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Chicken rice

Chicken rice normally consists of a set meal of chicken soup, rice cooked with chicken stock, lettuce, cucumber and tomato salad, a condiment of soy sauce and chilies and finally the chicken itself, either roasted, fried, steamed or barbecued.

Chicken rice

It is a hearty meal in itself and a favorite among most people in Malaysia. It originally comes from China. We have heard of the famous Hainanese chicken rice, a delicate preparation of chicken, perfectly steamed and subtly flavored with ginger and other herbs.

As with most food in Malaysia, the original chicken rice has been modified into many forms to suit the local taste. The Malays normally make it by boiling the chicken whole and later coat it with honey and sweet soy sauce and deep fried it to make the chicken has a nice brown color throughout. The stock used for boiling the chicken is reserved and later used to make chicken rice.

The Chinese have many ways to do the chicken, it is all up to you to decide what you would like to have. They come deep fried with herbs, barbecued, steamed, boiled and also roasted. Sometimes with honey and also sesame seed. Everybody has their own favorite chicken rice stall. It is also pretty cheap, considering the value, as a plate costs only around RM4.00 (US$1.10).

There is also a franchised Chicken Rice Shop in Malaysia. As with all fast food restaurants, it is more pricey than the normal hawker's chicken rice. However, the shop serves a lot more choice in terms of chicken and also side dishes. It is good to splurge and indulge once in a while.

Ayamas (the company the provides the fresh chicken to Kentucky Fried Chicken in Malaysia) also has take-away chicken rice at their outlets. Interestingly, the chicken sold at Ayamas are the ones which failed to meet the standard in terms of size for KFC. Do not worry, the chicken still tastes the same.

The soup is also prepared in many ways. Some soup is mild and look like a clear soup and some soup is heavily spiced and cloudy. I learned a few tips on how to make a clear soup. First, you only bruise the knob of ginger being used in the stock. Then, drop a few pieces of rock sugar into the soup. I love chicken soup very much. It is just what you need when you are not well and have a bitter taste in your mouth.

To make a healthier dish, the recipe below use steaming method. How to make chicken soup is not included in the recipe as it will be included in an e-book which will be published later.

Chicken Rice with Steamed Ginger Chicken

Cooking utensil required: double tier steamer.

  • 300g chicken, cut into 4 cm pieces
  • 4 cm knob fresh ginger, grated, juice reserved
  • 2 cloves garlic, grated
  • 2 tsp oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup uncooked rice (fragrant Thai rice will make it nicer)
  • 1 cup chicken stock (make your own or used canned)
  • 2 tsp garlic oil (stir fry 1 tsp chopped garlic in 2 tsp oil till brown, then strain)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 screw pine leaves (daun pandan)
  • Light soy sauce
  • Sesame oil
  • 1 stalk fresh red chili
  • 1 stalk fresh coriander


  • Fill the bottom part of the steamer half full with water.
  • Boil water in the steamer.
  • While waiting for the water to boil, rub chicken with ginger, grated garlic, oil and 1/2 tsp of salt.
  • Place on a heat proof plate.
  • Wash rice and combine with chicken stock, garlic oil, 1 tsp of salt and daun pandan.
  • Transfer to a heat proof deep plate.
  • Place both and rice on top of one another in two steamer racks. The rice at the lower level.
  • Make sure the water is really boiling hot and steam both tiers for 15 minutes.
  • Remove the steamer with rice in it, fluff the rice with a big wooden spoon, cover and set aside to let it cook in residual heat.
  • Steam the chicken for another 5-7 minutes.
  • Spoon soy sauce and sesame oil over the chicken, garnish with sliced red chili and coriander.
  • Serve with the chicken rice.

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