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Complete Homemade Chicken Rice Meal

Complete Homemade Chicken Rice Meal

Chicken Rice, or “Nasi Ayam” as it’s called in Malaysia, is a well-known dish featuring succulent boiled chicken, thinly sliced cucumber, and chicken-broth flavoured rice lightly sprinkled with a light salty soy sauce, topped with crispy and fragrant deep-fried shallots, with spicy, savoury chilli sauce and a rich and sweet chicken soup served on the side.

My family absolutely loves this dish. The chicken is tender and juicy, the rice is flavourful in every bite and the soup is so nutritious and healthy. Although we sometimes buy Chicken Rice from our nearest hawker stall, nothing beats the flavours when it is homemade.

Even though it’s a lot of effort and work, it’s definitely paid off by the enjoyment and smiles all around the dining table! (and let’s have the family members wash up the dishes, hehe).

Homemade Chicken Rice Recipe


The star of this meal is the chicken. I used one whole free-range chicken, weighing about 1.8 kg for this recipe. Free-range chicken meat is slightly tougher than commercial chicken meat, so the cooking time will also be longer to soften it. The chicken’s essences will contribute to the rice, soup, and chilli sauce. I have left it out from the Soy Sauce as I made the sauce while the chicken is boiling, but it can be added if the Soy Sauce is made after the chicken is done.

In addition, I used a good amount of ginger as well for blanching and boiling the chicken, cooking the rice and in the chilli sauce as well. It is delicious when used subtly in dishes, and brings many health benefits to the body.

Chicken meat on a serving platter with chicken rice, chicken soup with hairy melon, chopped spring onions, stir fried bean sprouts, crispy shallots, onion oil, chicken rice chilli sauce and chicken rice soy sauce in serving plates and bowls.
All the components of Chicken Rice

Hairy gourd (although I mention it as “winter melon” in the video) is also used for its sweetness and cooling properties in the chicken soup.

Other seasonings enhance the flavour and fragrance of the Chicken Rice, blending in well with the sauces, soups and chilli sauce.

Blanching the Chicken

Raw, free-range chicken in a tray with a bowl of ginger slices.
Ginger slices helps to reduce the raw chicken smell while it’s blanching.

After washing the chicken, we’re going to blanch it. The blanching process removes the blood and impurities within the meat to obtain a clear broth. It’s done by submerging the chicken into cold water in a pan and allowing it to come to a slow boil, usually within 5 minutes.

For this free-range chicken, however, as it is quite a big bird, I’ve blanched it for 15 to 18 minutes to make sure all the blood and impurities are removed.

I also added some ginger slices to reduce the raw chicken smell as it is boiling. If the chicken cannot fully submerge into the water, turn it and allow it to simmer for about 2-3 minutes before removing it from the water.

Blanching whole chicken in a pan with three quarters full of water.
Flip the chicken if it cannot submerge completely in the water.

Discard the water used for blanching, and give the chicken a gentle but thorough wash to remove all the impurities. The chicken will look a little cooked on the outside, but the inside is still raw.

Boiling Chicken Soup

Once the chicken is cleaned, add 3.5 litres of water into a stockpot over medium heat. Sprinkle in the ginger, cilantro roots, white peppercorn and salt into the water. Stir to dissolve the salt slightly before submerging the chicken into the water.

Blanched chicken, salt, white peppercorn, cilantro roots and sliced ginger in glass bowls.
It’s time to make the chicken soup!

Cover the lid and bring it to a boil. Once the soup is boiling, reduce the heat to low and set the timer for 1 hour. As the chicken slowly cooks, the soup will take on its essence while making its meat soft and tender. Please note that if using normal or commercial chicken, the timer should be set for 30-40 minutes, depending on the chicken’s size.

Boiling chicken in a stockpot to make chicken soup.
Cover the pot and boil the chicken on low heat for 1 hour.

As the chicken is boiling, it may float to the surface of the soup. Keep an eye for this, as the chicken will need to be turned occasionally if it happens to make sure it’s evenly cooked and tender.

While the chicken is cooking, let’s prepare the Chicken Rice Soy Sauce!

Making the Chicken Rice Sauce

An important ingredient to the Chicken Rice Soy Sauce is the onion oil as it balances out the saltiness of the light soy sauce with the sweetness from caramelized onion flavours. As I do not have onion oil on hand, I’ve decided to make it first.

Hand sprinkling sliced shallots over heated oil in a non-stick pan.
Add in the shallots and fry to get the onion oil and crispy fried shallots garnish.

This works out eventually as we will also have crispy, caramelized shallots as our garnishing later over the chicken rice.

Prepare a strainer over a heat-proof container and keep it nearby. We will pour the contents of the oil over the strainer later.

