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Khao Man Gai Recipe: A Flavorful Thai Chicken and Rice Delight

Khao Man Gai

Khao Man Gai is a beloved Thai dish that features succulent poached chicken served with fragrant jasmine rice. This delectable and flavorful meal has gained popularity worldwide due to its simplicity and delightful taste. In this article, we’ll take you through a step-by-step guide on how to prepare the authentic Khao Man Gai recipe in your own kitchen. So, let’s dive in and explore the magic of Thai cuisine!



Khao Man Gai’s history can be traced back to Hainanese chicken rice, a dish that originated in the Hainan province of China. As early as the 19th century, Chinese immigrants brought this flavorful dish with them to Southeast Asia, particularly to Thailand. Over time, the recipe underwent several adaptations to suit the local Thai palate, leading to the birth of Khao Man Gai.

The name “Khao Man Gai” translates to “oily rice chicken” in Thai, which is quite fitting as the preparation involves cooking the rice with chicken broth, giving it a rich and aromatic flavor. The dish quickly found its place in Thailand’s bustling street food scene, where vendors would serve it from carts or small stalls.

Khao Man Gai’s popularity soared due to its delicious taste and affordable price, making it a favorite among locals and tourists alike. It became a go-to comfort food for many Thais, and its mouthwatering aroma often attracted passersby to try a serving.

In recent years, Khao Man Gai has made its way beyond Thailand’s borders, gaining international recognition as a symbol of Thai cuisine. It can now be found in Thai restaurants worldwide, delighting food enthusiasts with its authentic flavors and heartwarming history.


Preparing the Chicken15 minutes
Making the Aromatic Rice20 minutes
Creating the Savory Sauce5 minutes
Assembling the Khao Man Gai10 minutes

Please note that the total time may vary slightly depending on your cooking skills and equipment.


IngredientsQuantity for 2 Persons
Fresh chicken1 whole chicken
Jasmine rice1 cup
Chicken broth3 cups
Garlic4 cloves
Ginger2-inch piece
Soy sauce1/4 cup
Cucumber slices1/2 cup
Fresh cilantro leaves1/4 cup
Green onions2 stalks
Thai chilies (optional)2
Sesame oil1 tablespoon
Vegetable oil1 tablespoon

These quantities are tailored for two servings of this delicious Thai dish, ensuring you can enjoy Khao Man Gai with your loved one without any hassle. Enjoy your meal!


Step 1: Preparing the Chicken

  1. Clean the Chicken: Thoroughly clean the fresh chicken and remove any excess fat or impurities. Rinse it under cold water and pat it dry with a paper towel.
  2. Season the Chicken: Rub the chicken with salt both inside and out to enhance its flavor during poaching.
  3. Infuse with Aromatics: Stuff the chicken cavity with 2 cloves of garlic and a 2-inch piece of ginger to impart delightful aromas to the meat.
  4. Poach the Chicken: In a large pot, bring 3 cups of chicken broth to a simmer. Gently lower the seasoned chicken into the pot and let it poach for approximately 30-40 minutes or until fully cooked. To ensure doneness, use a meat thermometer; the temperature should read 165°F (74°C).
  5. Rest and Chop: Once cooked, remove the chicken from the broth and let it rest for a few minutes. Then, chop the chicken into serving pieces.

Step 2: Making the Aromatic Rice

  1. Sauté Garlic: In a separate pot, heat 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil. Add 2 minced cloves of garlic and sauté until aromatic.
  2. Add Jasmine Rice: Add 1 cup of uncooked jasmine rice to the pot. Stir the rice to coat it evenly with the garlic-infused oil.
  3. Simmer with Chicken Broth: Pour the chicken broth over the rice, ensuring the liquid level is approximately one inch above the rice. Cover the pot with a lid and let the rice simmer over low heat until it absorbs all the broth and becomes fluffy and aromatic.

