Help with Hainan Chicken Rice Satchets
Yes, I know I can make this from scratch, but I was looking for something that I can "dump and eat" on busy weekdays when I get home from work at 9pm and must eat dinner quickly before getting back to work at 10pm for those conference calls to Asia....
Anyways, I often pine for that Hainan or Singaporean delicacy "Hainan Chicken Rice". Its a combination of poached chicken and flavored rice and some sauces. The flavored rice is time consuming because to make it properly it requires one to stirfry raw rice grains in a combination of ground ginger, garlic, some shallots, and the leftover chicken fat from poaching the chicken before dumping the rice in the rice cooker with chicken stock from poaching the chicken.
Actually the chicken itself is time consuming as well but I digress because I can buy a close approximation of the chicken from local Chinese BBQ stores...
I've found that the best short-cut way to make the rice is to use those sachets of pre-made spice/packets and dump the contents into the rice cooker along with a can of chicken stock and cook ... EZ and fast.
I typically like to use ASIAN HOME GOURMET (a Singaporean brand) Hainanese Chicken Rice flavor sachet (blue packaging). However, here in the San Francisco Area, I've found that I can no longer find it!!!!!! This is a disaster!!!!
So far I've been two TWO Ranch 99 locations (Foster City and Daly City) as well as Lion City Supermarket and Marina Foods in San Jose and Cupertino respectively, and all of them don't have it! Ranch 99 seems to carry, in stock, seemingly every other flavor that AHG makes but Hainanese Chicken Rice seems to be no longer. Its maddening because the sticker on the shelf is still there that indicates what price it should be is still there .... but no flacor sachets.
Has anyone out there noticed this?
My sympathies. It is an infuriating situation.
I just got back from a too-short visit to Singapore, and I found that Prima Taste now has packets of Chicken Rice seasoning, not just the whole Chicken Rice kit. Perhaps the Prima Taste restaurant in San Jose will be able to sell you some.
I buy Asian Home Gourmet packets from a Southeast Asian grocery store. The owners are Lao, and the Thai grocery in town carries it too. I believe the brand makes several SE Asia flavor items, so check a different type of grocery store.
I agree that AHG packets are very good; their coconut rice is a mainstay in our home and my only real preferred convenience food. I add some kaffir lime leaves to boost the flavor, and of course it's virtually fat-free compared to using coconut milk. I've had a packet of the HC rice seasoning in the cupboard for a long time; I'll have to try it soon.
If you're still completely out of luck in a couple of weeks, repost here and I'll happily mail you some packets (provided they don't stop carrying them at my stores too).