A Unique Preparation of Clay-pot Chicken Rice
Writer: Zhang Chuqiu
Editor: Chen Weiyu
The clay-pot chicken rice is a traditional Malaysian dish that is very popular, and Waki Chicken Restaurant is one of the most specialized restaurants that make clay-pot chicken rice located in Kuala Lumpur (KL).
Waki Chicken restaurant is easily accessible after arriving at Chan Sow Lin Light Railway Transit (LRT) station. This Michelin-acclaimed clay-pot chicken rice restaurant attracts many interested visitors to the area, which is a 10 minutes walk from Chan Sow Lin LRT station.
The restaurant insists on using the traditional method of cooking chicken rice in a tiled pot over a charcoal fire, as you can see before you enter the restaurant. Each clay-pot chicken rice is made on the spot!
Some diners like to add an extra egg to make the bowl of chicken rice more delicious. Some diners like to eat sausages, while others don’t like to eat salted fish, which needs to be fried by the cook at the same time. The owner of Waki Chicken restaurant, Xu Nin, said, “The bowl of rice looks complicated, but it is not complicated to make. It just needs to put in the ingredients prepared in advance directly, and a bag of rice can be served in about 20 minutes. When these processes have been completed, the bowl of chicken rice is cooked just right, the rice is clear, and it is perfect to enjoy it with salted fish.”
Clay-pot chicken rice. Photo by Zhang Chuqiu）
The point is that I noticed that there were no salted fish pieces in the clay-pot chicken rice eaten raw in the bar, but it seems that salted fish pieces are added at KL to enhance the flavor. In addition to clay-pot chicken rice, there are other dishes on the wall, including clay-pot yellow wine chicken, clay-pot curry fish head, pig's feet vinegar, pork tripe pepper soup, fried chicken wings, Thai tofu, etc., which can be eaten with clay-pot chicken rice.
A spoonful of rice and a spoonful of hot water are placed on a charcoal stove to heat up the clay-pot, and then marinated chicken is added, making this Malaysian clay-pot chicken rice. This type of clay-pot rice originated from clay-pot rice in Guangdong, and it has developed into a speciality in Malaysia thanks to its unique cooking system where the chicken is baked in an earthen pot and charcoal stove. The bowl heated over the charcoal stove locks in the moisture well and retains the flavour of the rice and ingredients, and the rice and chicken retain their original flavour, so the taste is quite refreshing.
In addition, chicken rice in a wok must be cooked in a clay-pot to be authentic, as the rice grains at the bottom form a crispy layer of charred rice that tastes great when stirred. There are still many restaurants in Malaysia where chicken rice is still cooked over a charcoal fire, which is the original taste of traditional chicken rice. At mealtimes, the chef often needs to cook more than 20 clay-pot chicken rice at the same time to accommodate a large number of customers.
I was surprised when I arrived at the clay-pot chicken rice restaurant as it was already full. I interviewed a customer from China, Wang Ni. She said she could walk to the restaurant very quickly when she arrived at the LRT station and she liked the close distance from the LRT station to the restaurant, which did not make visitors feel tired.
This Michelin-rated clay-pot chicken rice restaurant has become a popular destination for many tourists for its delicious food and has been one of the reasons for enhancing Malaysia's tourism industry.