Malaysian Chicken Rice recipe (with a Vietnamese Twist)

So, we recently found out that one of our West Dulwich neighbours was not only a customer of ours, but also Masterchef Finalist! We came over to Giovanna Ryan's lovely house to show her what we make as a Sunday Roast alternative; Malaysian Chicken Rice. It's a dish that warms the soul. You poach a whole chicken, then use the stock to make the rice, the dips and the broth. There is a Vietnamese twist to this recipe that gives the broth a "pho'ish" flavour. I would like to say that this is from my Vietnamese Husband. But it is actually a friend of ours who likes to learn our favourite dishes, then try and make it better than be fair, it worked!

Perfect for chilly winter Sunday. 

Giovanna's husband, Marcus is a renowned butcherer, and brought one of his own corn-fed chickens. They run a local butcher delivery service, specialising in sustainable, high quality British meat. They are taking orders for Christmas and will be delivering all around Dulwich, and South East/ South West London.

We've ordered a Three Game Bird (duck, chicken and pheasant). Check it out!


Malaysian Chicken Rice Recipe (with a Vietnamese Twist)

Video can be found here 


Serves 4-6 (depending on greediness!)

For the chicken:

1 large whole chicken

1 onion, halved

2 star anise

Large piece of ginger, peeled

Cinnamon stick

2 black cardamom pods

3 bunches spring onions

1/2 large daikon, peeled and chopped into large pieces

4 tablespoons sesame seeds, toasted

Large handful coriander, roughly chopped

Soy sauce and sesame oil to taste to season


For the rice:

Excess fat from the chicken cut into pieces

2 banana shallots, very finely chopped

Thumb sized piece ginger, very finely chopped

500g jasmine rice, rinsed


For the spring onion dip:

3 bunches spring onions

Large knob ginger

Two tablespoons sunflower or vegetable oil

4 tablespoons sesame oil


For the chilli sauce:

3 red large red chillies

1 clove garlic

Small knob ginger

Splash rice vinegar

2 tablespoons brown sugar

Cucumber and toasted sesame seeds to serve.


Start with the chicken:

Char the onion, star anise, cinnamon bark, piece of ginger and a couple of black cardamon pods with a blowtorch or in a hot oven. Add them to a pot of water along with the spring onions and a large piece of ginger.

Take the chicken, salt the cavity, and stuff a bunch of spring onions inside. When water is boiling, gently lower the chicken in the water. Bring to a rolling boil and then turn off the heat. Scoop out any scum and then put the lid on. Leave the chicken to cook in the residual heat for one hour.

Check the thighs after one hour. It should read over 72C on a meat thermometer or the juices should run clear. Once cooked, plunge the chicken in an ice bath for one minute. This causes the skin on the chicken to tighten and stay intact when you cut the meat.

Debone the chicken and slice accordingly and plate. Put the chicken carcass back into the stock and continue to simmer along with the daikon.

Season the chicken generously with soy sauce and sesame sauce. Add a couple tablespoons of Chinese wine (or sherry). Garnish with toasted sesame seeds and coriander.

For the rice:

Cut off excess skin from chicken and fry in a pan to release the chicken fat. Mince ginger, garlic, shallots and fry in the chicken fat. Add washed jasmine rice and fry in the mixture.

Add 750ml the cooking stock from the chicken, cover and simmer until the liquid has evaporated and the rice is soft and fluffy.


In Melacca, a colonial port town, two hours outside my home town Kuala Lumpur, they have become famous for chicken rice balls. The compacted rice balls are great to dip in the sauces and kecap manis (sweet soy sauce). Easiest way is to get a small freezer bag, add a big spoonful of rice and compact it into a corner of the bag. Keep squeezing it until it becomes a compacted ball.


For the spring onion dip:

Chop the spring onions and slice a large knob of ginger into thin matchstick strips. Heat two tablespoons of vegetable oil in a small saucepan. Add the spring onions and a cup of chicken stock. Reduce the stock and really soften the spring onion. Add the ginger and a punch of sea salt. Fold in a generous amount of sesame oil and transfer to a small bowl until ready to serve.


For the chilli sauce:

In a microprocessor, mince red chillies, garlic, ginger. Add a splash of rice vinegar. Add to half a cup of chicken stock and brown sugar. Heat and reduce to a thicker consistency.


To serve:

Place the rice in a large bowl. If you've made rice balls, add them to the plate with the chicken along with some sliced cucumber and scatter over some coriander and sesame seeds.


Ladle the chicken stock with a few pieces of daikon into bowls to serve alongside.

Written by Van Dang