Delicious Hainanese Chicken and Rice Recipe

Allow me to enchant you with a recipe that is both tantalizing and flavorsome – Instant Pot Hainanese Chicken and Rice! I assure you, this mouth-watering recipe will be the talk of your table. It’s a simple yet elegant recipe that is sure to captivate all your guests. It is the perfect balance of flavorful chicken, tender grains of rice, baby bok choy, and zesty lime juice – all cooked in one pot using an Instant Pot or pressure cooker.

This recipe originates from Southeast Asia, particularly Hainan Island, where it’s known as ‘Hainanese Chicken Rice.’ The dish is relished worldwide for its taste and simplicity. The multilayered flavors of juicy chicken thighs seasoned with garlic, ginger, and shallots impart a flavor that only intensifies when drizzled with sesame oil, dark soy sauce, or lime juice. The aroma wafting from the rice cooked with chicken broth and pandan leaves cannot be expressed enough in words.

It is perfect for any occasion; whether it’s a special family dinner or a party celebrating a significant milestone in life. This meal can be made with bone-in or boneless chicken thighs, whole chicken or steamed chicken breast. One of the best qualities of this recipe is how easy it is to make without compromising the rich flavors generally expected from authentic Chinese cuisine.

With a simple list of ingredients and an easy-to-follow method, you too can create a dish that will transport your taste buds to the heart of Asia. I recommend you read on to discover why this Instant Pot Hainanese Chicken and Rice Recipe will be your new go-to dish for occasions big or small.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Instant Pot Hainanese Chicken and Rice
Instant Pot Hainanese Chicken and Rice

Dearest readers,

Allow me to persuade you to try this magnificent Instant Pot Hainanese Chicken Rice recipe. You’ll love it for many reasons, starting with its ease of preparation. This quick recipe is simple to follow and uses readily available ingredients that you probably already have in your kitchen.

Not only is the recipe easy to follow and the ingredients easy to find, but it’s also a one-pot meal, which means minimal clean-up for you! Yes, you heard that right! One pot! Imagine how much time and energy you would save by using just one pot!

However, don’t let the simplicity fool you. This dish is loaded with flavor. The blend of ginger, garlic, shallots, sesame oil, soy sauce, and chicken broth layer upon each other perfectly to create an explosion of flavors in your mouth. Plus, the baby bok choy cooked in the broth adds a pop of color and texture to this flavorful dish.

And let’s talk about the star of this dish – the Hainanese Chicken. Tender and juicy chicken that practically falls off the bone but still retains its natural flavor – simply delicious! And paired with fragrant long-grain rice that has been infused with the chicken’s own juices – it is pure heaven on a plate.

This recipe can be adapted to suit any taste preference – make it spicier by adding more ginger or add some lime juice for an extra citrusy kick. Use boneless chicken if you prefer or substitute chicken drumsticks for chicken thighs.

In conclusion, my dear readers, this Instant Pot Hainanese Chicken Rice Recipe is a must-try dish. With its easy preparation, rich flavors, and versatility in taste preference – it will become a staple in your recipe collection.

Ingredient List

 Juicy and tender Hainanese chicken with fragrant rice cooked to perfection.
Juicy and tender Hainanese chicken with fragrant rice cooked to perfection.

Here are the key ingredients that you’ll need for this Instant Pot Hainanese Chicken and Rice Recipe:

  • 2 lbs chicken thighs (bone-in, skin-on preferred)
  • 1 tsp coarse sea salt
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 knob ginger (~1 inch), sliced
  • 5 shallots, peeled and crushed
  • 2 green onions, chopped finely
  • 2 cups long-grain jasmine rice, rinsed and drained
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup dark soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • juice of 1 lime

Optional: baby bok choy for serving

Note: Boneless chicken breast or whole chicken can be used instead of chicken thighs. You can also use chicken drumsticks (skin-on or skinless). If you prefer a less fatty version, remove the skin from the chicken pieces.

The Recipe How-To

 Indulge in the ultimate comfort food with this Instant Pot Hainanese chicken and rice dish.
Indulge in the ultimate comfort food with this Instant Pot Hainanese chicken and rice dish.

Here lies the most critical element of making a truly delicious Hainanese Chicken Rice recipe—a balanced and complex taste ensemble that dominates the senses with each bite, and all made possible in just one pot.

Step 1: Clean and prepare your chicken

In this recipe, I opted to use chicken thighs rather than a whole chicken. Wash the chicken under running water and pat dry with a paper towel. Season both sides with 1 teaspoon of coarse sea salt, then set aside.

