Singapore is a country that is made up of people from all different cultures and ethnicity - namely Chinese, Malay, Indian and Eurasian. This means that they take the best of their cuisines and merge it with the flavors of their locals to create new, exciting, and amazing dishes.
Hainanese chicken rice is a dish of poached chicken and seasoned rice, served with chilli sauce and usually with cucumber garnishes. It was created by immigrants from Hainan in southern China and adapted from the Hainanese dish Wenchang chicken. It is considered one of the national dishes of Singapore and is most commonly associated with Singaporean cuisine but is also seen throughout Southeast Asia, particularly Malaysia where it is a culinary staple.
In Singapore, the dish was born out of frugality, created by servant-class immigrants trying to stretch the flavour of the chicken.
The first chicken rice restaurants opened in Singapore during Japanese occupation in World War II, when the British were forced out and their Hainanese servants lost their source of income. One of the first was Yet Con, which opened in the early 1940s. The dish was popularised in Singapore in the 1950s by Moh Lee Twee, whose Swee Kee Chicken Rice Restaurant operated from 1947 to 1997. Hong Kong food critic Chua Lam credits Moh with the creation of the dish. Channel News Asia's Annette Tan credits Wang Yiyuan for "bringing the dish" to Singapore in the 1920s.
Hainanese chicken rice is considered one of Singapore's national dishes.
It is eaten "everywhere, every day" in Singapore and is a "ubiquitous sight in hawker centres across the country".
While most commonly associated with Singaporean cuisine, the dish is also seen throughout Southeast Asia and in parts of the United States. The dish is widely popular in Singapore and can be found in most coffee shops and food courts.