Chicken Long Rice (Hawaiian Style)

4.97 from 59 votes
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Chicken long rice is a favorite of locals in Hawaii. It is a flavorful, light dish that is great on its own, or with any of your favorite Hawaiian foods!

Large bowl of Hawaiian Style Chicken Long Rice Noodles garnished with green onions and chopsticks.
Featured with this recipe
  1. What is Chicken Long Rice?
  2. Ingredients in Hawaiian Chicken Long Rice
  3. Best Noodles for Chicken Long Rice
  4. Frequently Asked Questions
  5. More Hawaiian Recipes
  6. How to Make Chicken Long Rice
  7. Hawaiian Style Chicken Long Rice Recipe

I first discovered chicken long rice when I worked at the Polynesian Cultural Center in Hawaii. At first, I was a bit skeptical. Growing up in southern Utah, I had never seen anything quite like it before. After trying it, I was immediately a huge fan. Chicken long rice can be a side dish or served more as a soup or a light meal. It is originally a Chinese dish but was adapted by Hawaiians and is now popular at luaus and restaurants throughout the islands. I love making this dish for my family in the summertime because it’s light and flavorful. The broth reminds me of Pho in a way. It is similar, but different. Try it for a special occasion or a casual evening supper.

What is Chicken Long Rice?

Chicken Long Rice is a well-known Hawaiian comfort food dish that consists of long rice noodles, tender chicken, and a flavorful broth infused with ginger and garlic. Originally inspired by Chinese cuisine and adapted to Hawaiian tastes, chicken long rice is often served at gatherings and family meals. Its a simple dish with yet satisfying flavors make it a go-to option for those seeking a taste of authentic Hawaiian cuisine.

Ingredients in Hawaiian Chicken Long Rice

Despite being an island favorite, you can find all the ingredients for this dish on the mainland too. Here’s what you need:

  • Chicken broth – you can use a homemade stock mixture or low-sodium chicken broth.
  • Soy sauce – about 3 tbsp
  • Garlic – three cloves, minced
  • Ginger – two tablespoons fresh ginger root. Peel and grate the sliced ginger.
  • Sugar – one teaspoon
  • Chicken thighs – boneless chicken thighs work great for this recipe. Shredded chicken thighs are easy to make and use. Shred meat after cooking in the instant pot or slow cooker. Using a cooked rotisserie chicken is also a great option for the shredded chicken. Just shred the cooked chicken into bite size pieces and add to the noodles.
  • Bean thread noodles – aka cellophane noodles. See below for where to find them.
  • Green onion – Use kitchen shears to cut a bunch of onions at the same time.

Additions and Substitutions:

While the traditional Chicken Long Rice recipe features long rice noodles, chicken, ginger, garlic, and chicken broth, there are several additional ingredients you can add to take your dish to the next level or adjust it to your tastes. Here are some ideas for adding a twist to the traditional flavors of this Chicken Long Rice recipe:

  1. Vegetables: Add a variety of vegetables to the dish, such as carrots, celery, bok choy, green beans or spinach, to increase its nutritional value and add vibrant colors.
  2. Mushrooms: Sliced shiitake or cremini mushrooms can impart a rich umami flavor to the broth.
  3. Onions: Sliced sweet onion adds a refreshing, oniony bite to the dish and enhances the flavor of the broth. Add it at the same time you add the chicken to the broth.
  4. Shredded Coconut: Incorporate shredded coconut to infuse a tropical, nutty flavor.
  5. Chili Peppers: For a touch of heat, add sliced chili peppers like Thai chilies or jalapeños.
  6. Lemongrass: For an aromatic twist, include a few stalks of lemongrass to infuse the broth with a citrusy fragrance.
  7. Fish Sauce: A splash of fish sauce can enhance the umami taste and add a hint of brininess.
  8. Coconut Milk: For a creamier version, replace some of the chicken broth with coconut milk, adding a smooth coconut flavor.
  9. Tofu or Shrimp: Add cubes of firm tofu or cooked shrimp for an extra protein boost and a tasty textural contrast.
  10. Cilantro: Garnish the finished dish with fresh cilantro leaves for a burst of herbal freshness.

Feel free to experiment with these additional ingredients to create your own unique spin on the classic Chicken Long Rice recipe. Whether you prefer a more traditional approach or a fusion of flavors, these additions can take this dish to a whole new level of deliciousness.

Ingredients for Hawaiian Style Chicken Long Rice including chicken thighs, sugar, ginger, green onion, garlic, soy sauce, chicken broth and bean vermicelli noodles.


Best Noodles for Chicken Long Rice

The long rice noodles can be called by many different names, but they are all the same thing. They can be called glass noodles, cellophane noodles, bean threads, Chinese vermicelli noodles, bean thread noodles, crystal noodles, mung bean noodles, or bean vermicelli. They are all thin, brittle, white noodles that turn clear and glassy when boiled. You may be able to find them at your local grocery store but you will definitely be able to find them at your local Asian market. This is what the package generally looks like.

Bag of Ben Vermicelli noodles for Hawaiian Style Chicken Long Rice Noodles.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Chicken Long Rice Gluten Free?