Step 2: Sauté garlic, ginger and shallots

Using an instant pot on Sauté mode, heat up 2 tablespoons of sesame oil. Add in minced garlic (3 cloves), minced ginger (1 tablespoon) and diced shallots (2). Cook while stirring for about 30 seconds until fragrant.

Step 3: Add rice and fry

Add 2 cups of long-grain rice to the pot and stir well to mix it with garlic, ginger and shallots. Fry the rice for about one minute to release all the flavors.

Step 4: Pressure cook

Add 2 cups of chicken broth to the pot. Stir around the bottom of the pot to ensure no rice is sticking to it. Place the seasoned chicken on top of rice in a single layer. Close and seal the Instant Pot lid. Set it on High Pressure for eight minutes.

Step 5: Natural Pressure Release (NPR)

When cooking time completes, wait for it naturally depressurize for about ten minutes, then release any remaining pressure manually by turning venting knob from sealing to venting position.

Step 6: Garnish & Serve

Remove the chicken from Instant Pot immediately once it’s done cooking, let it rest for about five minutes before cutting into bite-sized pieces. Fluff up cooked rice using a fork or chopsticks before serving together with chopped green onions, sliced baby bok choy and a wedge of lime.

There you have it—an authentic Hainanese Chicken Rice recipe that is easy to make in an Instant Pot, perfect for a scrumptious home-cooked meal.

Substitutions and Variations

 This flavorful and easy-to-make dish will transport your taste buds straight to Southeast Asia.
This flavorful and easy-to-make dish will transport your taste buds straight to Southeast Asia.

If you’re looking to switch things up in this Instant Pot Hainanese Chicken and Rice Recipe, there are a few substitutions and variations you can try out! Here are some ideas to make this dish your own:

First, you can experiment with the type of chicken used in the recipe. While we recommend using chicken thighs for their tender texture and rich flavor, you can also use boneless chicken breasts or a whole chicken for a more traditional take on Hainanese chicken.

For those who prefer their food on the milder side, consider using chicken drumsticks instead of thighs. They still have a lot of flavor and work well with the fragrant jasmine rice.

In terms of vegetables, feel free to add in some baby bok choy or other greens for some added nutrition and color. You can either steam them separately or cook them in the same pot as the rice.

If you’re vegan or vegetarian, swap out the chicken broth for vegetable broth and omit the chicken entirely. You can simply make a fragrant ginger sauce by blending together ginger, garlic, sesame oil, soy sauce, and sugar.

For those who enjoy a bit of heat, sprinkle some chili flakes over your serving of rice or add some sliced jalapeños on top.

Finally, for those who love the salty-sweet flavor profile of this dish, try adding in some dark soy sauce while cooking the rice for an extra umami boost.

Overall, there are plenty of ways to customize this Instant Pot Hainanese Chicken and Rice Recipe to your liking. Get creative and have fun with it!

Serving and Pairing

 The ginger scallion sauce is the perfect complement to the delicate taste of the chicken and rice.
The ginger scallion sauce is the perfect complement to the delicate taste of the chicken and rice.

I daresay, I know a thing or two about the art of pairing dishes, and let me assure you that this Instant Pot Hainanese Chicken and Rice Recipe is a perfect fit for a variety of accompaniments. Its delicate and aromatic flavors make it an impressive main course option, suitable for any occasion.

A classic serving suggestion is to pair the chicken and rice with some fresh baby bok choy lightly blanched in salted boiling water for just a few minutes. The bok choy’s crisp texture and mild taste complements the savory yet subtle flavor of the chicken rice flawlessly. Drizzle some soy sauce over the vegetables and sprinkle with sesame seeds for an extra burst of flavor.

Alternatively, you could also serve this dish with a fresh squeeze of lime juice on top. The gentle acidity from lime perfectly balances the richness of the dish, makes each bite even more satisfying.

If you are craving something hearty, consider adding a side of garlic sautéed green beans. If you prefer something subtle, try steamed broccoli or a simple salad dressed with rice vinegar dressing.

And if you’re feeling adventurous, why not pair this Hainanese chicken rice recipe with some Chinese tea? Jasmine tea is an ideal choice as its floral aroma will marry perfectly with your flavorful meal.

Whatever your preference may be, I guarantee that this Instant Pot Hainanese Chicken Rice recipe will astound your taste buds so much so that you must have seconds!

