Let’s talk about chicken rice!
If you walk away from Singapore knowing anything at all about this country it’s these two things:
1. It’s hot as balls.
2. Chicken Rice is all the rage.
Chicken rice is literally just chicken & rice. But it’s delicious, comforting & wholesome. It’s a part of the culture & history in Singapore. And it’s made meticulously with attention to the flavors used for each ingredient.
The chicken is poached in liquid flavored with ginger, garlic & scallions. The rice is cooked in the poaching liquid. It is usually served with cucumber, cilantro & sometimes tomato. The rice comes with a braised soy sauce & a hot chili sauce for dipping. When made with this kind of love, the simplest foods can be surprisingly distinct in their flavors.
You can find chicken rice on every other corner & in every hawker (outdoor dining center) here in Singapore. It’s cheap & filling & part of the daily diet for many locals.
For this fusion, the rice for the kimbap will be cooked in the poaching liquid. The chicken will of course be poached. The ingredients inside are the chicken & rice, cucumber, cilantro & hot sauce. Give this one a try for a taste of Singapore & a Korea all at once!
Check out all the kimbap I’ve made so far & check back tomorrow for two more variations.
Chicken Rice Kimbap
- 4-5 drumsticks
- 1 Tbsp ginger, peeled & thinly sliced
- 1 Tbsp green onion, sliced
- 1 tsp garlic, minced
- 1 cucumber
- 1 bunch cilantro
- hot sauce
- 4 sheets dried seaweed*
- 3 cups glutinous rice
Heat the ginger, green onion & garlic in a large pot over low heat for 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Add the drumsticks & fill with water until the drumsticks are covered by about an inch. Return to stove & cover the pot. Bring to a boil then turn down to a simmer. Allow to simmer for 10-12 minutes or until juices from the chicken run clear.
Remove the drumsticks, ginger & scallions from the pot. Reserve 3 1/2 cups of the poaching liquid for cooking the rice. Add the poaching liquid & rice back to the pot. Bring to a boil then turn down to a simmer. Allow to simmer for 40 minutes or until the water has almost disappeared. Turn the heat off & leave the lid on. Let the rice sit in the steam for another 10 minutes then fluff lightly with a fork. Set aside to cool before handling for the kimbap.
In the meantime, remove the meat from the drumsticks & prepare the cucumber & cilantro. Peel the cucumber & thinly slice lengthwise. Rinse & lightly chop the cilantro.
To assemble the kimbap, lay one piece of the dried seaweed on a long strip of saran wrap or a bamboo mat. Press about 3/4 cup of the rice onto the seaweed covering the entire sheet. Spread the meat from one drumstick, two slices of cucumber & cilantro in the center of the rice. Drizzle some hot sauce over the ingredients & rice. Using the saran wrap or bamboo mat, begin to lift one side of the seaweed over the ingredients. Tuck it tightly & continue to roll sealing it tightly. Brush sesame oil over the top of the roll then slice into 1/2 inch size pieces.
*Be sure to buy long sheets of dried seaweed specifically for rolling into kimbap or sushi. Other types of dried seaweed might be sold as smaller sheets that won’t work for this recipe.