Easy Pressure Cooker Hainanese Chicken Rice – Learn how to make delicious, easy, and quick Hainanese chicken rice with a pressure cooker. This recipe is truly no fuss and it has become our weeknight staple.
They say you can’t visit Singapore without eating Hainanese Chicken rice. It is Singapore’s National dish. My addiction to Hainanese chicken rice was exacerbated when I lived in Singapore for 3 years. Don’t be fooled by its pale appearance, this baby is anything but tasteless. Even my kids love Hainanese chicken rice. I used to not making it often because it’s a little bit of work, but ever since we own a pressure cooker (Instant Pot), making this pressure cooker Hainanese chicken rice has been a breeze and so much faster! This pressure cooker Hainanese chicken rice has now become our weekly staple.
WHAT IS HAINANESE CHICKEN RICE?
Hainanese Chicken Rice is a comfort food for most people in Asia, including me. So-called due to its roots in Hainan cuisine and its adoption by the Hainanese overseas Chinese population in the Nanyang area (present-day Southeast Asia).
Traditionally, the whole chicken is basically gently “poached” and resulted in very tender meat. No other messing around with the chicken after that. The chicken is “pale” in color, but don’t let that color fools you because it is definitely not pale in taste I can tell you. The rice that is served with the chicken is cooked with garlic, shallots, pandan leaves (screwpine leaves) = FLAVORFUL! In Southeast Asia, most dishes are served with chili and chicken rice is no exception. You gotta have the chili sauce made for this chicken rice (sorry, I forgot to include it in the photos LOL). The ginger garlic paste is a must to accompany Hainanese chicken rice.
TIPS ON HOW TO MAKE AWESOME HAINANESE CHICKEN RICE WITH PRESSURE COOKER (INSTANT POT)
1. EXFOLIATE THE CHICKEN
Rubbing salt all over the skin of the chicken will ensure you get a nice silky smooth skin. Take care not to tear the skin though.
2. THE RICE
Make sure you wash the rice until the water is clear and then drain the water off completely. This is important so that the water to rice ratio is accurate.
3. SAUTE THE AROMATICS
Instead of dumping everything in the pot and let it cook, I like to stir-fry the aromatics first. Mom always reminds me to do so because it helps to enhance the flavor of the aromatics. The best thing is, you can do all this in the same pot by using saute function of instant pot.
4. USE SAME CUT OF MEAT
We will be using boneless meat, but with its skin intact. The oil from the skin helps to contribute flavor to the rice. It’s important to use the same cut of meat, for example, I’m using all boneless chicken thighs. I keep the skin and just remove the bones myself. You are welcome to use breast meat too, but make sure it has skin on it.
5. ICE WATER BATH
Once the chicken is done cooking, submerge them in cold ice water bath. This will stop the cooking process to ensure that tender meat and also gives you that nice smooth skin
HOW TO MAKE PRESSURE COOKER HAINANESE CHICKEN RICE IN A NUTSHELL
1. Saute the aromatics until fragrant with saute mode on instant pot
2. Add the rice and stir to mix everything. Add chicken stock and salt
3. Arrange the chicken pieces on top of the rice, skin side down
4. Pressure cook on high for 3 minutes and then wait 10 minutes to release pressure. The residual heat will continue to cook the chicken, so no worries about the chicken being raw
5. Unlock the lid and carefully remove the chicken pieces and let them rest for 5 minutes before slicing
6. Fluff the rice with a fork and serve with the chicken slices and garlic ginger sauce on the side
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Easy Pressure Cooker Hainanese Chicken Rice
Learn how to make delicious, easy, and quick Hainanese chicken rice with a pressure cooker. This recipe is truly no fuss and it has become our weeknight staple.
For the chicken:
- 600 gr boneless skin-on chicken thighs about 21 oz
- Salt for rubbing the chicken
- 4 thin slices of ginger
- 4 cloves garlic peeled & flattened
- Ice water bath optional
For the rice:
Aromatics and seasonings for cooking rice (finely chopped):
- 6 cloves garlic peeled
- 3 large shallots peeled
- 1 thumb-size of ginger peeled
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp sugar
- 3 Tbsp cooking oil
For garlic ginger sauce:
For the chili sauce:
- 4-6 red chilis stemmed
- 4 Tbsp chicken broth or use water
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 shallot
- Juice of 1 lime
- 1/4 tsp salt
- Cilantro leaves
- Slices of fresh tomato
- Slices of fresh cucumber
Things you can prepare ahead:
Place the ingredients for aromatics and seasonings for rice in a food processor and grind into paste. You may need to scrape the food processor bowl few times to make sure everything is grinding evenly. Transfer to a container and save in refrigerator. Give the food processor a quick rinse with water and then place all ingredients for chili sauce in the food processor and grind into paste. Transfer to a container and it can keep in the refrigerator for up to 1 week
Pat the chicken thighs dry and then rub with some salt all over the skin. Then rinse the salt off and pat it dry with an absorbent paper towel
Cooking on instant pot:
Press saute on instant pot. When it's hot, pour in the aromatic paste (which already has oil in it) and stir fry for about 30 seconds. Add the rice and stir to mix. Scrape the bottom to make sure nothing got burn at the bottom. Turn off saute mode. Pour in the chicken broth and add the better than bouillon. Stir to mix everything
Arrange the chicken thighs pieces on top of the rice, skin side down. Close the lid. Turn the steam release valve to seal. Press pressure cook on high and set timer to 3 minutes. When the timer is up, wait for 10 minutes and then release pressure
Carefully remove the chicken thighs and then submerge in ice water bath, if you choose to do this step. Otherwise, proceed to cutting board. This will shock the chicken and stop the cooking process and also create that nice silky smooth skin. Transfer to a cutting board. Wait 5 minutes and then slice the chicken. Brush with the soy sauce sesame seasonings if you want to. It adds extra taste to the chicken
Fluff the rice with a fork or rice paddle. Keep them warm if not serving yet. When ready to serve, Scoop out rice into a Chinese-style rice bowl. Pack the rice in and place a serving plate on top of the bowl and quickly invert it. You will have a dome-shape rice now. Place the sliced chicken on the plate. Garnish with fresh cilantro leaves, slices of tomato and/or cucumber
Serve immediately with the chili and ginger garlic sauce
You might also like this version of Hainanese Rice I grew up with in Indonesia.
Nasi Hainam Medan / Medan-style Hainanese Chicken Rice
OR this Hainanese Pork Chop that is totally delicious