Chicken long rice can EASILY be made gluten free if you just make a few easy adjustments. The noodles themselves are GF but it is what you are cooking them in that can be tricky. Just be sure you are using gluten-free soy sauce and chicken broth, and you are good to go!

What Goes Well With Chicken Long Rice?

I LOVE chicken long rice served over rice. I know that sounds like a lot of rice but oh man, it’s good. You can serve it with any kind of Hawaiian dish.

Can Chicken Long Rice be Frozen?

Absolutely! Make a double batch and freeze in an airtight container for a quick meal another day.

READ NEXT: 35+ Best Chicken Breast Recipes

More Hawaiian Recipes

How to Make Chicken Long Rice

Side view of Hawaiian Style Chicken Long Rice Noodles in two bowls. Ginger and green onions on the side.

Hawaiian Style Chicken Long Rice

4.97 from 59 votes
Chicken long rice is a favorite of locals in Hawaii. It is a flavorful, light dish that is great on its own, or with any of your favorite Hawaiian foods!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Hawaiian
Servings 4 servings

Video

Ingredients

  • 32 ounces chicken broth
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 tablespoons ginger peeled and grated
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 pound chicken thighs boneless, skinless
  • 8 ounces bean thread noodles (aka cellophane noodles)
  • 1/4 cup green onion sliced
  • Hawaiian sea salt (optional, to taste)

Instructions

  • In a large stockpot, combine the chicken broth, soy sauce, garlic, ginger, and sugar. 
    Pot of broth for Hawaiian Style Chicken Long Rice Noodles.
  • Bring to a boil and add chicken thighs. Reduce heat and simmer for 30-40 minutes. 
    Pot of broth with chicken thighs for Hawaiian Style Chicken Long Rice Noodles.
  • In the meantime, place bean thread noodles in a large bowl and pour warm water over them. Enough to cover the noodles completely. You just want them to start loosening up. Set aside until chicken and broth is done cooking.
    Bean Vermicelli noodles in a bowl of water for Hawaiian Style Chicken Long Rice Noodles.
  • When chicken is cooked through use a slotted spoon to remove from the broth (do not discard the broth) and shred. Skim any grease or foam from the broth and then return chicken to the broth. 
    Cutting board with two forks shredding chicken thighs for Hawaiian Style Chicken Long Rice Noodles.
  • Stir noodles into the broth and simmer another 5 minutes or until noodles are soft and translucent. Add more chicken broth if needed if you like the noodles to be more “soup” like. 
    Pot of cooked Hawaiian Style Chicken Long Rice Noodles.
  • Add more soy sauce to taste (optional) and garnish with green onion.
    Two large bowls of Hawaiian Style Chicken Long Rice Noodles with chopsticks.

Notes

  • These long rice noodles go by a few different names. They can be called glass noodles, cellophane noodles, bean threads, Chinese vermicelli, bean thread noodles, crystal noodles, or bean vermicelli. They are all thin, brittle, white noodles that turn clear and glassy when boiled.
  • You may be able to find them at your local grocery store but you will definitely be able to find them at your local Asian market.
  • Use kitchen shears to cut a lot of green onions at once. 

Nutrition Information

Calories: 479kcalCarbohydrates: 54gProtein: 21gFat: 19gSaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 111mgSodium: 1679mgPotassium: 483mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 151IUVitamin C: 18mgCalcium: 48mgIron: 3mg

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About the author

Erica Walker

Erica lives in Boise, Idaho with her husband, Jared, an attorney, and her three beautiful girls. Beyond the world of recipes, she loves adventuring with everything from kayaking, to cruising, to snowboarding and taking the family along for the thrill ride.

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    This recipe is actually easy to do. The chicken shredded so easily because they were thighs and cooking them in the broth just made them fall apart. I added carrots to mine and I think I would add carrots and celery next time. I also took small bowls and made different variations. Just so I could see what I liked. One of them I added coconut milk, to another I topped with cilantro, and in another I squeezed some lime juice into it. I did increase the seasoning by adding a little more soy sauce, teriyaki sauce, and one bowl I put a little sweet chili Thai sauce. That was delicious.

  2. 5 stars
    My cousin who was a chef in Hawaii back in the 70s made this for me when I visited him, I loved it and this recipe is as close to his recipe that I have tasted since

  3. I’m having a luau themed party and I’m making a lot of your Hawaiian recipes for it! I’m trying to space out the cooking so that I’m not doing everything on the day of the party. Is this something I could make the day before?

  4. 4 stars
    I can’t get those noodles where I live. What can I use or am I not going to be able to make this dish? 😣😞.
    Why is it called long ‘rice’?
    It sounds delicious.

    1. 4 stars
      Was reading your dilemma, you can order these noodles on Amazon.com.
      Idk why they call it rice when your using noodles, those crazy Hawaiians!!🤣

  5. 5 stars
    Spot on! My husband fell in love with chicken long rice the very first time we went to Hawaii. He ate 2 big bowls of this recipe for dinner, then got up and ate another bowl for breakfast!! I added a shredded carrot and a scant 1/4 tsp. onion powder. No extra salt was needed, and I topped our bowls with the green onion and chopped cilantro. We give it 5 stars!!!

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