Talking about the most popular Chinese food in Malaysia, Hainanese Chicken Rice certainly own its place. It is the most common type of cuisine that appears in the hawker centre and Pasar Malam of this nation. Highlights to the point, this special dish is not only widely enjoyed by the race of Chinese, but all the other races in Malaysia! In fact, quite a number of the chicken rice sellers are Malays and other etnics, eg: The Chicken Rice Shop.
Now , let us talk about a little historical fact of this dish. Hainanese Chicken Rice is a dish adapted from early Chinese immigrants originally from the Hainan province in southern China. It is considered one of the national dishes of Singapore. Hainanese chicken rice most commonly associated with Malaysian, Hainanese and Singaporean cuisines, although it is also popular in Thailand and Vietnam. It is based on a well-known Hainanese dish called Wenchang chicken, due to its adoption by the Hainanese oeverseas Chinese population in the Nanyang area (present-day Southeast Asia).
Most chicken rice vendors in the country also offer an alternative of roasted chicken instead of the regular poached or steamed chicken. Other variations include a BBQ version or also a honey-roasted choice.
Some restaurants offer Guangxi stye white cut chicken as part of the chicken rice experience. An important heritage dish for Malaysian Chinese who are descendants of immigrants from Guangxi province, and is always served during festive or special occasions. The chicken is drenched prior to serving with nam, a sauce prepared with chopped garlic chives, ginger, sesame oil and soy sauce.
Guangxi style chicken rice.
In Malacca, the chicken rice is served as rice balls rather than a bowl of rice, commonly known as Chicken rice balls. Steamed rice is shaped into golf ball-sized orbs and served alongside the chopped chicken. This dish is eaten the same way as the regular version, making sure to get a portion of chicken, some rice and the soy and chili condiment into each mouthful. Older chefs argue that the rice was originally shaped into balls because it needed to be kept warm from the time it was cooked (often earlier in the day) until mealtime. The rice balls, when stored in wooden containers, apparently stayed warm for a longer time. The other theory is that the rice balls were more portable and were easier for labourers working on plantations to transport from home. Today, rice balls are appreciated more as a novelty than anything else.
Bean sprouts chicken of Ipoh, Malaysia, is a related dish. The chicken is served with blanched bean sprouts and white rice instead of seasoned rice. This is a very popular version of the rice and many other chicken rice stall have slowly followed it by adding in bean sprouts along with the chicken. The chicken rice dish can also be further accompanied with a simple pork meatballs soup. In addition to that, various hawkers also sell a variety of chicken innards – gizzard, liver, intestines – which are also equally popular for chicken rice lovers.
Chicken rice, or nasi ayam, is also very popular with the Malay community, with the dish adapted to suit the Malay liking for spicier and more robustly flavoured food. The chicken is steamed, and then fried or roasted, although this usually result in a drier texture for the chicken meat. The chili condiment has also been modified: less garlic and ginger are used, and tamarind juice is added to the condiment for a tangier taste. Chicken rice has become extremely popular among the Muslims in Malaysia such that certain food stalls can survive very well by serving only Chicken rice.
The preparation of the above amazing dish can be found on the below link: