Known as nasi tim ayam at my home town, this famous dish is favorite among the local and commonly sold at the Chinese eatery places in our small home town.
The rice and the chicken are prepared separately and then steamed together before serving. The chicken is marinated in seasonings such as oyster sauce, shaoxing wine, soy sauce, dark soy sauce. The sauce from cooking the chicken is then used to sauteed the rice until half-cooked.
The rice and chicken is usually steamed in Chinese rice bowls. Prior to serving, you invert the bowl into the plate and you have this dome-shape nasi tim ayam with the chicken and hard-boiled egg on top. The dish is dark brown in color, thanks to the dark soy sauce. A very flavorful dish and you can smell the wonderful garlic in there too. In fact, this dish use quite a bit of garlic to flavor it up.
Whether you have been longing to have nasi tim ayam or this might be your first time cooking it, I believe you will find it tasty. Nasi tim ayam has always been my comfort food!!
- 1½ cups of uncooked jasmine rice (washed with cold water until the water is clear)
- 5 cloves garlic (peeled and finely chopped)
- 4 Tbsp dark soy sauce
- 1 Tbsp soy sauce
- 3 Tbsp of canola oil
- 1½ cups or more of chicken stock
- 3 boneless chicken thighs (or you can use 4 bone-in thighs and de-bone on your own) - cut into 1-inch pieces
- 4 dried shiitake mushroom (soaked in 2 cups of warm water until soft, discard the stems and sliced thinly)
- 1 bulb garlic (peeled and finely chopped)
- 3 Tbsp canola oil
- 2 Tbsp of oyster sauce
- 3 Tbsp dark soy sauce
- 1 Tbsp shaoxing wine
- 1 tsp of white pepper
- 1 tsp of sugar
- 1 Tbsp corn starch
- 4-5 green bird's eye chilis (you can substitute with 2 serrano peppers too, cut them into smaller pieces before putting into mortar and pestle)
- 1 clove garlic (finely chopped)
- 3 hard-boiled eggs
- Few sprigs of fresh cilantro leaves
- If you have mortar and pestle, place the chili and chopped garlic inside the mortar and mashed it with the pestle until the chilis are coarsely mashed. If you don't have mortar and pestle, you can use food processor to do this, it just won't be as "coarse", but that's just a matter of preference and you may have to prepare more as it is hard to just process 4-5 chilis in a food processor
- Heat the wok or skillet until really hot. Add in 3 Tbsp of canola oil. Add in the chopped garlic and saute until fragrant. Add in the marinated chicken and shiitake mushrooms and saute until the chicken has turned to opaque in color. Add in the boiled eggs and 2 cups of the water from soaking the mushrooms. Bring to a boil and lower the heat to simmer, cover the wok/skillet and let it cook for about 30 minutes and turn the eggs off and on so the sauce will brown the egg evenly too. Strain the sauce into another bowl so you can use it to cook the rice, you will get probably about 1 cup
- Slice the hard-boiled eggs into half and set aside
- Heat up 3 Tbsp of oil in a cleaned wok/skillet and put in garlic and stir fry until fragrant. Add in the rice, soy sauce and dark soy sauce and saute for about 2 minutes. Add in the sauce from cooking the chicken, about 1 cup then add in another 1½ cups of chicken stock. Stir to mix in and then bring to a boil and lower the heat to gently simmer until all the liquid is gone. The rice will half-cooked at this point. Turn off the heat
- Bring the water in the steamer to a boil
- Prepare about 6 Chinese rice bowls. Place the ½ hard-boiled egg, with the yolk facing down on the bowl. Spoon about 2-3 Tbsp of the chicken and mushrooms mixture on top of the egg. Then top it up with the half-cooked rice. Leave about ½-inch from the top of the bowl. Repeat this with the rest of the bowl and ingredients
- Place in the steamer and steam for 45 minutes to 1 hour or until the rice is cooked through. You can check by scooping into the middle of the bowl to see if the rice is soft. If they are, turn off the heat and remove from the heat and let them cool down a little bit
- Get a plate and carefully place the plate on top of the bowl and quickly invert it over so the bowl is now sitting on top of the plate. When ready to be served, you may have the guests remove the bowl to uncover the beautiful nasi tim ayam presented in front of them. Garnish with few sprigs of cilantro and served with the green chili on the side if you make some and be ready to eat the second bowl ;)