Hainanese chicken

Hainanese chicken

Ben's Meat Bible
Benito Martin

This is one of the cleanest and healthiest meals you’ll ever have. This simple meal of chicken steeped in broth is often considered Singapore’s national dish. Every time I go there I will always eat this.


Quantity Ingredient
1 x 1.2kg chicken
150ml rice vinegar or red-wine vinegar, plus extra to serve
1 lemongrass stem
1 red chilli, pricked with a fork
2 black peppercorns
2 kaffir lime leaves
1 star anise
1 tablespoon dark soy sauce
4 garlic cloves, smashed
2.5cm piece fresh ginger, peeled and thickly sliced
1 bunch spring onions, trimmed and sliced in half
1/4 teaspoon salt
300g broccolini or broccoli, broken into large florets
1-2 tablespoons oyster sauce
light soy sauce, to serve
sesame oil, to serve

Dipping sauce

Quantity Ingredient
1 red chilli, chopped
3 tablespoons light soy sauce


  1. Rinse the inside of the chicken with the vinegar and discard the liquid.
  2. Smash the lemongrass with a rolling pin, cut in half and pop into the cavity of the chicken. Transfer the chicken to a stockpot and cover with water. Add the pricked chilli, peppercorns, lime leaves, star anise, dark soy sauce and half the amount of garlic, ginger and spring onions. Bring to the boil and add the salt. Reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes, then cover with the lid and turn off the heat. Allow to stand for 40 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, make the dipping sauce by combining the chilli with the soy sauce in a small bowl.
  4. Remove the chicken from the stock and set it aside on a plate to drain. Place a colander in the stockpot for steaming and bring the stock back to the boil. Add the broccolini to the colander and steam for 5 minutes. Remove and plunge into ice-cold water. Transfer to a bowl and toss with the oyster sauce.
  5. Carve the chicken and lay onto a serving platter. Slice the remaining garlic, ginger and spring onions into fine matchsticks and scatter over the chicken. Pour over a ladleful of stock and sprinkle with vinegar, soy sauce and sesame oil. Serve with the steamed broccolini and dipping sauce.
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