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Malaysian Chicken and Rice Balls

Malaysian chicken and rice balls

Chicken and rice balls from a shop in Melaka


This is the Malaysian take on Hainanese-style chicken and rice – the Thai version is khao man gai. Rice is cooked with chicken fat and then rolled into golf-ball sized balls. People use chopsticks to split the balls in half, then dip them into a chili-and-lime sauce. The chicken is boiled in a rich stock which has often been used for several days, imparting more flavor into the meat. This sliced chicken, with a drizzle of sesame oil, is fall-apart tender on top of the chewy rice balls. A piece of chicken and five rice balls costs 4.80 RM ($1.60).

This dish is popular with locals and tourists alike and at popular restaurants you can see an lunchtime line in the street outside the restaurant with customers carrying umbrellas to shelter from the sweltering tropical sun.


Line for Malaysian chicken and rice balls

Lunchtime line outside a popular Chicken and rice balls restaurant, Malaysia

All Images © 2011 Kaitlyn Moore

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