Vegan/Vegetarian Roasted Chicken Rice (Using Air Fryer)


Traditional Hainanese and roasted chicken rice uses the stock from cooking chicken to make the flavourful and fragrant rice, and also in accompanying soup. And since this is the vegetarian version, it is much easier and of course cruelty free. It is authentically served with a hot chilli sauce dip that is made up of freshly minced red chilli and garlic, and topped with dark soy sauce and a heap of freshly pounded ginger.
For vegan roasted 'chicken' rice, the most common substitute is fried beancurd skin. I am not a fan of mock meat but I can accept this vegetarian 'chicken' because it is basically made from beancurd skin and spices. To make it more healthy, I do not deep fry them, instead I use Airfryer (I used this brand). No additional oil needed, and yet taste equally great like deep-fried, Airfryer is indeed one of the best ever innovation in the kitchen, perfect!
I love rice and I am crazy over the fragrant rice for 'chicken' rice. I also cook this flavourful rice and treat it like plain rice and accompanied by dishes of stir fry veggies and steamed tofu. Next I plan to use this rice for my next project: Hakka Thunder Tea Rice, pronounced as Lei cha, 擂茶. Stay tuned!

Dietary: Vegetarian, Vegan.
Serve 2

For fragrant rice:
 2 cups* or 270g long-grain rice, washed & drained (I used brown rice)
 2 cups* or 380ml water

 2 pcs ginger, roughly sliced
 4 cloves garlic^, keep skin & smashed (optional)
 1 stalk lemon grass, peel off outer layers, cut into 4 cm
 4 pandan leaves, tied into a knot
 1 pcs bay leaf (optional)

 3 tsp sesame oil
 1/4 tsp salt or to taste
 1/2 tsp soy sauce or Braggs Liquid Aminos
 1/2 tsp brown sugar or molasses (or any sweeteners)

For vegan 'chicken'
 3-4 pcs vegan 'chicken' drumstick (made from beancurd)

 Beansprouts, stir fried
 Chinese cabbage (bok choy), stir fried
 Cucumber, sliced
 Tomato, sliced

 Vegan 'chicken' rice chilli dip topped with dark soy sauce and pounded ginger
 Cilantro sprigs

Cooking Fragrant Rice
1. Mix all ingredients and seasonings together, and give it a good stir.
2. Transfer mixture into rice cooker pot, turn on the rice cooker. When the rice is cooked, then use the rice scoop to stir the rice and loosen it up, leave it in the cooker for another few minutes. If you do not have a rice cooker, place mixture in a steamer bowl and steam for 25-30 minutes until it reached your desired consistency.
Cooking 'chicken'
Deep Frying:
Heat oil to about few inch in wok or large skillet over medium-high heat to about 375°F.  Add 'chicken', turning occasionally until they are golden brown and crisp, 2 to 3 minutes. Drain on paper towels.
Using Airfryer:
Preheat the Airfryer to 160℃ for 3 minutes. Evenly place the 'chicken' in the fryer basket and slide the basket into the Airfryer. Set the timer to 18-20 minutes, turning few times until golden brown.

Using Oven:
Preheat the oven to 180℃.  Evenly spread the 'chicken' on a baking tray with parchment paper. Using a oven thermometer, ensure it is at the right temperature 180℃.  Pop the tray into the oven for about 25 minutes, turning few times until golden brown.

Remove the stick inside the 'chicken' drumstick, cut into slices. Remove the herbs from rice then scoop rice onto individual serving dish, garnish and serve immediately.

^ Buddhist vegetarians who do not take garlic can omit this.

* The ratio for perfectly-cooked rice in most rice cookers (works for my Toshiba) is 1:1 rice and water, but it might vary with different rice cookers and the type of rice you are using.

* The measuring cup I used in this recipe comes along with the rice cooker and it looks like this below. 1 full cup of this rice measuring cup yield 135g of uncooked rice and 190ml water.  
Measuring Cup from Rice Cooker

Cooking Fragrant Rice

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