Pour 1 cup of unscented cooking oil into a non-stick pan over medium heat. Sprinkle the sliced shallots into the pan. Continuously fry the shallots until they are turning slightly golden. This should take about 2-3 minutes.

Caramelized sliced shallots turning crispy while being stirred by a silicone spatula in a non-stick pan.
These shallots are too browned; they can be removed a little more beforehand.

When it’s done, switch off the heat. Pour the crispy fried shallots and onion oil over the prepared strainer and bowl. The strainer will catch the shallots, while the oil will collect in the container beneath it. Set the shallots and onion oil aside.

Place the non-stick pan back on the stove. Add 2 tablespoons of onion oil into the pan, followed by 3 tablespoons of light soy sauce, 1/4 teaspoon of pepper and a few drops of sesame oil for fragrance. Switch on the heat to medium and stir for a few minutes, or until the Chicken Rice Soy Sauce thickens and comes to a boil.

Pour 1.5 cups of water into the pan, stirring to mix well. This lessens its saltiness and gives more volume to the sauce as we will need a good amount of it later for the Boiled Chicken and the Chicken Rice. When it comes to a boil, taste it and adjust as preferred. Stir if more seasonings were added, and then switch off the heat.

Empty the sauce into a serving bowl, and set it aside.

Finishing the Chicken Soup

Before we cook the rice, let’s check on the chicken soup. It should be almost ready now.

Opening the lid, there should be some amount of chicken oil floating on the surface of the soup. This is normal as the chicken fats are liquified as oils; it is packed full of chicken flavour.

With a ladle, scoop out as much chicken oil as possible, together with the amount of soup needed to replace the water for cooking rice. We will use the chicken broth and oil to cook the rice later. Set it aside.

Ladle scooping out the floating chicken oil and broth in a stockpot.
Try to remove as much of the chicken oil as possible.

Pour the rest of the soup over a strainer and another pot. It is okay to leave a little gravy in the stockpot with the chicken. Cover the stockpot’s lid and set it aside to keep the chicken warm.

Switch on the heat to low heat, and cover the new pot to bring the Chicken Soup to a simmer while we prepare the hairy gourd.

Peel the skin off the hairy gourd, and cut it into large chunks. Rinse them slightly and add the hairy gourd chunks into the Chicken Soup. Increase the temperature to medium-high, adding in 1/4 teaspoons of pepper and salt. Stir to dissolve the pepper and salt. Cover the lid and set the timer for 5 minutes.

In the meantime, chop some spring onions as garnishing for the soup. This is optional.

After 5 minutes, open the lid and give the soup a taste. Adjust as needed. The Chicken Soup should be naturally sweet as both the chicken broth and hairy melon gives out their own flavours, blending their sweetness into the soup. Switch off the heat and sprinkle the chopped spring onions as garnishing over the soup. Cover the lid and set it aside.

Chicken soup with cooked hairy melon chunks and chopped spring onions floating in a stockpot.
Sweet, tasty and very light. Perfect accompaniment to the meal.

Now we will cook the Chicken Rice, Chicken Rice Chilli Sauce and prepare the Chicken, and the meal will be complete.

Cooking Chicken Rice

Wash the rice as usual. I like to give mine a rinse once or twice, it depends on the individual. Drain all the water and add it to the rice cooker. I’m also using Thai rice – it’s fluffy, soft and very fragrant.

A large bowl of chicken broth with oil, raw rice, and salt, ginger slices and onion oil in small bowls.
All the ingredients for Chicken Rice.

Today, I’m cooking about 3 cups of rice as I anticipate that my family will go for seconds (or third rounds). Add 1/2 teaspoon of salt, some sliced ginger slices and 1 tablespoon of onion oil into the rice cooker.

Carefully scoop up the floating chicken oil and add it to the rice. Pour in the amount of water your rice needs to cook until fluffy and soft. If more soup is needed, it can be taken from the stockpot with the chicken and gravy.

Hand measuring the water level in a rice pot to cook rice.
Old school style of measuring the correct amount of water needed to cook rice.

Switch on the rice cooker and let it cook as usual.

Cooking Chicken Rice Chilli Sauce

Cut the red chillis into smaller pieces and soak them in hot water for 10 minutes. This softens the chilli for blending, as well as reduce the strong, fresh smell of the chilli. Prepare half a cup of chicken broth as well.

Red chilli soaked in hot water in a bowl, with chicken broth, garlic cloves, ginger cubes, salt, sugar, tomato sauce and chilli sauce in small bowls.
All the ingredients to make Chicken Rice Chilli Sauce.

Peel and wash 2 cloves of garlic, and chop ginger into cubes until 1 tablespoon of cubes is collected. Drain the water from the chilli pieces.