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 If you're a fan of Asian cuisine, this dish is an absolute must-try.
If you’re a fan of Asian cuisine, this dish is an absolute must-try.

Are you planning on making this Instant Pot Hainanese Chicken and Rice Recipe ahead of time? Or do you have some leftovers that you’d like to store for later? Don’t worry, here are some tips for storing and reheating your delicious dish.

To make-ahead: You can prepare the chicken and rice in advance, but keep them separate. Store the cooked chicken in the fridge for up to 3 days, and store the rice in an airtight container for up to 5 days. You can also freeze the ready-made chicken rice for up to 3 months – just make sure to defrost it completely before reheating.

To store: Simply place the cooked chicken and rice separately in airtight containers and store them in the fridge for up to 3 days. If you have leftover broth, you can also store it in a separate container.

To reheat: If reheating from the fridge, reheat the chicken and rice separately in microwave-safe containers until they are steaming hot. Alternatively, you can reheat the chicken and rice together in a pan over medium heat, stirring frequently until heated through.

If reheating from frozen, defrost the dish completely overnight in the fridge before reheating as directed above.

Tip: To prevent the rice from becoming dry or clumped together when reheating, sprinkle a little water over it before microwaving or reheating on a stove top.

With these simple tips, it’s easy to enjoy this delicious Hainanese Chicken Rice recipe again and again – whether freshly made or as leftovers!

Tips for Perfect Results

 This dish may look simple, but it's packed with complex layers of flavor.
This dish may look simple, but it’s packed with complex layers of flavor.

To ensure the best results for your Instant Pot Hainanese Chicken and Rice Recipe, I have compiled some tips and tricks that will elevate your dish to the next level.

1. Use the right amount of water

It is crucial to measure the water accurately to get perfectly cooked rice. For every cup of rice, use one and a half cups of water. If you’re using long-grain rice instead of jasmine, reduce the amount of water by a quarter cup. Trust me; this hack can make or break your recipe!

2. Use chicken fat

For an authentic Hainanese flavor, use chicken fat instead of oil when sautéing ginger and garlic. The rendered chicken fat will add an umami flavor to your dish, complementing the other ingredients and making it richer in taste. You can either use store-bought or homemade chicken fat.

3. Rest the chicken

After steaming the chicken, give it time to rest for at least 10 minutes before slicing it up. This resting time allows the meat to absorb all its juices back in, yielding moist and tender chicken.

4. Flip halfway through cooking

When cooking your chicken thighs, flip them over halfway through cooking to ensure an evenly cooked texture on both sides. This technique helps you avoid overcooking or undercooking either side.

5. Dress with ginger sauce

Serve with ginger sauce to take your Instant Pot Hainanese Chicken and Rice Recipe to new heights! Ginger sauce adds an aromatic flavor and cuts through the richness of the dish perfectly.

By following these tips, you’ll guarantee excellent results every time you cook this dish!

Bottom Line

In conclusion, if you’re looking for an easy yet delicious recipe that will impress your friends and family, the Instant Pot Hainanese Chicken and Rice recipe is definitely worth trying. With its simple ingredients and convenient one-pot method using a pressure cooker, this dish is not only perfect for busy weeknights but also special occasions.

Not only is it a crowd-pleaser, but it also offers a healthy and nutritious meal option with baby bok choy and chicken thighs. Plus, the flavorful ginger sauce made with lime, sugar, and dark soy sauce adds an explosion of taste that will tantalize your taste buds.

Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced cook, this recipe is easily customizable to your liking, allowing you to substitute or add any additional ingredients you prefer. It’s versatile enough to serve as a main dish or side dish and pairs well with many different wines or beverages.

Overall, the Instant Pot Hainanese Chicken and Rice recipe is an excellent addition to your cooking repertoire. It’s quick, simple, and perfect for satisfying your craving for some authentic Hainanese chicken rice in the comfort of your own home. Give it a try today and enjoy the scrumptious rewards!

