Instant Pot Hainanese Chicken Rice
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The Instant Pot Hainanese Chicken Rice dish is one of the easiest, simplest, healthiest, yet utterly divine poultry dishes in the world which Filipinos love. In Manila, I’ve seen many restaurants offering Chicken Rice on the menu. Its cooking concept is basically poaching the chicken in a broth flavored with fresh ginger, scallions and garlic. Traditionally, on the stove the chicken has to poach for an hour or more. But now, in the Instant Pot multi pressure cooker, I cooked everything in nearly half the time.
Once the chicken is done, you boil the rice in the same chicken broth flavored with the scallions, garlic and ginger. As soon as I opened the lid of the Instant Pot, the powerful aroma of freshly cooked chicken and superb flavors of ginger and garlic floated around. To plate the boiled chicken I sliced it, and served with the Filipino toyo (soy sauce) side dipping sauce paired with crushed peanuts in sugar.
For an authentic perspective on this dish, I asked my niece, Tsui Chern, who’s also from Singapore. Her pointers were helpful. She suggested adding crispy fried shallots and a dash of white pepper, plus green onions to the chicken soup broth when it’s served along with the chicken and a side of chili sauce.
I have cooked and eaten the Hainanese Chicken Rice in different parts of the world. I’ve cooked it in Manila. I’ve eaten it at restaurants in the Philippines. I’ve eaten it at hawker centers in Singapore. I’ve tried it in HongKong. I’ve ordered it at Malaysian restaurants. And here in the United States, I’ve ordered it when we ate out, too. But do you know which is my favorite? The Instant Pot Hainanese Chicken I cook for my family right here in my American kitchen.
Instant Pot Hainanese Chicken Rice
- Instant Pot (or any multicooker) : 6 quarts or 8 quarts
- Large stock pot or Dutch oven: 8 quarts or 10 quarts (for stove-top cooking)
- 4 pounds chicken cutlets bone-in
- 10 cups water or chicken broth to boil the chicken
- 4 stalks scallion whites set aside greens for garnish
- 4 pieces fresh ginger peeled, each in 1-inch slices
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 2 Tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 Tablespoon xiao xing rice wine
- 1 Tablespoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
For Chicken Rice
- 1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 piece fresh ginger peeled, a 1-inch slice
- 2 cups uncooked white rice long-grained or jasmine white rice
- 3 1/2 cups chicken broth from boiling the chicken
- 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon salt
For Dipping Sauce and Sides for serving
- 1/4 cup toyo (soy sauce)
- 1/4 cup chili sauce bottled, store-bought
- 1 medium cucumber peeled, sliced
- 1/2 cup roasted peanuts crushed
- 2 teaspoons granulated sugar for mixing in peanuts
- 4 stalks scallion greens chopped, for garnish
To make the Instant Pot Hainanese Chicken
- Wash the chicken in running water. Pat dry with paper towels.Rub a tablespoon of salt all over the chicken pieces.
- Arrange the chicken pieces in the inside pot. Pour the water or chicken broth.Add the fresh ginger, scallion whites and two cloves garlic. Pour the soy sauce and rice wine.Sprinkle a teaspoon of salt and black pepper.
- Close and lock the lid of the Instant Pot.Set the steam release handle to a Sealing Position.Click Manual and cook on High Pressure/ Poultry for 45 minutes.
- When the buzzer sounds to announce cook time is finished, do a NPR (natural pressure release) for 5 to 8 minutes, allowing the steam to come down on its own.When the float pin drops, it is safe to unlock the lid carefully. Press Cancel to turn off.
- Using tongs or a ladle, remove the cooked chicken pieces.Immediately immerse the cooked chicken in a bowl filled with cold water and ice. The iced bath is suppose to stop the cooking process and keep the meat tender. After about 10 minutes, remove the chicken pieces from the iced water. Rub sesame oil all over the chicken. Set aside.
To cook the Chicken Rice in the Instant Pot
- Using silicone mitts, hold the inside pot and pour the chicken broth in a large bowl. Put aside broth to serve as soup with the meal.Set aside 3 1/2 cups chicken broth to cook the rice.
- Return the inside pot into the Instant Pot.Click Saute. Add the vegetable oil. When oil is hot enough, saute the garlic and ginger for 1 minute.