Step 3: Creating the Savory Sauce

  1. Mix Soy Sauce: In a bowl, mix 1/4 cup of soy sauce with 2 minced cloves of garlic, finely chopped ginger, and 2 Thai chilies (if desired). This combination creates a flavorful and savory sauce.
  2. Add Sesame Oil: For extra richness and depth of flavor, add 1 tablespoon of sesame oil to the sauce and mix well.

Step 4: Assembling the Khao Man Gai

  1. Plate the Rice: Place a generous serving of the fragrant jasmine rice on each plate.
  2. Add Chicken: Top the rice with the succulent slices of poached chicken.
  3. Garnish: Garnish the dish with cucumber slices, fresh cilantro leaves, and sliced green onions for added freshness and visual appeal.

Step 5: Cooking and Preparation Time

Here’s a summary of the cooking and preparation time for each step:

  • Preparing the Chicken: 15 minutes
  • Making the Aromatic Rice: 20 minutes
  • Creating the Savory Sauce: 5 minutes
  • Assembling the Khao Man Gai: 10 minutes

Please note that the total time may vary slightly depending on your cooking skills and equipment.

Now you have all the steps you need to prepare a mouthwatering and authentic Khao Man Gai meal. Enjoy the flavors of Thailand right in your own home!

Equipment Required

Nutrition Information

Nutrition InformationAmount per Serving
Serving Size1 plate
Calories550 kcal
Total Fat22g
Saturated Fat6g
Trans Fat0g
Total Carbohydrates45g
Dietary Fiber2g

Please note that the nutritional values are approximate and can vary depending on the specific ingredients and quantities used in the recipe. Additionally, the nutrition information provided here is based on a typical serving of Khao Man Gai, and actual values may differ slightly based on individual preparation methods and serving sizes.


  • Use High-Quality Chicken: Opt for fresh, high-quality chicken with skin-on and bone-in for maximum flavor and tenderness.
  • Season the Chicken Well: Ensure the chicken is seasoned with salt inside and out to enhance its taste during poaching.
  • Infuse Aromatics: Stuff the chicken cavity with garlic and ginger to infuse it with delicious flavors as it cooks.
  • Monitor Cooking Time: Use a meat thermometer to check if the chicken is fully cooked. The internal temperature should reach 165°F (74°C).
  • Rest the Chicken: Let the poached chicken rest for a few minutes before chopping it. This helps the juices distribute evenly, making the meat juicier.
  • Rinse the Rice: Before cooking the jasmine rice, rinse it thoroughly to remove excess starch for fluffier results.
  • Sauté Garlic: Sautéing the garlic before adding rice ensures a fragrant and flavorful base for the aromatic rice.
  • Low and Slow: Simmer the rice over low heat to allow it to absorb the chicken broth and become fluffy and aromatic.
  • Balance the Sauce: Adjust the amount of Thai chilies in the sauce according to your spice preference. Be mindful of the heat level.
  • Experiment with Garnishes: Besides cucumber, cilantro, and green onions, feel free to add other garnishes like sliced tomatoes or shredded cabbage for added texture and color.

Pros & Cons

✔️ Delicious and Flavorful❌ Time-Consuming
✔️ Simple Ingredients❌ Requires Chicken Poaching
✔️ Represents Thai Cuisine❌ High Sodium Content
✔️ Versatile Garnish Options❌ May be Spicy for Some
✔️ Comforting and Nourishing❌ Not Suitable for Vegetarians


In conclusion, Khao Man Gai is a delightful Thai chicken and rice dish that embodies the heart and soul of Thai cuisine. With its succulent poached chicken, fragrant jasmine rice, and savory sauce, this meal offers a burst of flavors that will tantalize your taste buds and transport you to the vibrant streets of Thailand.

This recipe is not only simple to follow but also uses easily accessible ingredients, making it a perfect choice for both novice and experienced cooks. The dish’s versatility allows for creative garnishing, giving you the freedom to customize it according to your preferences.

While the preparation may require some time and effort, the end result is well worth it. The tender and flavorful chicken paired with aromatic rice and savory sauce creates a truly satisfying and nourishing experience.

