice on high pressure for 8 minutes. Once the cooking is complete, allow the pressure to release naturally for 15 minutes.
Serve Hainanese Chicken Rice:
- Once the cooking is finished, carefully remove the chicken. Give the chicken a brush of sesame oil and set it aside.
- Use chopsticks or a rice paddle to fluff the rice. The part of rice that was in contact with the chicken may be slightly soggy but it's not a big problem after fluffing.
- Debone the chicken and slice it into bite-sized strips.
- Serve the rice onto individual plates. Place the chicken on the side, accompanied by cucumber slices (or tomato slices, blanched bok choy, etc.).
- Drizzle some ginger – scallion sauce over the chicken and rice. Serve the chicken rice with the soy – sesame dipping sauce. Enjoy!