Classic Thai Chicken Rice

Thai chicken rice known as "Khao Man Gai" literally means "oiled rice chicken". It is one of many Thai - Chinese influenced rice dishes. Other popular rice dishes include Khao Ka Moo, Khao Moo Krob, Khao Moo Daeng.

The "Khao Man Gai" chicken rice dish is commonly seen in most Thailand street food stalls, food courts and restaurants. The dish can be made in advanced and served for dinner parties or for home-style family dinner.

Thai chicken rice recipe is based on the Hainanese chicken rice recipe which is widely cooked and served throughout Malaysia, Singapore and other SE countries.

This chicken rice recipe has three steps involved in preparation which are boiling chicken, making sauce, and cooking rice.

Even though there are different ways of preparing the chicken rice in other SE countries, here is the Thai way of preparation.

The whole free range chicken, with bones and skin on, is usually boiled until cooked. Then the rich and full flavored stock producing oily and natural chicken flavor is then reused in the preparation of the rice.

You can use chicken drum sticks, thighs and wings instead of a whole chicken if more convenient. Chicken liver is also commonly boiled together with chicken meat.

Serving chicken rice without its sauce can make the dish totally dull and bland. There are a variety of sauces for chicken rice recipes served thorough SE Asian countries. It can be served with chilli sauce and pounded ginger, oyster sauce mixed with chopped garlic, dark soy sauce mixed with chopped chilli peppers and more.

The Thai’s dip version serves Towchiew sauce, known as yellow soy bean paste. Yellow soy bean paste is a fermentation of yellow soy beans, salt, water and wheat flour. It gives a strong salty flavor, so it is best used to season soups, stir fries and sauces.

Towchiew sauce is consisted of yellow soy bean paste mixed with chopped ginger, fresh chilli, garlic, vinegar, sugar and dark soy sauce.

The Towchiew sauce can be very salty, and be sure not to apply too much. I recommend sprinkling one or two teaspoons over your chicken rice. The sauce can be refrigerated in a sealed container for up to 2 weeks.

To complete this Thai chicken rice dish traditionally a chicken or pork blood pudding and a bowl of clear soup can be served. Then garnish the dish with sliced fresh cucumber and coriander leaves. The chicken or pork blood pudding is not to everyone’s liking, so I am not featuring this part of the recipe.

Thai Chicken Rice
khao man gai

Preparation: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minute
Served 2-4

Ingredients for Rice:
Jasmine rice grains wash and rinse off 3 cups 350 g
Chicken with skin and bone on 1 kg
Coriander root smashed 2 pieces
Water 6 cups (to be cooked for chicken. After cooking the chicken, keep 2 ½ cup of the stock for cooking the rice with a rice cooker)
Garlic finely chopped 1 tbsp
Salt 1 tsp
Ginger sliced ¼ cup
Vegetable oil 1 tbsp
Chilled cucumber thinly sliced for garnishing
Coriander leaves for garnishing

Ingredients for Sauce:
Yellow soy bean 3 tbsp
Garlic finely chopped 1 tbsp
Sweet soy sauce 1 tbsp
Ginger finely chopped 2 tbsp
Brown sugar 2 tbsp
White vinegar or apple cider ¼ cup
Fresh Thai chilli finely chopped 1 tsp

Let's get started!

How to make:
Step 1: Making Sauce

  • Separate yellow soy bean from its juice and leave it in a mixing bowl.

  • Pound the yellow soy bean in mortar and pestle until forming a paste.

  • Remove the paste of yellow soy bean into a mixing bowl with its juice separated before.

  • Add finely chopped garlic and ginger in.

  • Sugar and apple cider.

  • Stir until sugar is entirely melted.

  • Add chopped chillies in the sauce and set aside.

Step 2 – Boiling Chicken

  • Heat 5 cups of water and bring to boil.

  • Add chicken, coriander root and salt.

  • Reduce the heat to low and continue simmering until chicken is thoroughly cooked approximately 30 - 40 minutes.

  • During the boiling process, the chicken fat will rise to the top. When this happens you will need to spoon the fat from the surface and keep in a separate bowl to use when cooking the rice.

  • Remove the boiled chicken and debone. Tear the meat into bite size pieces and set aside.

  • Keep excess stock on hand to use in step three.

Step 3 – Cooking Rice

  • Wash the rice grain and rise off. Set aside.

  • Heat the oil in frying pan over medium heat.

  • Fry garlic until fragrant.

  • Add washed rice grains in a frying pan, sliced ginger and a bit of salt.

  • Stir constantly for a few minutes until all grain is glazed with oil.

  • Remove the rice into a rice cooker.

  • Then add 2 ½ cup of chicken stock and separated chicken fat from step 2 and continue cooking the rice.

  • When the rice is cooked. Serve chicken on the side with sliced cucumber, coriander leaves and a sauce separately or accompanying clear soup.

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