Easy Hainan Chicken

This Hainan chicken recipe is a simplified version of the popular dish seen throughout Southeast Asia consisting of steamed or poached chicken along with a ginger dipping oil that compliments it perfectly.  If you’re looking for the same great taste in a simplified version, this recipe is it!

There are many variations of Hainan chicken and every household has their own special way of making it.  Today, I’ll be showing you how my family makes Hainan chicken, the super quick and easy way!

Asian style steamed boneless Hainan chicken top with green onions served on a plate with ginger salt dipping sauce, top down shot.

What is Hainan Chicken?

The debate of origin for Hainan chicken stretches back decades ago when Malaysia and Singapore split and since have both have laid claim to the dish.

In fact, Hainan chicken can be found in many countries throughout Southeast Asia making it a very well known dish to many.

Traditionally, Hainan chicken is served with seasoned rice and dipped in a ginger, oil based sauce.  For a healthier low carb version, you can accompany it with cauliflower rice.

What ingredients do I need and what are the instructions to make Hainan chicken?

  • Chicken Thighs
  • Salt
  • Japanese Sake
  • Ginger-
  • Green Onion
  • Neutral Oil
  • Coarse Sea Salt

Place ginger slices and green onion pieces into water.  Place chicken thighs on a steaming rack and cook for 12-15 minutes in medium heat or until internal temperature reaches 165 F.

Remove and cut into pieces and serve with a side of ginger garlic dipping sauce.  You can adjust salt to your liking.

What makes this Hainan chicken an easy recipe?

Traditionally, Hainan chicken involved a whole chicken that’s been steamed and cut.  This recipe uses boneless chicken thighs which takes all the hard work out of it while still having that same great taste.

Why do you use boneless chicken thigh as opposed to a whole chicken?

Using boneless chicken thighs means being able to steam the chicken quickly and without bones to have to pick through.

This Hainan chicken recipe is a no mess no fuss type of dish giving you the same great flavor without all the work.

Asian style steamed boneless Hainan chicken top with green onions served on a plate with ginger salt dipping sauce.

Can you use chicken breast instead of chicken thigh?

Yes, you can use chicken breast if you prefer, but we strongly recommend just thigh as it will be juicer and more tender.

How come this recipe doesn’t come with the Hainan chicken rice?

Feel free to add your choice of rice or even cauliflower rice to keep it low carb.

If making traditional Hainanese chicken rice, you can cook rice like normal in a rice cooker while replacing the water with chicken broth from boiling the chicken and adding a few pieces of ginger into the rice cooker.

For ways to prepare cauliflower rice click here.

What is the nutrition information for this Hainan Chicken recipe?

  • 265 Calories
  • 4g Carbohydrates
  • 1g Fiber
  • 21g Protein
  • 17g Fat
  • 82mg Cholesterol
  • 342mg Sodium
  • 298mg Potassium
  • 26mg Calcium
  • 2mg Iron
  • 303ui Vitamin A
  • 5mg Vitamin C

Asian style steamed boneless Hainan chicken being dipped into ginger salt dipping sauce with chopsticks.

Looking for other Asian style chicken recipes?

  • Asian Ground Chicken Stir Fry
  • Korean BBQ Marinated Chicken
  • Chicken Satay with Peanut Sauce
  • Kung Pao Chicken Stir Fry
  • Creamy Coconut Tom Kha Gai Soup

Now, let’s get making this Asian style steamed Hainan Chicken recipe!

  • Prepping Time 5M
  • Steaming Time 12M
  • Total Time 17M
  • Net Carb/Serv ~1g
  • Serving 2

Ingredients

Chicken

  • 1 lb Boneless and Skinless Chicken Thighs
  • 1/8 tsp Salt
  • 2 tbsp Japanese Sake (can be replaced with dry sherry)
  • 1 Inch Ginger
  • 2 Stalk Green Onion
  • Water

Dipping Sauce

  • 1 tbsp Fresh Ground Ginger (about 1/2 inch of ginger)
  • 1/2 Stalk Green Onion
  • 3 tbsp Neutral Oil (no taste)
  • 1/2 tsp Coarse Sea Salt (MUST be coarse otherwise will be too salty, use 1/4 tsp if you’re sensitive to salt)

Directions

1) Gather all the ingredients.

Easy Hainan Chicken Recipe (6)

2) Grate 1 tbsp of ginger with a grinder and set aside.

