Sunday, May 31, 2009

Hainanese Chicken Rice

This is one of my all time favourite dishes. I went to Hainan to try this dish at the source and they did not have this Singaporean version so this is truly unique. It makes a good summer dish. The sliced chicken (usually boneless) is served cool over a bed of sliced cucumbers with soy sauce and sesame oil poured over.

Whilst the rice is served hot and is an event in itself. Cooked in spring onions and either chicken or pork stock, the rice takes on a fragrant, full-bodied flavour and can be eaten on its own. Traditionally, my parents like some thick black sweet sauce on the rice to enhance the flavour. Personally, I like to go without as a little sweet sauce goes a long way. Served with a garlic chili for dipping, the recipe for which is sometimes a closely guarded secret by the stall owner. If you are lucky, the stall might have minced ginger (my favourite) in addition to the chili for dipping.

Everyone in Singapore has their own favourite Chicken Rice stall they patronise regularly. The most famous is TianTian in Maxwell market. I like Wee Nam Kee & Boon Tong Kee, my friends like Five Star and my dad likes Leoung Yeow at Waterloo street. It boils down to personal preference. Some like it not so oily, more cooked etc. But, it's all good.

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