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Vegan Hainanese Chicken Rice

Hainanese “Chicken” Rice (Vegan)

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A veganised version of Hainanese “Chicken” Rice made with tofu or vegan chick’n chunks! This is paired with the 3 sauces (all non-negotiable!) - ginger sauce, chili sauce, and sweet soy sauce.
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 50 mins
Total Time 1 hr 20 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Asian, Singaporean, Southeast Asian
Servings 2 people
Calories 692 kcal


Preparing the Tofu

  • 17.5 oz extra firm tofu , sliced in 3 slabs OR chick’n chunks (see notes)
  • 1/2 cup vegan chick’n broth or vegetable broth (see notes)
  • 1 tbsp Shaoxing wine or other rice wine , optional
  • Pinch of salt for each slab , skip if your broth is already salty


  • 6-9 sheets tofu or bean curd skin , also known as "tao pe" or yuba for the “skin” (see notes)
  • 4 thin slices ginger
  • 1 scallion or green onion , sliced
  • 2.5 cups water or vegetable broth
  • Salt to taste , if needed (see notes)


  • 1 cup medium grain white rice
  • 1/4 tsp salt see notes
  • 1 tbsp neutral oil
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 cups ginger-scallion broth

Ginger Sauce

  • 2 tbsp neutral oil
  • 2 tbsp roughly chopped or grated ginger
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • Pinch of salt or to taste

Chili Sauce

  • 4-5 small bird’s eye chili or siling labuyo
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp sesame oil
  • 1-1 1/2 tbsp broth or water adjust to desired consistency
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/2 tbsp grated ginger
  • Pinch salt
  • Pinch sugar

Sweet Soy Sauce (see notes)

To Serve

  • Chopped scallions or fresh coriander/cilantro for topping, optional
  • Thinly sliced cucumber



  • Slice your block or blocks of tofu into 3/4 to 1-inch thick slabs. Place them on a tray and then leave to freeze at least overnight to harden. No need to press the tofu or squeeze out the liquid before freezing (because you’ll want the water inside the tofu to crystallise and create the amazing texture!)
  • After freezing the tofu, leave it to thaw in room temperature until the ice has melted.
  • When soft, carefully squeeze out the water from the tofu. I did this by carefully placing a slab of tofu between my palms and flattening it to squeeze out the liquid. The tofu will be very delicate at this point so be careful not to over squeeze it since it can easily break apart. Squeeze out the liquid from the remaining tofu.
  • In a deep plate or bowl, add the veg broth/chick’n broth and shoaxing wine or other rice wine (if using). Add the slabs of thawed tofu and rub some salt on each side of the tofu. Do note that if your broth is already salty, you can skip the salt! Leave the tofu to soak for 10-15 minutes.


  • You can see the step-by-step photos above.
  • Meanwhile, rehydrate the dried tofu skin by soaking it in a plate of warm water. (If you’re using fresh tofu skin, you can skip this step.)
  • Place two sheets over each other on a flat surface.
  • Place some of the chick’n chunks or a slab of the tofu on the centre of the tofu sheet. Fold the bottom part of the sheet towards the centre. Fold the left and right sheets towards the centre as well. Flip over the “chicken” until you have a rectangular piece. You may need to seal the top most edge with some water.
  • Place 1 additional sheet and wrap the finished piece. Wrapping this helps secure it to make sure these don’t open when cooking.
  • Repeat this for the rest until you have 2-3 “chicken fillets”. Set aside.


  • Heat a large pan over medium heat. Add in the ginger, sliced scallions, water, and salt (if using).
    Leave to simmer until it comes to a boil. Once it boils, add in the “chicken fillets” and then cover the pan to cool through.
    The tofu skin will turn from a yellow to a much paler colour, similar to the colour of boiled chicken. Once the tofu skin is a pale colour throughout and is soft, turn off the heat.
  • Carefully remove the fillets from the broth and set aside.


  • Meanwhile, prepare the chick'n rice.
    Wash your rice 2-3 times.
    Heat a medium sized pot (with a lid) over medium. Add some oil and then sauté the garlic until aromatic. Pour in the rice and then add the ginger-scallion broth (used for cooking the fillets earlier).
    You can include a few of the scallions and ginger, if desired. Cover then leave the rice to come to a boil at medium to medium high heat. Once it comesLto a boil, leave the rice to cook at medium low heat at a gentle simmer. Keep it covered throughout. Leave to cook for around 25 minutes or until the rice is fluffy and cooked. Turn off the heat and leave covered. This will allow the residual heat to continue to cook the rice.


  • Prepare the sauces. Note: These sauces can be easily made beforehand and store in the refrigerator until ready to use. Do note that the ginger sauce and chilli sauce can solidify due to the oil.
  • For the chili sauce, crush the chiles with a mortar and pestle. Add in the rest of the ingredients and feel free to adjust to your taste.
  • For the ginger sauce, heat the oil in a small sauce pan over medium. Once hot, add the salt and let it dissolve. Add in the ginger and cook for 1-2 minutes until aromatic. Mix in the garlic and turn off the heat. Feel free to add more salt, to taste, if desired.
  • For the sweet soy sauce, cook down the soy sauce and sugar in the saucepan until it starts to thicken from the sugar. Turn off the heat.


  • Slice the fillets into strips. Serve with the rice, sauces, sliced cucumber, and fresh coriander. Enjoy!


Chick'n Broth/Vegetable Broth

I used 1 vegan not chick'n cube from Edward and Sons and diluted this in hot water.

If using chick’n chunks

  • Place half of the chunks on the centre of the sheet. Fold the bottom part of the sheet towards the centre. Fold the left and right sheets towards the centre as well. Flip over the “chicken” until you have a rectangular piece. You may need to seal the top most edge with some water.

Sweet soy sauce

  • If you’ve tried kecap manis, this is very similar. So you can opt to use store-bought kecap manis if you have some.

Tofu Skin

  • I buy my tofu or beancurd skin dry.
  • Where to buy tofu skin? You can check your local asian grocery or store. You can also check online.
  • You can also get frozen yuba or tofu/bean curd skin from the freezer section of Asian stores/groceries. 

Broth/Water to Cook the Chick'n In

  • You can use water or vegetable broth to cook the 'chick'n' pieces in. If using broth, you can skip the salt.
  • Some dried tofu skin are also salted so this will naturally release the salt in the liquid when cooking.


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 692kcal | Carbohydrates: 83g | Protein: 27g | Fat: 27g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 9g | Monounsaturated Fat: 15g | Trans Fat: 1g | Sodium: 1459mg | Potassium: 567mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 1IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 121mg | Iron: 4mg
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