Originally posted July 19, 2014

Nasi Hainam Rice

Nasi Hainam Rice by Sarah Xiong

This fragrant chicken rice is my version of the famous Apollo Chicken from Jakarta, Indonesia. Indonesians use a low starch short grain rice that I've never seen in the US, so I used jasmine as a substitute. The recipe is easier than it looks, trust me. Once the stock is complete this comes together in under an hour. You may also use store bought stock and replace the rendered chicken fat with oil. If you don't have a steamer you can put chicken stock with ginger and garlic in a rice cooker but the results will taste completely different.


  • 1 pkg chicken with bone on (about 5 legs or 4 thighs), remove skin from two pieces and reserve for later
  • 4" piece of ginger, divided - 1" crushed and 3" minced
  • 1 bulb garlic, minced
  • 1 lemongrass stalk (optional)
  • 3 cups jasmine rice
  • About 2 cups water
  • 2 tsp salt
  • Dash white pepper


Cover chicken with about 5 cups of water. Boil, skim them simmer for 8 hours. Remove chicken.

Add 1"crushed ginger, 1 tsp salt and crushed lemongrass stalk. Simmer til stock is reduced to one cup.

You can prep the stock a day or two ahead.

Rinse and soak rice in water while you prep the minced 3" ginger and garlic. You will need a bamboo rice steamer and a large saute pan. Prep the rice steamer and set it to low heat. Put the reserved chicken skin in the saute pan over medium-low heat to render the fat. Discard the fat when it becomes crispy.

Turn the heat up to high. Drain the rice and add it to the saute pan. Fry it in chicken fat for about 3 minutes. Add 1 cup water and the stock. Add the salt and white pepper. Stir til the water has evaporated. Add another cup of water in quarter cup batches. Stir, careful not to mash or break the rice. Let the water evaporate and soak into the rice with each addition. When the rice is about 3/4 cooked it should be wet (add more or less water if necessary) but start sticking to the bottom of the pot. It should look like the picture, a little glossy, firm and still opaque. Add the minced ginger and garlic, stir to distribute. Turn off the heat to the saute pan and turn up the rice steamer to high.

Run the bamboo basket under cold water to get it wet (so the rice doesn't stick to it). Dump the rice into the rice basket and cover. Steam for about 20 minutes. Uncover then flip the rice 180 degrees (so the bottom is to the top) in the basket. Replace the basket back over the pot uncovered for 5 minutes. Remove from heat.

Flip several times in the basket to help it cool and prevent excessive wet spots.

9 hours



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