Homemade Hainanese Chicken Chop

Homemade Hainanese Chicken Chop. Photo by Choen Lee.

What is magic about this homemade Hainanese chicken chop? Is it that it is crispy on the outside and utterly juicy on the inside? Or is it that because of this lock down, we miss the real deal so much that we decided to try to recreate it? Actually, the answer is all of the above.

This recipe is based on our impression of a 1980s version of this dish from a typical multi-generational Hainanese coffee shop. We don’t actually know the secret recipe so this is our interpretation of this nostalgic dish.

Now incidentally, there are many versions of the Hainanese Chicken Chop, we did not try to emulate what was cooked in a western dining restaurant, which resembled more like fried chicken swamped in a gravy. Instead, this is more like a Malaysian Southern-Chinese style roast chicken reworked into a steak form to suit local preferences – swimming in sweet and sour gravy made with a mixed tomato base, Worcester sauce, soya sauce, chicken soup stock, some other secret ingredients, and a load of tasty peas.

They were memorable, nostalgic, and once upon a time, they were everywhere. That is what makes this comforting yet oh-so-delicious Hainanese Chicken Chop our go-to recipe during this lock down. Plus, the new Philips Airfryer XXL Smart Sensing we’re using for this recipe is a great time saver for busy parents and working professionals, especially for those working from home these few weeks!

This recipe serves 2 people.


1 portable induction cooker
2 saucepans
1 Philips Airfryer XXL


For the chicken chop:

2 pieces 400g to 450g whole chicken legs.
2g sea salt
1g pepper
0.5g five-spice powder
10g rice flour
5g light soy sauce

For the gravy

500ml water
Chicken bones and fat (removed from the 2 pieces of whole chicken legs)
150g sweet yellow onion, cut into slices
150g frozen peas (half this to 75g if you want more gravy and fewer vegetables)
150g frozen mix vegetables (half this to 75g if you want more gravy and fewer vegetables)
150g tomato puree
10g rice flour + 80ml water
1tsp sugar
1 tsp light soy sauce
2 tbsp cooking oil
10 g butter

For the roast vegetables on the side

1 corn on the cob, cut into two logs
150g brocolli
300g frozen fries
10g butter
1 Sunflower seed oil cooking spray


A. Marinate the chicken
1. Remove the bones and excess fat from the chicken. Set the bones and excess fat aside (do not bin).

Remove the bones and fat. Photo by Choen Lee

2. Put the chicken into a container, and add in pepper and five spice powder. Give the meat a good rub, but without being too rough. Then add in the salt and the soy sauce and finally the rice flour. Mix well, and let it rest with the skin facing downwards. Cover up and put into the fridge.

Let it marinate. Photo by Choen Lee.

B. The chicken soup stock for the gravy
1.Put the bones and excess fat into a saucepan. Add in 500ml of water. Bring to boil, then lower the heat to the lowest possible, cover with lid, and allow to simmer for an hour then turn off the heat.

Let’s make the stock. Photo by Choen Lee.

C. The gravy
1. Heat up 2 tbsp of cooking oil in another saucepan, then put in the sliced onions, stir till coated in oil. When it starts to get fragrant, dash in some powdered pepper.

It smells good. Photo by Choen Lee.

2.When the onion begins to get soft or brown, add in the chicken soup stock from the other saucepan and let it come to boil.

Add in the chicken soup stock. Photo by Choen Lee.

3. Add in the tomato puree and stir it in until evenly mixed. Then add in the Worcester sauce, followed by the 10g of butter, and 1 tsp of sugar. Mix well. Let this simmer until the onions have gone soft and almost disintegrated.

Let it simmer. Photo by Choen Lee.

4. Prepare a mix of 80ml water at room temperature and 10g of rice flour. Add it into the simmering gravy. This would thicken the gravy. Add in a dash of soy sauce.

This would thicken the gravy nicely. Photo by Choen Lee.

5. When the gravy starts to bubble up again, pour in the frozen peas and mixed vegetables. Stir and cook for 5 minutes to 10 minutes. The longer you cook it the mushier the vegetables become. Turn of the heat. Set aside.

Look at those bubbles. Photo by Choen Lee.

D. Roast potato fries and vegetables
1. Spray on some sunflower seed oil, add a sprinkle a pinch of salt onto 300g of frozen fries, then place it evenly into the basket and slide it into the Philips Airfryer XXL. Switch on the Airfryer and select the smart chef function for frozen fries. Press to confirm. After this is done, go to step 2.

2. Rub butter on the corn and the brocolli and as above, put into the Airfryer basket. For optimal results, cook ingredients in two batches. Cook the corn at 200°C for 8 minutes, then the brocolli at 200°C for 6 mins. Set the roasted corn and brocolli aside.

Tip: If you are cooking for more people and are unsure about the required cooking time and temperature, just use Philips Airfryer XXL smart sensing technology. Pop in all your prepared ingredients, choose the food type and press the button to cook. The smart sensor will automatically adjust the temperature and cooking time for you.

E. The chicken chop
1. Lift the marinated chicken chops up from the container and roll it up loosely. Put them into the Airfryer, and select the button with the chicken drumstick. The inbuilt computer would cook it for nearly half an hour, but we found that 15 to 20 minutes is good enough for us, without needing to flip the chicken around so we chose to take it out. By the way, this Airfryer has a convenient ‘Save your favourite’ setting that allows you to save how you like your favourite dish to be cooked. So the next time you want to make this same dish, just hit that button and the Philips Airfryer XXL Smart Sensing will cook it just the way you like it!

Pop the chicken onto the tray of the Airfryer. Photo by Choen Lee.
It looks beautifully crisp and cooked in just 15-20 minutes. Photo by Choen Lee.

F. Hainanese Chicken Chop, Assemble!

1.To plate, place the fries by the side and pour out of the vegetable sauce in the middle, place the fried chicken chops at the top and the roast corn and brocolli by the side. Enjoy.

Ready to eat. Photo by Choen Lee.

2. Take a bite of your chicken. You’ll find that it is crispy on the outside and oooohhhhh… look at that juicy piece of meat!

Look at the juicy insides! Photo by Choen Lee.

If you’re interested in getting your own Philips Airfryer XXL during this CMCO or the upcoming 11.11 mega shopping sales day, the product is now available at Philips e-commerce outlets and all Philips-authorised retailers. Click here to find out more about the Philips Airfryer XXL Smart Sensing or watch the video.

This is the Philips Airfryer XXL.

Check in with us on Butterkicap.com or follow us on our Instagram or Facebook as we try out and post new recipes. If you have any recipes of your own to share, please do contact us on our social media platforms. We’re a community of foodies just wanting to share our recipes and spread our love for Malaysian food.

Butterkicap Team

We're just a small group of friends who love food, culture and Malaysia. We saw the rise of mediocre food, deteriorating relationships and missed the good old days of Malaysia where food was good, homes were warmer and full of friends and family. So we rolled up our sleeves, and made Butterkicap with the hope that it will bring people and flavors home.

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