Haam-Kai or “Salty Chicken”, as my mama calls it, is poached; very simple and easy to make. Just 3 ingredients, if water can be considered as 1 ingredient besides chicken and salt. The turnout’s a juicy pure, salty chicken. My mama makes a whole chicken for prayers, especially during Chinese New Year and just larges pieces of chicken legs with bones and skin on at any other time of the year. I share the recipe here.. 🙂

HamKai Salted Poached Chicken 2


  • 1 ±1.5-2kg whole chicken
  • water
  • salt



    Serves 4-6
    Prep time 15 mins
    Cook time ±45 mins
    Total time 60 mins
total time


  1. Remove giblets, etc from chicken cavity and rinse it.
  2. Prepare a large pot where a whole chicken can fit in comfortably. Put in chicken and add in enough water to cover chicken or at least ¾ of chicken. Remove chicken.
  3. Heat water and let it come to the boil. Put in chicken, breast-side down and let it come back to the boil and let it cook/poach for 30 mins.
  4. Turn chicken carefully with a pair of chopsticks, hooked under wings.
  5. Let it cook/poach another 15 mins.
  6. Once chicken is cooked (test by poking a sharp stick or chopstick into the thickest part of chicken – the thigh), carefully lift chicken up and let water drain away from chicken cavity and put on a large plate.
  7. Smear or rub salt all over chicken generously, especially between wings and drumsticks.
  8. Allow it to cool slightly and chop with a sharp knife or cut with kitchen scissors into pieces.
  9. Serve warm or cool with some salad leaves or sliced cucumber and tomatoes and warm rice.

HamKai Salted Poached Chicken 1
It was my 1st time trying to make Haam-Kai and I didn’t manage to keep the skin of the chicken totally intact – tore some at the drumsticks but I was assured by my mama that I’d get better at turning the chicken with practice.. 😛

Rate this post if you like:
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (1 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)