Whether you’re a Thai cuisine enthusiast or simply looking to explore new flavors, Khao Man Gai is a must-try recipe that will leave a lasting impression on your taste buds. So, don your apron, gather the ingredients, and embark on a culinary journey that will transport you to the heart of Thailand’s vibrant street food scene.

Don’t miss the opportunity to savor this delicious dish with your loved ones. Prepare Khao Man Gai in your own kitchen and relish the authentic taste of Thailand. The blend of simplicity and richness in this dish will undoubtedly leave you wanting more. So, why wait? Get cooking and experience the magic of Khao Man Gai for yourself!

“Delicious and Flavorful, Khao Man Gai is an enticing Thai delicacy that promises to awaken your taste buds and captivate your senses. Don’t miss the chance to indulge in this culinary gem!”


  • Fact 1: A Culinary Journey from Hainan to Thailand 🌏
    • 🐔 Khao Man Gai’s history can be traced back to Hainanese chicken rice, a dish that originated in the Hainan province of China. As early as the 19th century, Chinese immigrants brought this flavorful dish with them to Southeast Asia, particularly to Thailand. Over time, the recipe underwent several adaptations to suit the local Thai palate, leading to the birth of Khao Man Gai.
  • Fact 2: A Beloved Street Food Icon in Thailand 🍲
    • 🍜 Khao Man Gai has become a quintessential part of Thailand’s street food culture. You can find it being served from bustling food carts and small stalls all over the country. Its affordability, delicious taste, and enticing aroma make it a favorite among locals and tourists alike.
  • Fact 3: Chicken Broth-Infused Aromatic Rice 🍚
    • 🍲 The secret behind the fragrant and flavorful jasmine rice served with Khao Man Gai lies in its preparation. The rice is cooked in chicken broth, allowing it to absorb the rich flavors, making it an exquisite accompaniment to the succulent poached chicken.
  • Fact 4: Customized Garnishing, A Feast for the Eyes 👀
    • 🌿 One of the exciting aspects of Khao Man Gai is the colorful and creative garnishing options. From crisp cucumber slices to fresh cilantro leaves and green onions, you can customize the dish to your liking, adding a visual feast to the delectable meal.
  • Fact 5: Khao Man Gai’s Global Fanbase 🌍
    • 🌐 Khao Man Gai’s popularity has transcended Thailand’s borders and gained recognition on an international scale. With Thai restaurants worldwide offering this authentic dish, people from various cultural backgrounds have fallen in love with its simplicity and delightful taste.


Is Khao Man Gai a spicy dish?

The dish itself is not spicy. However, the spice level can be adjusted by adding Thai chilies to the sauce according to your preference.

Can I use chicken breast instead of bone-in chicken?

Yes, you can use boneless chicken breast if you prefer. However, bone-in chicken adds more flavor to the dish.

What type of rice should I use for Khao Man Gai?

It’s best to use fragrant jasmine rice for an authentic experience. The aroma and taste of jasmine rice complement the dish perfectly.

Can I make Khao Man Gai ahead of time and store it for later?

While it’s best enjoyed fresh, you can prepare the individual components ahead of time and assemble the dish just before serving.

Is Khao Man Gai a gluten-free dish?

Yes, the dish can be made gluten-free by using gluten-free soy sauce in the recipe.

Can I substitute the chicken with a vegetarian option?

Absolutely! You can use firm tofu or pan-seared mushrooms as a delicious vegetarian alternative to the chicken.

Can I use coconut milk instead of chicken broth for the rice?

Yes, for a unique twist, you can replace some of the chicken broth with coconut milk to infuse the rice with a creamy coconut flavor.

What other dipping sauces can I serve with Khao Man Gai?

Besides the traditional savory sauce, you can serve Khao Man Gai with sweet chili sauce or peanut sauce for added variety.

Can I add additional vegetables to the dish?

Absolutely! You can experiment with other vegetables like sliced tomatoes or shredded cabbage for extra texture and freshness.

How long can I store leftovers of Khao Man Gai?

Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat gently before serving to maintain the flavors.