Thankful For My Hainan Chicken Rice

I guess at my age, I don’t have to think really hard to appreciate what I’ve got. I’ve never been one to be envious or jealous of my neighbor, or complain about what I don’t have, so it doesn’t take much to keep me happy. Some might say that’s great, some may say that’s why I don’t have more. I say it’s a byproduct of having experienced the hippie generation, when material things were frowned upon in the name of simple peace and love. (Best excuse!)

Take my Hainan Chicken Rice, for example. I’m grateful that I can cook it and steam the Chinese broccoli all in my rice cooker.

Hainan Chicken Rice shown in rice cooker before cooking

The natural chicken broth seeps into the jasmine rice as it cooks, and the steamer basket takes care of the broccoli. I found out that this is a signature Singaporean dish, brought over from the Hainan province in Southern China.

This is what both dishes look like right out of the rice cooker.

Hainan Chicken completely cooked in rice cooker

Chinese broccoli steamed in rice cooker

Homemade Hainan Chicken Rice. The ginger scallion sauce is a simple topping you can find easily online, and Hoisin sauce was sprinkled on the broccoli. This is good stuff, just using our rice cooker!

Hainan Chicken Rice plated showing Ginger Scallion Sauce

I am thankful for my electric griddle, which continues to be a really handy appliance to have in our kitchen. We have the takoyaki plate that fits into the griddle, which is a treat sometimes when we’re craving these.

Takoyaki cooking on hot plate

Out of all the jobs I’ve had in my life, the four years I spent in Japan were the most influential and memorable that I can keep with me forever. And that includes the foods I ate that really opened my eyes to Japanese cuisine. It’s so much more than sushi and ramen, you know? I’ll always look back at my summers in Japan as the most excruciatingly sticky and uncomfortable seasons ever, but also the best time for all the fun festivals going on. Takoyaki and yakisoba are best eaten from paper trays at your local town festival during summertime.

Takoyaki plated with condiments added

Yakisoba on griddle

By the way, just to let you know you can switch from the takoyaki plate to the flat griddle instantly to make these two summer classics at home.

Do you know what else I’m thankful for? I’m thankful I was raised Asian-American. Think about how lucky I am to know both cultures, having been around both worlds since I was born. This is one of the reasons I never let my kids forget that when they were growing up. A big part of keeping that alive is the food that we eat everyday. I think we take that for granted sometimes, but to be able to appreciate good food from whatever culture or cultures that make up your background is essential. And it only gets more important the older we get.

My Mom always used to make meatloaf when we were kids. And the tradition continues today.

And don’t forget the potatoes…

What are you guys thankful for this Thanksgiving? Don’t let it pass without giving it some thought—it’ll do wonders for your day.

Products used in this post: Micom Toaster Oven ET-ZLC30, Umami® Micom Rice Cooker NL-GAC10/18, Gourmet Sizzler® Electric Griddle EA-BDC10, Takoyaki Plate EA-YBC01

Please note that these recipes were not tested by Zojirushi America.

All images by Bert Tanimoto ©2023

This entry was posted in From Bert-san by Bert Tanimoto. Bookmark the permalink.

About Bert Tanimoto

Oldish father (still) of two youngish (but now young adult) kids. Zojirushi enthusiast and professional writer. California resident with roots in Hawaii and Japan. Classic rock, popcorn movies, audio books, spam, sushi and cone filtered coffee. Guilty pleasures include donuts and pop bands like ABBA and Wham! Don't laugh, you should see my vinyl collection--I give hair bands and prog equal credit.

3 thoughts on “Thankful For My Hainan Chicken Rice

  1. Dear Bert-san:
    Thank you for sharing the wonderful recipes. My mouth is watering just looking at the photos. I am thankful for having my husband, Masahiro Endo, in my life. We made a huge decision in 2022, to sell his Japanese Restaurant of almost 40 years in WA state, and relocate/retire with Bella, our mini Schnauzer, to Playas de Rosarito, Baja California, Mexico. We live in a small condo overlooking the Pacific Ocean with gorgeous views of sunsets, birds, lovely butterflies, geckos, and the list goes on. We have lived here for 1-1/2 years and Endo is still trying to adjust to retirement, but life is good, peaceful and away from the hectic and busy lifestyles we once had. We wish you and your family a wonderful, healthy holiday season and Happy New Year 2024. Take care.

      • Yes, it was worth all the hard work and effort to downsize, which meant selling or giving away furniture, clothing, yard supplies, things we never thought we could live without, but in the end just material things that most people don’t really need to be truly happy. Mature, older people like ourselves, realize this when retirement life arrives. Now it’s all about spending time with family, friends, traveling, staying healthy and happy. ❤️

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