Wanderfood Wednesday — Malacca’s Chicken Rice Balls

Posted by on Feb 9, 2011 in Malacca Sandbox, Malaysia Sandbox, Uncategorized, Wanderfood Wednesday | 5 comments

Here we are for another week of Wanderfood Wednesday, kindly hosted by WanderLust and Lipstick. My last Wanderfood post was back in early December, so it’s great to be back.

When I decided to add Malacca to this winter’s itinerary the first thing I wanted to know about was the food. One dish that was mentioned time and again was Haianese Chicken Rice, or simply Chicken Rice Balls.

I immediately pictured chicken and rice mixed together and shaped into balls. I couldn’t have been more off the mark! The chicken and rice, although served together, are very separate, and delicious.

Here are the rice balls, which are very filling. These five with chili sauce is a perfect serving for one person.

Chicken Rice Balls

Then, there’s the moist, succulent, perfectly cooked chicken…yummy to say the least! If you could see under the chicken, you would find that it’s sitting on cucumber slices.

Malacca's Chicken Rice Balls

One of the burning questions I had was “why rice balls?” I went searching for an answer, and this is what I found over at the food blog Fatbooo.

“So why does Melaka’s hawkers serve their chicken rice in the shape of balls? To answer this, we have to go back to the history behind chicken rice. This comforting dish was brought over to Malaysia and Singapore by Hainanese immigrants. In its early years, the dish was sold by travelling peddlers and the reason why the rice was sold in little balls was primarily a functional one. It simply made life easier for the peddler because the rice balls could be wrapped in banana leaves instead of using plates.”
True or not?; I can’t say for sure, but sounds credible to me.

I feasted on my Chicken Rice Balls at Kedai Kopi Chung Wah. Located just over the bridge at the beginning of Jonkers Street, look for the noon hour lineups. The wait is well worth it!
Kedai Kopi Chung Wah
A lunch of Chicken Rice Balls is perfect for any budget traveler. My entire meal, including a beverage, was well under $5.00 U.S. That should make any budget traveler smile.


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  1. I’m now back from the south, and catching up on your travels, Nancie. Another interesting food post from you. Happy eating!

  2. Huh…I had the same thought you did with chicken and rice together in a ball and was surprised at your pictures. It certainly looks delicious!

  3. Delicious food that is local and cheap! That’s among my favorite finds when I’m on the road too. Great to have you back at Wanderfood Wednesday!

  4. So there’s no connection? Are the rice balls made with chicken broth at least?

  5. Wednesday, again. Now, ya made me hungry. I’ll eat and get ready for Travel Photo Thursday after my nap !


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