Hainanese chicken rice

Hainanese chicken rice
  • Low phosphate
  • Low potassium
  • Low salt
  • Main meal
  • South East Asian
  • 2 hours or less
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A high protein and flavourful dish that’s low in salt, potassium and phosphate, with an additional low fluid broth.


1-1.3kg whole chicken (100g cooked chicken per person)

5 spring onions, green tops only (reserve the white parts for the sauce)

2 litres very low-salt/ zero-salt chicken stock

25g ginger, peeled and cut into 3 chunks

Chicken rice

50g chicken skin trimmings (sliced)

3 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped

240g jasmine rice

Spring onion and ginger sauce

3 tablespoons vegetable oil

White parts from the 5 spring onions, finely sliced

20g ginger, peeled and finely grated

3 tablespoons reduced-salt soy sauce

1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar

2 teaspoons sesame oil

To serve

320g cucumber, sliced

1 tablespoon sesame oil

Iceberg lettuce, sliced

1 tomato, sliced

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  1. Step 1

    Remove the excess skin and fat from the whole chicken - keep these trimmings for the rice. Slice the dark green tops off the spring onions and save the white part for later. In a saucepan that fits the chicken snugly, place the chicken, the green spring onion tops, the ginger chunks and the chicken stock - if necessary, top it up with cold water so that the chicken is fully submerged. Set the pan over a high heat and bring to a gentle simmer, reduce the heat and simmer gently for 30 minutes, uncovered, occasionally scooping the foam from the surface and topping up with water if needed.

  2. Step 2

    In a small pan over a high heat, heat the vegetable oil and add the spring onion slices. Ensure they are coated in oil and fry for two minutes, then add the grated ginger and fry for another two minutes until the onion slices are browned. Switch off the heat and transfer the sauce to a bowl to cool. Once cool, add the soy sauce, rice wine vinegar and sesame oil; stir to combine and set aside.

  3. Step 3

    When the chicken has reached the end of the cooking time, gently remove from the broth. Place the chicken on a large plate to rest and cool slightly, then pierce the chicken with a knife and ensure that the juices run clear - if not, return it to the pan and simmer for a further 10 minutes before checking again. Once the chicken is thoroughly cooked, set it aside to cool and strain the broth through a colander to remove the spring onion and ginger chunks. Reserve 600ml of the strained liquid to use for the rice.

  4. Step 4

    Place the chicken fat and sliced skin trimmings into a frying pan and cook over a medium-high heat until it releases about two tablespoons of liquid fat (if your chicken is not very fatty, you can add a little oil to make up the difference). Add the garlic to the chicken fat in the pan and cook for one minute, stirring constantly, until golden. Add the rice and stir well to scrape up any chicken bits from the bottom of the pan.

  5. Step 5

    Add 500ml of the reserved chicken poaching liquid. Bring to the boil, turn the heat down to medium and cook the rice, uncovered, for 12-15 minutes until it is just tender - add more liquid if needed. Cover with a lid (or foil if your pan does not have a lid) and rest for 10 minutes. Fluff up with a fork before serving.

  6. Step 6

    To serve: pull the meat off the carcass and discard the bones, cartilage and skin. Slice the meat and drizzle it with sesame oil. Serve the chicken coated with the spring onion and ginger sauce and plated next to the cucumber, lettuce, sliced tomato and rice. Serve the remaining 100ml of chicken broth next to the dish, to be drizzled over the top if desired.

Food facts

The rice is the main source of carbohydrate in this dish and the values have been provided for those who have trained in insulin adjustment.

This recipe is low in potassium, when following the quantities in the ingredients, and the serving sizes. Therefore, suitable for those advised to reduce potassium in their diet.

Chicken is a source of phosphate. If you have been prescribed a phosphate binder, ensure you take them with this dish.

Chicken is a good source of protein. The protein content of this dish makes it suitable for those having dialysis.

Use a gluten-free reduced/low-salt stock.

Use brown rice instead of jasmine rice but add about 20 minutes to the cooking time and about 50-100ml more liquid.

Making your own chicken stock is basically free if you use chicken carcasses, bones and vegetable off-cuts that would otherwise go to waste.

Leftovers can be refrigerated to eat the following day but should be covered and refrigerated as soon as they have cooled. They can be eaten cold or thoroughly reheated in a microwave. Do not keep them for more than 24 hours due to the risk of rice food poisoning.

Strain the remaining chicken poaching liquid through a sieve and use it as stock or in a soup. To save on space, bring the strained liquid to a vigorous boil and keep boiling it for 15-20 minutes. Leave it to cool in the pan and keep refrigerated for up to a week or freeze in ice cube trays, then transfer to a freezer bag to keep in the freezer for up to 6 months.