- Add the rice grains to the saute and stir around to blend flavors.When the rice grains get puffy in about 2 minutes, add the chicken broth,salt and sesame oil. Stir gently.
- Click Cancel to turn off Saute function. Close and lock the lid of the Instant Pot.Set the steam release handle to a Sealing Position. Click Rice function and steam rice at Low Pressure for 12 minutes.
- When the buzzer sounds to announce cook time is finished, do a Quick Release.When the float pin drops, it is safe to unlock the lid carefully. Press Cancel to turn off.Fluff the cooked rice with a fork.
How to Plate
- Using a sharp Chinese cleaver or large knife, slice the chicken in serving pieces. Arrange on a platter. Put mounds of rice next to it. Or in a bowl served alongside.Garnish with fresh, sliced cucumbers and chopped scallion greens. Serve with the side dipping sauces and piping hot bowls of the soup broth.
To prepare the side sauces
- Pour the soy sauce in a small bowl. Garnish with remaining sliced scallions.In a small bowl, combine the crushed peanuts and sugar. Serve as a side to the sauce.In a separate small bowl, pour the bottled chili sauce and serve with the entree.
To cook Hainanese Chicken Rice on the stove-top
- Fill a large stockpot with 10 cups of water and the seasoned chicken. Add the ginger and garlic. Pour the soy sauce and rice wine.Cover and bring to a boil. Then lower to medium heat. Continue cooking for 1 hour and 25 minutes or till chicken is completely done.Remove the chicken and immerse in a bowl of iced water and ice for 10 minutes. Then remove the chicken and rub with sesame oil. Set aside.
- Set aside 3 1/2 cups of the broth the chicken was cooked in. Pour the rest of the broth in a large soup bowl.Using the same stockpot, over medium high heat, add the oil. Saute the garlic and ginger. Add the rice grains and sesame oil. Blend and stir. When rice gets puffy after 2 minutes, pour the chicken broth. Cover and let this boil. Then lower heat to a low simmer and cook rice for 8 to 10 minutes. Stir gently so rice does not stick to the bottom of stockpot. When cooked, serve with the chicken and side sauces.
- My sister who is based in the Philippines cooks this often. She suggested to use free-range organic chicken for this recipe if possible. It makes for a more wholesome, flavorful dish.
Notes on the Instant Pot
- After the Saute function, it takes about 17 minutes for the Instant Pot to preheat before the High Pressure cooking time begins. For other multi-cooker pressure cooker brands, please consult the product manual.Use accessories recommended for the Instant Pot like silicone mitts or tongs. Do not use glassware in the Instant Pot.
Nutrition Notes: The nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.
Did you like this recipe? I have more Filipino Instant Pot recipes in my newest cookbook Instant Filipino Recipes: My Mother’s Traditional Philippine Cooking in A Multicooker Pot. Buy my cookbooks and books on Amazon.com – sold worldwide in paperback and Kindle format.
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Disclosure: Instant Pot is the brand name of a multi-cooker that cooks in high and low pressure. I was not paid by the Instant Pot company to mention the product or brand nor endorse it. This is not an ad. My views and opinions are my own.
The chicken after 45 minutes was verrrryyyy overcooked. Liquid to rice ratio can almost be 1:1.
Hi Theo, as I explained to another reader, the chicken cuts with bone, were crammed inside the Instant Pot. Also, we don’t like to eat chicken with pink parts and prefer it well-done thoroughly. I will take into account your suggestion on the rice ratio. Thanks!
Hi, do you really need to cook the chicken for 45 minutes?
I came across several recipes and the all recommend no more than 5 minutes with natural release.
Hi Tin Phan, the chicken I used had bone and the cutlets were crammed in the Instant Pot. This cooking time worked for me. We don’t want to eat chicken if there are still pink parts in it.
Come across your recipe reasonly, I agree with the other comments that cooking the chicken for 45 mins in the instant pot is far too long,. For making hainanese chicken rice it’s best to use fresh chicken rather than chicken that has been frozen before.
Cooking on a stove chicken can be brought to a slow simmer , than simmer for 15-20 mins .turn off heat & cover for 20 mins . Take out chicken and submerge in ice cold water for 10 mins.
Hope this helps, thanks for sharing
Thanks for the helpful advice!