Chicken Long Rice

27 Feb

Update: I recently expanded on this dish to combine it with some much-needed vegetables and a variety of tastes. Check out my Chicken Long Rice / Japchae recipe.

Chicken long rice is a popular dish in Hawaii, and also a bit of a misnomer since it doesn’t contain rice. The dish actually uses cellophane noodles, which are made from starch extracted from beans, potatoes or yams. The noodles I used have only green beans and water in its ingredients list, which means your dietary restrictions will only depend on your opinion of green beans (which have a very low lectin count and are generally approved by Paleo dieters). However, it may be safer to keep an eye out for yam/potato-based cellophane noodles.

You’ll need:
2 lbs chicken thighs, cut into large pieces
2 cups each of chicken broth and water
2 bunches of cellophane noodles
3 stalks of green onion, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp natural sugar (optional)

Pour the broth and water into a large pot and bring to a boil. In the meantime, soak the noodles in warm water for 15 minutes.

Once the water is boiling, add the chicken, salt and sugar (if you’re using it). Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook the chicken for 15 minutes, until thoroughly cooked.

Add the noodles and continue to simmer for 5-10 minutes.

Lastly, add the green onion and serve. I personally despise onions of all shape and size, so feel free to omit this step as needed.

This dish is usually found at luaus and pot lucks, and for good reason – it’s easy to make in bulk and is easily transportable.

14 Responses to “Chicken Long Rice”

  1. Giang February 28, 2011 at 1:51 am #

    That desperate needs some vegetables to make it a little more nutritionally forgiving. Bok choy and straw mushrooms should do the trick.

    • Russ Crandall February 28, 2011 at 9:42 am #

      it could definitely use more veggies, but this is how the dish is made/served in Hawaii so I’m trying to keep it authentic. there’s also the attraction to its simplicity, which is probably why it’s a potluck staple. it could (and should) be accompanied by a big mound of steamed veggies though!

    • D. Medeiros November 27, 2013 at 3:54 am #

      you could always make “chicken hekkah” instead. made the same way as chicken long Rice, but before adding the long rice noodles/bean thread noodle add julienne bamboo shoots, celery, and sliced white onion and shiitake mushrooms. enjoy!!!

      • D. Medeiros November 27, 2013 at 3:55 am #

        add julienne carrots too.

  2. Doug March 1, 2011 at 9:16 am #

    Thanks for this.

    I miss having noodles with my stir frys and I had no idea that there were noodles made from green beans

    I am off to chinatown to hunt down those noodles

    • Michelle March 1, 2011 at 9:16 pm #

      I did a little research and the “green” bean they are made from is more commonly called a mung bean. This mung bean just happens to be green so thats where the other name green bean comes from. Mung beans are apart of the legume family so depending how strict you are they might be a no go.

  3. Michelle March 1, 2011 at 9:14 pm #

    I am not quite sure that these noodles would be considered to be Paleo friendly, the green bean that these noodles are made from are really known as mung beans and in the legume family.

    • Russ Crandall March 2, 2011 at 1:17 am #

      Hi Michelle, thanks for the comment. Cellophane noodles can be made from a variety of beans, although mung beans are definitely the most common. However, it’s easy to find cellophane noodles (also called glass noodles or sometimes mislabeled as vermicelli) made from potato or yam starch, or even canna, a native plant of Vietnam.

      I’ve also read that soaking and cooking beans removes all but a trace of lectins in beans, rendering them almost completely harmless. I’m not sure if the starch extracted from any bean is that dangerous, but I had a hard time finding any data that swings either way…

      That being said, that is a good point that the package could have been mistranslated and not actually made with the green beans we use in the West. Next time I’ll keep an eye out for a yam/potato-based noodle!

      • Michelle March 2, 2011 at 5:19 pm #

        Awesome good to know!! I would love to find the yam/potato ones!! My mom is korean an we grew up on stuff like this and I go through spells where i miss rice and noodles!! This is going to be perfect!

  4. Cyra January 31, 2012 at 7:07 pm #

    I am from Hawaii and I love my chicken long rice! The carb count and the glycemic index of the “long rice” however makes me crash hard. So I tried kelp noodles instead. Totally hits the spot :) Just thought I’d share.

    • Russ Crandall January 31, 2012 at 8:23 pm #

      Hi Cyra,

      That’s a great idea, I’ll have to try it out. Definitely more nutrients in kelp than in long rice, too.

      I’ve been meaning to update this recipe (with better pictures for sure!), and this might be what I need to motivate me to actually do it :)

  5. Dennis Segismundo November 26, 2013 at 11:54 pm #

    There are many ways this dish has been cooked because they are trying to replicate a common filipino dish.
    The filipino version contains ginger root, and Patis(fish sauce) that people substitute with salt. And we also add some veggies, most common is the bitter melon. Since the bitter melon is an acquired taste, we usually leave it out when serving it to non-filipinos (like my wife who doesn’t like it). That’s why you only see it with the chicken and the “long rice” noodles.

    • Dennis Segismundo April 16, 2014 at 6:45 pm #

      You can also add Marunggay(malunggay or Moringa Oleifera) leaves. Know to be a superfood for it’s high contents of nutrition.


  1. Gluten Free Fried “Saimin” « The Domestic Man - May 27, 2011

    [...] To remedy this, I settled on sweet potato-based noodles, which as far as I know are a Korean invention. They are made with just sweet potato starch and water, and are similar to glass/bean noodles used in dishes like chicken long rice. [...]

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