Instant Pot Hainanese Chicken and Rice

Instant Pot Hainanese Chicken and Rice Recipe

A full meal of soup, poached chicken with dipping sauces, and rice. Modified from Amy+Jacky. April 2018. NOTE: Please read entire recipe! I list all the ingredients at the beginning, and then repeat ingredients by section.
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Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 45 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Chinese/Singaporean
Servings 8
Calories 563.1 kcal


  • 7 tablespoons peanut oil, divided
  • 8 stalks green onions, divided
  • 2 shallots, roughly chopped
  • 2 heads garlic, divided
  • 6 tablespoons ginger, divided
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon coarse sea salt (more to taste)
  • 8 large chicken thighs, skin-on, bone-in (3-4 pounds)
  • 2 cups long-grain rice (like Jasmine)
  • 2 tablespoons dark soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons shaoxing wine
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 4 drops toasted sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons hot sauce
  • 1 lime, juice of
  • 5 baby bok choy, sliced


  • 2 Tbsp peanut oil; 6 stalks green onions, cut 2 inches long; 2 shallots, roughly chopped; 12 cloves garlic, smashed (a little more than a head); 4 Tbsp ginger, unpeeled, sliced; 4 cups chicken broth; 1 Tbsp sea salt; 8 large chicken thighs (3-4 pounds).
  • Heat up the Instant Pot (Saute). When it says HOT, add 2 Tbsp peanut oil. Add green onions, shallot, smashed garlic, and sliced ginger, and saute for about 2 minutes, until fragrant.
  • Pour in the chicken stock and deglaze the bottom of the pot. Add 1 Tbsp of sea salt and mix well. Place all the chicken into the pot; try to submerge them all. Close lid and cook at High Pressure for 8 minutes. When done, turn off the heat and allow to fully Natural Release (about 10-15 minutes). Meanwhile, prepare an ice bath and place a cooling rack over a baking pan.
  • When pressure is off, open the lid and carefully remove chicken using kitchen tongs. Place the chicken into the ice bath (or place under running cold tap water). Then place them on the cooling rack to firm up the skin. (Chicken will be served at cool room temperature.). When cool, transfer to a serving dish.
  • Strain the chicken stock into a saucepan. Discard the solids. Wipe the Instant Pot clean with a damp paper towel.
  • RICE.
  • 2 Tbsp peanut oil; 4 cloves garlic, minced; 1 cup broth from pot; 1 cup water; 2 cups Jasmine rice.
  • Wipe Instant Pot with a damp paper towel. Heat up Instant Pot (Saute). Meanwhile, rinse rice. When IP says HOT, add 2 Tbsp peanut oil then add the minced garlic. Stir until lightly golden. Add in the Jasmine rice, broth, and water. Close lid and cook at High Pressure for 3 minutes. Turn off the heat, Natural Release for 10 minutes, and then fully release the pressure. Open the lid and fluff rice with a fork -- it's ready to serve!
  • > Sweet soy sauce > Combine 2 Tbsp dark soy sauce, 2 Tbsp shaoxing wine, 2 tsp sugar, 4 drops toasted sesame oil, and 1 Tbsp chicken broth from pot.
  • > Green onion ginger sauce > In a small saucepan, heat 3 Tbsp peanut oil. In a small heatproof bowl, combine 2 stalks green onions, finely minced, and 2 Tbsp finely grated peeled ginger. When oil is hot, pour into bowl (it will sizzle!) and stir well. Add salt to taste.
  • > Chili sauce > Combine 2 Tbsp hot sauce, 2 Tbsp finely grated peeled ginger, 3 cloves finely minced garlic, juice of 1 lime, and 1 tsp chicken broth from the pot.
  • SOUP.
  • Add 2 cups water to the remaining broth in the pot. Bring to the boil. Add the bok choy and reduce to a simmer. Cook for a few minutes, only until the bok choy is tender-crisp. If you wish, garnish with green onions thinly sliced on the diagonal.
  • I like to place everything (soup, chicken, sauces, and rice) on the table, for people to help themselves and condiment their food as they wish. =).
  • NOTES * I prefer chicken thighs, but you could substitute whole legs, or breasts. * To cook the chicken on the stovetop, just simmer covered until done. Check after about 30 minutes; chicken should be cooked through but not falling off the bone. * For short-grain rice in the IP, for every cup of rice, use 1 1/2 cups liquid. * You could also cook the rice in a rice cooker; follow rice cooker instructions for proportions of rice and liquid for type of rice. * To substitute for the shaoxing wine, you could use pale dry sherry. For a nonalcoholic alternative, try apple juice or white grape juice; add it before the sugar, then add sugar to taste, so the sauce doesn't become too sweet.

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 356gCalories: 563.1kcalCarbohydrates: 49.5gProtein: 24.6gFat: 29.4gSaturated Fat: 6.7gCholesterol: 79mgSodium: 1686.6mgFiber: 2.2gSugar: 2.6g
Keyword < 60 Mins, Meat, One-Dish Meal, Poultry, Rice
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