Easy Hainan Chicken Recipe (4)

3) Slice 1/2 inch of ginger into thin slices.

Easy Hainan Chicken Recipe (2)

4) Finely chop 1/2 stalk of green onions and set aside.

Easy Hainan Chicken Recipe (3)

5) Chop 1 stalk of green into 1 inch lengths.

Easy Hainan Chicken Recipe (1)

6) In a small mixing bowl, combine ingredients for the sauce – neutral oil (we use vegetable oil), finely chopped green onions, grated ginger, and Coarse Sea SaltNote – this sauce tends to be on the salter side, so if you’re sensitive sodium, we recommend starting with 1/4 tsp and working your way up.

Easy Hainan Chicken Recipe (21)

Easy Hainan Chicken Recipe (22)

Easy Hainan Chicken Recipe (11)

7) Lightly sprinkle salt on both sides of the chicken thighs and set aside.

Easy Hainan Chicken Recipe (5)

8) In a stove top pot, add Japanese sake, sliced ginger and 1 inch green onion stalk.  Add enough water to cover 1/2 inch from the bottom of the pot and bring to boil.

Easy Hainan Chicken Recipe (23)

Easy Hainan Chicken Recipe (24)

9) Once boiling, reduce heat to medium-low, place chicken thighs on a steaming rack (or directly in the water if you don’t have one), completely cover and steam for 12-15 minutes or until the chicken reaches an internal temp of 165F.

Easy Hainan Chicken Recipe (25)

10) Place cooked chicken onto cutting board and slice into bite-size slices.  Transfer to a serving place, drizzle some reserved broth on top and serve with dipping sauce from step 6).

Easy Hainan Chicken Recipe (26)

Hope you enjoy your Asian style steamed Hainan Chicken recipe!

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More Recipes

Asian style steamed boneless Hainan chicken top with green onions served on a plate with ginger salt dipping sauce, top down shot.

Easy Hainan Chicken

This Hainan chicken recipe is a simplified version of the popular dish seen throughout Southeast Asia consisting of steamed or poached chicken along with a ginger dipping oil that compliments it perfectly. If you're looking for the same great taste in a simplified version, this recipe is it!
4.94 from 16 votes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Asian, Chinese, Taiwanese
Keyword: hainan chicken, steamed chicken recipe
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Total Time: 17 minutes
Servings: 2
Print Recipe
Calories: 265kcal

Ingredients

Chicken

  • 1 lb Boneless and Skinless Chicken Thighs
  • 1/8 tsp Salt
  • 2 tbsp Japanese Sake can be replaced with dry sherry
  • 1 Inch Ginger
  • 2 Stalk Green Onion

Dipping Sauce

  • 1 tbsp Ground Ginger
  • 1/2 Stalk Green Onion
  • 3 tbsp Neutral Oil no taste
  • 1/2 tsp Coarse Sea Salt MUST be coarse otherwise will be too salty, use 1/4 tsp if you're sensitive to salt

Instructions

  • Gather all the ingredients.
  • Grate 1 tbsp of ginger with a grinder and set aside.
  • Slice 1/2 inch of ginger into thin slices.
  • Finely chop 1/2 stalk of green onions and set aside.
  • Chop 1 stalk of green into 1 inch lengths.
  • In a small mixing bowl, combine ingredients for the sauce - neutral oil (we use vegetable oil), finely chopped green onions, grated ginger, and Coarse Sea Salt. Note - this sauce tends to be on the salter side, so if you're sensitive sodium, we recommend starting with 1/4 tsp and working your way up.
  • Lightly sprinkle salt on both sides of the chicken thighs and set aside.
  • In a stove top pot, add Japanese sake, sliced ginger and 1 inch green onion stalk. Add enough water to cover 1/2 inch from the bottom of the pot and bring to boil.
  • Once boiling, reduce heat to medium-low, place chicken thighs on a steaming rack (or directly in the water if you don't have one), completely cover and steam for 12-15 minutes or until the chicken reaches an internal temp of 165F.
  • Place cooked chicken onto cutting board and slice into bite-size slices. Transfer to a serving place, drizzle some reserved broth on top and serve with dipping sauce from step 6).

Video

Nutrition

Calories: 265kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 21g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 82mg | Sodium: 342mg | Potassium: 298mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 303IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 26mg | Iron: 2mg
*Values Based Per Serving
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