Drop in the ginger, garlic, chilli pieces, 1/4 teaspoon of salt, 1 tablespoon of sugar, 1 tablespoon of tomato sauce, 2 tablespoons of chilli sauce and the chicken broth into the blender.

Blend the chilli sauce for about 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until smooth and very fine. Empty the Chicken Rice Chilli Sauce into a serving bowl. Taste and adjust as preferred.

Blended chilli poured into a serving bowl.
Looks spicy and very delicious!

All that’s left is slicing some cucumbers and assembling the Chicken Rice!

Assembling the Chicken Rice

After the Chicken Rice is cooked in the rice cooker, leave it to rest for about 15 minutes. Then, open the lid and gently stir the rice to evenly distribute the heat. The fragrance of the ginger, onion oil and chicken essence in the rice is so appetising!

Taste the rice. Cover the lid to keep it warm.

Next, cut the chicken into serving-sized pieces and arrange it on a large serving plate. Decorate with some sliced cucumbers.

Chop some cilantro and spring onions for garnishings as well.

Chicken meat on a serving platter with chicken rice, chicken soup with hairy melon, chopped spring onions, stir fried bean sprouts, crispy shallots, onion oil, chicken rice chilli sauce and chicken rice soy sauce in serving plates and bowls.
All ready to assemble!

With a spoon (or a brush if you have it), rub some onion oil on the chicken skin for it to have that glossy appearance. Scoop some Chicken Rice Soy Sauce and pour it over the chicken meat for enhanced shininess.

Sprinkle the crispy fried shallots over the Chicken meat and Chicken Rice. Garnish the Chicken meat with chopped cilantro and spring onions.

Bon Appetite!

To serve, upturn a full bowl of Chicken Rice onto a plate. Garnish with crispy shallots and pour a tablespoon of Chicken Rice Soy Sauce over the rice. Add a teaspoon of Chicken Rice Chilli Sauce and a serving of the chicken meat.

Spoon holding up chicken meat, chicken rice, some beansprouts and chilli sauce.
Bon appetite!

I have also prepared some stir-fried bean sprouts as they are usually served together with Chicken Rice.

One mouthful of Chicken Rice is so satisfying and delicious! Words cannot describe all the flavours accurately. The chicken is tender, soft and so tasty. The rice is fluffy, with a small, subtle hint of onion and ginger. The saltiness of the soy sauce enhances the flavours, and the slightly spicy chilli brings a mild heat that makes every bite enjoyable.

The aroma of the crispy shallots, and onion oil, the sweetness of the chicken soup mixed with hairy gourd, which has absorbed the chicken’s essence – it’s simply tasty and very delicious! Enjoy!

Storage Instructions

It’s best to enjoy this Chicken Rice immediately once cooked. The chicken meat, rice, soy sauce and soup can be kept in the fridge once cooled for up to a day. The Chilli Sauce, however, is not recommended to keep as it had been mixed with the chicken soup.

Freezing these dishes and condiments are also not recommended as the ice crystals would interfere and alter the texture of the chicken meat, rice and sauces.

chicken rice

Malaysian Chicken Rice (Nasi Ayam)

Somjit Najaireeb
Succulent chicken, drenched in special soy sauce, enjoyed together with flavourful white rice cooked in chicken broth, amist bites of crunchy cucumber and mildly spicy chilli sauce – this complete Chicken Rice meal is sure to bring smiles of satisfaction around the dining table!
0 from 0 votes
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 1 hr 30 mins
Total Time 2 hrs
Course Appetizer, Condiment, Main Course, Soup
Cuisine Asian, Chinese, Malaysian
Servings 6 servings
Calories 816 kcal


  • Stockpot/ Deep Pan
  • Wok
  • Rice Cooker
  • Non-Stick Frying Pan
  • Sharp Kitchen Knife


Blanching Chicken

  • 1 whole chicken, free-range (kampung)
  • 2 inches knob ginger, sliced thinly

Boiling Chicken

  • 3.5 l water
  • 2 inches knob ginger, sliced thinly
  • ½ tbsp salt
  • ½ tsp white peppercorn
  • 2 cilantro roots

Fried Shallots

  • 1 cup shallots, sliced
  • 1 cup cooking oil

Chicken Rice Soy Sauce

  • 2 tbsp onion oil
  • 3 tbsp light soy sauce
  • ¼ tsp pepper
  • Few drops sesame oil
  • 1.5 cup water

Chicken Soup

  • 1.5 litre chicken broth
  • 1 hairy gourd, small-sized
  • ¼ tsp pepper
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • spring onions, chopped for garnishing

Chicken Rice

  • 3 cup white rice, Thai fragrance
  • chicken broth, amount depends on rice's water requirement
  • ½ tbsp salt
  • 1 tbsp onion oil
  • 1 inch knob ginger

