KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 1 — With the rainy nights we have been experiencing, claypot chicken rice delivered piping hot from the charcoal fire is just the thing to satisfy a hungry stomach. The one-pot wonder often yields generous portions. Pair it with an order for double boiled soup and blanched vegetables on the side for a complete meal.
For good claypot chicken rice, look for those places that only use charcoal fire. You want a pot filled with smoky flavours with a crust at the bottom. Bear in mind, smoky does not mean burnt as that means you will be just eating carbon!
The rice must also have a fluffy texture with firm and well-separated grains. If you get mushy and sticky rice grains in the pot, please adjourn elsewhere for your claypot chicken rice fix.
Usually the stall owner starts by making the rice. Some stalls even partially cook the rice for faster service. First, he will place the rice grains with water in the claypot and it’s cooked over a slow gentle fire. Once the rice is almost cooked, the cook would add the marinated chicken pieces and sliced waxed sausages. Most of the stalls use a mixture of dark soy sauce, light soy sauce, sugar and sesame oil as a marinade. Sometimes a dash of Shaoxing rice wine gives it a richer taste.
After a few minutes, the meat is cooked and the claypot will be removed from the fire. Depending on different stalls, they would drizzle a seasoning sauce made from their own concoction of dark soy sauce, light soy sauce, Shaoxing rice wine and sesame oil on top. A sprinkle of chopped spring onions and salted fish is also added.
When it hits your table, mix up all the ingredients and you will get bits of crust mingling with the fluffy grains together with the tender chicken, aromatic waxed sausages and the fragrant salted fish.
Heun Kee claypot chicken rice, 59, Jalan Yew, Pudu, KL.
Open: 11am to 9pm.
Opened since 1985, this shop has been pulling in customers with their claypot chicken rice with generous ingredients. Unlike other places, this stall also heaps burning embers on top of a closed lid over the claypot, which creates a steam effect for their chicken pieces to be cooked till tender and juicy. Pair your rice with a bowl of their sweet tasting double boiled soup like pig’s stomach with pepper or a simple peanut soup with chicken feet. In recent years, they have expanded their business to Singapore where they have a stall at the Malaysian Food Street at Resorts World Sentosa. You can also get their claypot chicken rice at the Taste Enclave food court in Avenue K and Pavilion Kuala Lumpur.
Claypot chicken rice stall, Kedai Kopi 168, Jalan Pudu, KL.
Open: 5.30pm to 10.30pm.
Located right opposite Sek Yuen restaurant, this 33-year-old stall produces a stellar version with long and fluffy rice grains topped with juicy marinated chicken and slices of waxed sausages. If you love eating crusty bits mixed with the rice, leave it for a few minutes as the residual heat still cooks the rice. Make sure you also order their delicious soups and a plate of vegetables to enjoy with your claypot rice.
Hometown claypot chicken rice stall, Restoran Sorn,
Jalan 20/16A, Paramount Gardens, PJ.
Open: 12pm to 3pm, 6pm to 9pm.
Right next to the popular O&S Coffeeshop, this stall is run by an old man wearing sunglasses as he works on his row of claypots over burning charcoal fire. The claypot chicken rice makes a satisfying midday meal with its generous portions of rice, tender chicken pieces and salted fish.
Shi Yue Tian Claypot Chicken Rice Shop, C31, Batu 8, Jalan Puchong, Selangor.
Open: 11.30am to 3pm, 5pm to 10pm.
This popular place in Puchong is well known for its generous portions and aromatic fluffy rice cooked in lard. Each pot is laden with juicy chicken cut into chunky pieces, slices of waxed sausages and chopped spring onions. Even their double boiled soups are well prepared, like the pig’s stomach with pepper. This shop also has another branch at Jalan Kenari in Puchong.
Restoran Number One Claypot Chicken Rice, Jalan Lang, Taman Berkeley, Klang.
Open: 6pm to 10pm.
This neighbourhood joint housed in a corner coffee shop does brisk business with its claypot chicken rice stall. Moreover it offers a change from the usual seafood restaurants and mee hoon kueh stall around this housing estate in Klang. Expect fluffy grains and tender marinated chicken with slices of waxed sausages. You also have a selection of double boiled soups and vegetables here. After dinner, walk a few steps down and grab a glass of herbal tea to alleviate any of the heatiness from the meal. Alternatively, across the road, there is a stall which sells handmade glutinous rice dumplings with black sesame seed fillings served with hot ginger broth for dessert.