Hainanese Chicken Rice – Singapore’s unofficial national dish. Some people say its the special spices that flavor the chicken, other say its the stock-flavored rice. However, in my humble opinion, the secret is in the chili.
I am very picky with my chili, which is why there are very few stalls in Singapore whose chili I am happy with, and I will ‘taint’ my chicken rice with. [One of the good ones is made by the chicken rice stall at Kampong Arang, the one I ate so often when I studied in Dunman High.] Chicken rice is good without chili itself, so I would rather just eat it without chili, than ruin it with bad chili. However, good chili will blow your brains away, and elevates the dish to celestial levels.
This is my grandmother’s recipe for chicken rice chili. I never made chicken rice chili when I posted the chicken rice recipe because I was so afraid of screwing it up, and it is one thing I must not ever screw up, because it is my birthright. Nuff said, here’s my grandmother’s recipe for Hainanese Chicken Rice chili sauce.
Oh just one more thing, here’s the recipe for Singapore’s Hainanese Chicken Rice!
- 8-9 red chilies
- 2 thumb-sized pieces of ginger
- 2 heads of garlic (heads! not cloves…)
- 3 tablespoons white sugar (4 tablespoons if you like it sweeter)
- 1/2 cup white vinegar (add more or less, to your liking)
- 1 teaspoon salt
Cut off the tops of the red chilies and cut the chili into smaller pieces. If you want a less spicy chili, remove the seeds for half of the chilies.
Cut the ginger into garlic sized pieces.
Place all of this in a blender (yup, you heard right!) If your food processor has the ‘blend’ option, that would be fine too.
Add white vinegar and sugar, then blend until your desired consistency.
Serve with delicious Hainanese chicken rice!