I was making this Hainanese Chicken recipe when I received my first burn notice. My heart sank when I saw BURN on the digital display. I honestly didn’t know what to feel, it was so many emotions all at the same time. I was bewildered – on why I had a BURN notice on the display.
My friend Janice sent me this Hainanese Chicken recipe to try. She said it was so good that her boys enjoyed it very much. I was very curious that I immediately tried making it. I remember preparing the ingredients and being very excited to make it. Suddenly, I remembered our memorable Singapore trip!!
For a first try of a recipe, I make sure to followed the it to a T. Even if I had a feeling that the ratio of water and uncooked rice was kind of off (I know because I am Filipino-Chinese!), I still made sure to follow it. As I was assembling the ingredients inside the pot, the aroma was so appetizing that it got me really excited! I pressed PRESSURE COOK and set the timer to 8 minutes.
Since I knew that the #InstantPot needed time to build the pressure, I made sure to do something else to occupy myself. I have been using Instant Pot for a while that time that I knew it would automatically start and end by itself. Because I was excited I made to be to be within an earshot, you know – so I can hear the sound signaling that my dish has been cooked!
So, I went about doing something when I heard the sound! I was so excited that I didn’t notice the time. It felt quite fast, really – so I hurried myself to the kitchen. And there it was – so red and blatant – thhe fir letter word that all Instant Pot users dread – BURN.
My heart sank – and I didn’t know what to do! But I was composed enough to press the CANCEL button and did quick release so I could inspect what was inside. When the pressure valve went down, it was the signal that I could finally open the lid. And when I did – I saw that the rice was still not cooked. There was still a LOT of liquid in the pot, but when I dipped wooden spoon – I knew I felt that there was rice sticking to the bottom. I had to take out the chicken, mix the rice and the liquid and set it to SAUTE to finish cooking the rice.
I honestly expected the dish to have a burnt taste – but there was none. The flavor was perfectly present on the rice, the chicken was okay too. So what happened? Well, the rice was a bit undercooked – but it still tasted great! I honestly wondered what happened, but just assumed that the water to uncooked rice ration needed adjustment. Maybe it was the kind of rice that I used. I knew I had to try it again but it will take a bit more time to do so. I then remembered that I never hear the sound the Instant Pot makes when it starts the cooking timer. Hmmm.
It took a while for me to try it again. That time, I decided to add more liquid. I did everything the same except I added more broth. I left it again and was just nearby when I heard that all to familiar sound. I looked at the time and found it strange – and there it was again – BURN. I was baffled really, I mean – TWO times this happened to me. It was so strange! I then messaged my friend Janice to tell her what happened, she then replied that she has done the same recipe numerous time and never did it once have a BURN display.
It was because of that second BURN notice that I was able to convice my Panget to buy me the non-stick ceramic pot. I told him that even if the dish was good, there was still the cleaning part that was quite tiresome. Imagine soaking the pot with baking soda to take the burnt rice off the pot. I then said, that once the non-stick pot arrives, this was the same dish I would be making.
I remember it all to clearly – when the non-stick pot arrived, I made sure to use it the very next day. I said to myself – that maybe this magical pot will be able to save the day. And so I made this Hainanese Chicken Rice dish for a THIRD time. There’s a saying ‘Third times a charm!’
But it wasn’t a charm at all – I still got that same BURN notice on the digital display. I have come to believe that this recipe wasn’t for me. I have accepted the fact that – I may not be able to make this dish without getting a BURN notice. I said to myself that one day, when I have mustered the courage to cook this again – maybe then it won’t have a burn notice.
So, a few weeks ago – I received a brand new Instant Pot 6quart unit. What I already had was an 8quart Instant Pot By looking at the size, it was quite a contrast (please see the image below). To be honest, I felt that the 6quart was kinda small. Hahaha!! I know, I have judged it right away – my 8quart is a huge piece of machine! So imagine my shock when I saw the 6quart! My new Instant Pot 6quart is already 220volts, my 8quart is 110volts (because it was bought in Amazon US)
I used my new Instant Pot to cook my Fool Proof Korean Beef Stew recipe. One thing I noticed was that the pressure building up time was a LOT shorter compared to my 8quart. You see, I would wait 15minutes to 20 minutes for the time on my 8quart Instant Pot to start – but with this 6quart, it took a lot, LOT less! After making the korean beef stew, I made my version of Mac and Cheese the next day. I was starting to fall in like with my 6quart Instant Pot!