Chicken Rice Chilli Sauce

  • 5 pieces red chilli, soaked in hot water for 10 minutes
  • ½ cup chicken stock
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and washed
  • 1 tbsp ginger, cubed
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp tomato sauce
  • 2 tbsp chilli sauce
  • cilantro, chopped for garnishing


Blanching Chicken

  • Add whole chicken and ginger slices into a wok or stock pot. Fill the pot with water until the chicken is submerged or upto the brim of the pot.
  • Turn on the heat to medium-high, until the water boils, the blood and impurities have been extracted. This may take up to 15 – 18 minutes. Turn the chicken if it is not fully submerged in the water.
  • Discard the water and rinse the chicken. Set aside.

Boiling Chicken Soup

  • Add water, ginger, cilantro roots, white peppercorn, and salt to a stockpot over medium heat.
  • Stir to dissolve the salt and evenly distribute the ingredients. Add the chicken.
  • Cover the pot and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to low and set the timer to 1 hour.
  • Turn the chicken occasionally if it is floating.
  • 10 minutes before it's done, open the lid. Scoop out the chicken oils floating on the surface of the soup.
  • Remove the amount of soup needed to cook rice, with ½ cup for the chilli sauce as well.
  • Switch off the heat. Pour the soup into another pot, straining any spices.
  • Switch on the heat to low.
  • Peel the hairy melon. Cut into large chunks. Rinse and add to the chicken soup.
  • Increase the heat to medium-high. Stir in ¼ tsp of pepper and ¼ of salt.
  • Cover the lid and continue to cook for 5 minutes.
  • Taste and adjust as preferred.
  • Switch off the heat and garnish with some chopped spring onions. Set aside.

Making Onion Oil

  • In a non-stick pan over medium heat, add in cooking oil and sliced shallots.
  • Continuously fry the shallots for 2-3 minutes, or until turning orange.
  • Switch off the heat. Strain the shallots and oil. Set both aside.

Making Chicken Rice Soy Sauce

  • In the same non-stick pan, add 2 tbsp of onion oil, light soy sauce, pepper and sesame oil.
  • Switch on the heat to medium. Stir for 2-3 minutes, or until the sauce comes to a boil.
  • Add 1.5 cups of water into the pan, mixing until the sauce comes to a boil.
  • Taste and adjust as preferred. Switch off the heat and set aside.

Cooking Chicken Rice

  • Rinse the rice. Drain all the water and add the rice to the rice cooker.
  • Add ½ tsp of salt, sliced ginger, 1 tbsp of onion oil, and all the chicken oil into the rice pot.
  • Add the chicken broth separated earlier, adjusting to the amount needed to cook the rice as per normal.
  • Switch on the rice cooker and let it cook.
  • After it's cooked, wait 15 minutes before gently stirring the rice. Close the lid.

Cooking Chicken Rice Chilli Sauce

  • Drain the water from the chilli.
  • Blend ginger, garlic, chilli pieces, salt, sugar, tomato sauce, chilli sauce and chicken broth for 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until smooth and very fine.
  • Empty to a serving bowl. Taste and adjust as preferred.

Assembling Chicken Rice

  • Cut chicken into serving sizes and plate. Decorate with sliced cucumbers.
  • Brush onion oil and Chicken Rice Soy Sauce over the chicken meat.
  • Garnish the chicken meat with fried shallots, chopped cilantro and chopped spring onions.
  • Upturn a bowl of chicken rice onto a plate.
  • Pour a tbsp of Chicken Rice Soy Sauce over the rice. Garnish with fried shallots. Enjoy with the chilli sauce, chicken soup and chicken meat.



General Tips

  • Blanching the chicken is to remove the impurities and blood to obtain a clear chicken soup.
  • Free-range chicken needs 1 hour on a low boil to become soft and tender. If using commercial chicken, put on a low boil for about 30-40 minutes.
  • For the soy sauce, the water used can be replaced with the chicken broth, if it is ready beforehand. As I wanted to save time, I decided to use water instead.

Storage Instructions

  • This dish is best enjoyed immediately once cooked.
  • Chicken meat, rice, and soup can be kept in the fridge for a day or two, once cooled to room temperature.
  • Chilli sauce is not recommended to keep unless the chicken broth is omitted.
  • Freezing is not recommended.


Calories: 816kcalCarbohydrates: 91gProtein: 20gFat: 46gSaturated Fat: 4gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 1mgSodium: 2916mgPotassium: 677mgFiber: 4gSugar: 10gVitamin A: 27IUVitamin C: 23mgCalcium: 83mgIron: 2mg
Keyword chicken, chicken rice, chicken soup, chilli sauce, light soy sauce
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