From fishballs, kwek kwek, and taho here at home to the chapchaes, laksas, pho, and oyster omelets of our Asian neighbors, street food is definitely a great way to taste a country's culture. And one of these famous street foods is the much-loved chicken rice, believed to have originated from Hainan, China.

This dish calls for chicken to be boiled until tender, with the resulting broth and juices used to flavor the accompanying rice. While the chicken is flavorful on its own, it’s still best eaten with ginger, chili, and thick soy sauce.

Chicken rice has become such a huge hit here in the Philippines, with hordes of people lining up just to get a taste of the famous oriental delicacy. This weekend, enjoy the dish without leaving the comfort of your cozy abode by cooking it at home. Read on for a yummy recipe that’s guaranteed to have your family craving for more!

Hainanese Chicken Rice
Prep time: 55 minutes
Makes four to six servings

1 whole chicken, about 1 1/2 kilos
4 slivers ginger, peeled and crushed
5 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
5 stalks spring onions
2 red onions, quartered
1 stalk lemon grass
10 sprigs wansoy
1 chicken cube
1 tablespoon sesame oil
Salt to taste

1. Wash the chicken, rub it with salt and pepper, and stuff with ginger, garlic, spring onions, red onions, lemon grass, and wansoy. Fill a large pot with enough water to cover chicken, about 20 cups. Add the chicken cube; cover the pot, and bring to a boil.
2. Put in the chicken, breast side down, and bring to a boil again. Turn down the heat and let it simmer for 30 minutes, turning chicken over in the last 10 minutes.
3. Remove the chicken and drain the liquid from the cavity. Rub sesame oil all over the chicken and set it aside. Use the broth for cooking the rice, and set some apart and for making the ginger and chili sauces.
4. To make the ginger sauce, mix together 3 tablespoons grated fresh ginger, 2 teaspoons sesame oil, 3 tablespoons vegetable oil, 2 teaspoons finely chopped green onion, and ½ cup chicken broth. Season it with salt and pepper.
5. To make chili sauce, mix together 5 to 6 pieces seeded and finely chopped siling labuyo, 1 teaspoon crushed garlic, ½ cup chicken broth, ½ teaspoon salt, 1 tablespoon finely chopped red onion, 1 teaspoon grated ginger, 4 teaspoons calamansi juice, and 1 teaspoon sugar.
6. Serve the chicken with different sauces on the side.

(Photo by Erwin Obcemea. Food styling by Chiqui Lloren. Recipe by Minnie Chongbian.)

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