NHS doctor and kitchen whizz Dr Rupy Aujla whips up a Singaporean chicken rice dish that's the perfective healthy alternative to a weekend takeaway

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Save this recipe for when you're next looking for a weekend dinner that's tasty and packed with nutrients. It's from Cooks (£11, Ebury Press), the fourth cookbook from Dr Rupy Aujla. The good doctor, a London-based NHS GP, is brilliant at creating healthy recipes, inspired by multiple cultures, that work for modern lifestyles (and wallets). 

His books always include include vegetarian and vegan dishes, as well as gluten and nut-free options and every recipe is vetted by his global community, having been tested in 1000 different homes to assess simplicity, flavour, timing and accuracy. This is a man who does his due diligence!

So what's for dinner, Rupy? "This is a take on Hainanese chicken, with wonderful aromatic flavours, delicious spices and plenty of colourful greens to serve with a gorgeously flavoured rice," he says. "Cooking a chicken in this way is super economical and low waste, as well as bringing out the best from the produce."

We'll turn on the oven asap...

Dr Rupy's Singaporean Chicken Rice 

Suitable for: Vegetarians, gluten-free

Serves: 4
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 1 hour 40 minutes 


  • 1 x 1.5kg chicken
  • 50g fresh ginger, sliced
  • 6 garlic cloves, unpeeled, bashed
  • 4 tbsp tamari or soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp coriander seeds
  • 2 tsp black peppercorns
  • 3 star anise
  • 6 cloves
  • 300g short-grain brown rice, rinsed well

To serve 

  • 400g choi sum or pak choi 300g ripe tomatoes, diced
  • 1 cucumber, thinly sliced
  • 4 spring onions, shredded Small bunch of coriander, torn 
  • 4 tbsp Cheat’s Quick Chilli Oil or Chinese chiu chow chilli oil (shop-bought) 
  • 3 tbsp light olive oil
  • 1 tsp toasted sesame oil
  • 2 tsp tamari or light soy sauce 1⁄2 tsp brown sugar
  • 1 garlic clove, grated
  • 1⁄2 tsp chilli flakes 


  1. Put the chicken into a large stockpot and pour over enough cold water to completely cover. Add the ginger, garlic, tamari or soy sauce and spices, then bring to a gentle simmer. Cover and cook for 40 minutes, skimming the surface occasionally to remove any impurities.
  2.  Remove from the heat and leave to stand with the lid on for 10 minutes, then transfer the chicken to a baking tray, cover loosely with foil and set aside to rest.
  3. Strain the poaching broth into a jug, skim off any fat, then pour 600ml back into the pan (any leftover broth can be chilled or frozen). Add the rice, bring to the boil, then reduce to a gentle simmer, cover with a lid and cook for 30 minutes. Remove from the heat and leave to stand with the lid on for a further 10 minutes.
  4. When the rice is nearly ready, steam the choi sum or pak choi in a separate pan for 2 to 3 minutes until wilted.
  5. Take the chicken breast off the bone and cut into thick slices. Pull the thigh and leg meat away from the bone. 
  6. Season the rice with a little extra tamari or soy sauce, if needed. Serve the chicken with the rice, choi sum, tomatoes and cucumber, drizzled with the chilli oil. Garnish with the spring onions and coriander.
Image: David Loftus

Extracted from Cooks by Dr Rupy Aujla (Ebury Press, £11). Photography by David Loftus