After a few days, I suddenly thought – the true test of my 6quart Instant Pot is if I tried making the Hainanese Chicken rice again. So I gathered all the ingredients and prepared. I even told Yaya B what I was making so she can help me prepare the dish. She’s also witness to the BURN display, three times prior. I think she was anxious too, well we both were!
So I prepared everything and followed the recipe. I did NOT add any additional liquid anymore because I was testing the unit and the recipe at the same time. I was so nervous really that I made sure to sit in front of my Instant Pot to observe and do a countdown. I didn’t want to be preoccupied with something else. When I closed the lid and pressed PRESSURE COOK and adjusted the time to 8 minutes, I waited just a short time when I heard that sound that the IP has started its timer and was cooking.
My eyes were glued on the digital display. I saw ON, and then 8:00 and the 7:00 and then 6:00 and then 5:00. I was praying so hard, so very hard! Even Yaya B was praying with me as she looked on with me! The aroma that filled the kitchen was intoxicating – then we saw the timer go down to 2:00 and then 1:00. I was rejoicing deep inside, I still had a few more seconds left – and I was scared to see BURN at the last minutes.
Then I heard the magical sound, cooking time was done! I remember reading to do natural release for 10 minutes and that’s what I did. My eyes were still glued on the display – I think I was kind of anticipating seeing the BURN display, but then it occurred to me that – the machine has stopped cooking , and was just waiting to let the pressure out.
After 10 minutes, I did quick release and when the pressure valve went down. I was so excited to twist the lid open. I held on to the lid, said a short prayer before twisting it open. And when I did – IT WAS DONE!
The aroma was wonderful. I was so happy to see the rice fully cooked! I had to sift out the pieces of chicken to set aside. I immediately grabbed a fork – fluffed the rice a bit (as the recipe suggested) and tried it. I knew it was still hot – but I didn’t care, I was just too damn excited – and it was PERFECTLY cooked, perfectly cooked rice that tasted so awesome! The chicken was perfect too.
I made sure to plate it and to serve it like that above.
I expected that my children would give me weird faces and ‘complain’ that they didn’t like the food. But when they saw the dish, the only said two things ‘It smells good! What is that?!’ I told them it was Hainanese Chicken – and that we ate it when we visited Singapore a few year ago. I then gave them a small spoonful of the rice and told to try it. I knew and have accepted that my children would say something negative to get out of having to eat what I made, so I wasn’t expecting much. Then I heard something, my son said ‘Mommy, it’s good!’ It was music to my ears and I couldn’t believe it. It was only when I saw Connor, get another spoonful of the rice and gave me a thumbs up sign that I actually believed that I heard and saw! Kailee was the same, she took a small spoonful and declared ‘Yummy!’ and proceeded to get more of the rice!
IT WAS SUCH AN AMAZING FEELING to be able to cook the Hainanese Chicken Rice dish properly and add to that, my children liking it! I was so happy that day – so very very happy! I was smiling silly the whole day, I just couldn’t believe it!
That same afternoon, I realized that – it might have been the size of my Instant Pot that was the culprit. I know it shouldn’t be the case – but it was! I mean how can you explain the BURN notice with my three previous attempts, right? I made it three times on my 8quart and all three times, there was a BURN display – and it hasn’t started cooking yet! Was the pot too big for the recipe? I honestly wouldn’t know! But what I know is that – IT WAS SUCH A SUCCESS on my 6quart Instant Pot!
I must say that I have come to appreciate and even LOVE my new 6quart Instant Pot. It has been instrumental to my successful Hainanese Chicken Rice cooking quest. I have finally made it! On my fourth (4th) try at that! Hahaha.. Normally, I would tell myself – to stop trying after the third attempt. Well I did stop, I didn’t have plans to make it. I would share the recipe to friends with a disclaimer that the taste is spot on, but expect a BURN notice to appear. Having my new unit pushed me to try it one more time – I said to myself that if I would see the word BURN on the display that I would stop trying to make it – but it didn’t. I guess the Instant Pot gods were listening to me. Hahaha!!
Thank you Focus Global and Instant Pot Philippines for my 6quart Instant Pot unit. It was been a long, long, long time coming, and I finally felt the ‘love’ and appreciation from the brand. I hope it’s not the last! Hahahaha! I am not one to beg or ask for a unit in exchange for something, but I would say – give credit to where credit is due. At the end of the day, I wrote about Instant Pot long before the brand arrived in the PH and promoted it without asking for anything in return. I even use it constantly and still post about it from time to time. My friend Char and I even formed our Instant Pot Heads PH group because we love IP so much. We both believe in the product so much and would like to share this love to others.
I hope all well that ends well!
I hope. Hahaha!!
Here’s the link to the Hainanese Chicken Recipe: