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Asian Masterstock

Though it's been over 2 decades, I still remember my first taxi ride from Changi airport towards Singapore CBD like it was just yesterday. Those concrete vertical slabs reaching out to touch the sky like the Pruitt Igoe settlements – endless rows of them.

For those who don’t know Pruitt–Igoe was a large urban housing project first occupied in 1954 in the U.S. city of St. Louis, Missouri and is far from considered a humanized example of urban living.

Needless to say, I’ve never been a big fan of the HDB projects but I digress. The taxi drive dropped me off at my hotel and so began the hunt for food. I ventured into the hawker centers and soon was confronted with a big sign that read PIG ORGAN SOUP. The next several years would prove that with that sign, what you saw was what you got!

So if it weren’t for the Chicken Rice stall down the line, I would have probably starved. And so began my love affair with Chicken Rice that haunts both hubby and me to this day.

At the heart of this dish is the stock. Bad stock, bad dish.

And to get the best stock, you want it rich in gelatin – hence I turn to the cheap and ugly. Namely, chicken feet and chicken necks. A packet of each easily available at the Asian market is God sent to good flavorful stock.

Once you’ve got the stock going which ideally should be made the previous day, the next thing to do is to boil the chicken in it, then use that stock to prepare the rice, a lovely garlicky, and chili sauce and serve all together.

So you see at the heart of it all, is truly the stock.

I think this is a lovely weekend meal and just might steal a place in your heart too. So here we go! THE MASTER STOCK for Hainanese Chicken Rice!



Recipe for:

MASTER STOCK for Hainanese Chicken Rice

Shopping list

1 packet chicken feet*

1 packet chicken neck*

* Both items are available at Asian markets such as Great Wall or H-Mart

1-1/2” ginger root

3 stalks green onions

18 cups water

2 tsp salt

Preferably use a pressure cooker to get the most gelatin conversion from the collagen.


Ginger: Smash the ginger with the bottom of a jar or rolling pin.


In a pressure cooker or a stockpot, add the chicken feet, chicken neck, green onions, ginger, and salt.

If using a pressure cooker, attach lid and pressure pin (if needed). Allow pressure to build for 10 minutes on medium-high and cook for another 30 minutes on low heat.

To release pressure, set aside.

Once cool, sieve the master stock into a large mixing bowl. Discard the detritus in the sieve.

Return the master stock to a stockpot.

RESERVE in refrigerator or freezer until ready to use. You can store this for 1 week in the refrigerator or for several weeks in the freezer.



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