Monday, January 24, 2011

Malacca Chicken Rice Balls

If any of you have been to the city of Malacca, i'm sure you have eaten their authentic and famous chicken rice balls. If you have not, then you must try it the next time when you 're there. It is one of the many unique specialties found in this historical town. Malacca is actually not very far from Kuala Lumpur, the capital city of Malaysia. It  takes about 2 hrs drive from there to get to Malacca and is one of the more popular tourist destination in Malaysia.  In 2008, Malacca , together with Georgetown were added to the list of Unesco World Heritage Sites. Both these cities are rich in history and multicultural heritage, you can visit this site and this too to know more.

As the name implies, these chicken rice are shaped into balls, roughly about the size of a ping pong ball, served with tender chicken in soya sauce and sesame oil and not forgetting the dipping hot chilli sauce.The chicken rice which we can also call garlic rice are usually cooked in chicken stock, garlic and onions. I got this method of cooking the garlic rice from a relative of mine, if you want it to be more tasty, you can add in some chicken seasoning powder if you wish which i did. There are also some who use margarine or butter to cook this chicken rice, it really depends on the taste that you really like. There's also another recipe here of cooking the garlic rice from Leny from Dine with Leny, she just cooked that couple of weeks back, slightly different from mine but i'm sure it taste good as well. Do visit her blog, she has got some nice recipes there.

the original ones look more compact, look at the picture below, which are believed done by machines.

Chicken stock
Bring a pot of water ( enough to cover the whole chicken) to a boil. Put in the whole chicken and bring to another boil. Turn to lowest level of heat and let chicken soak in the pot for 25-30minutes. Do not cover the pot otherwise the skin of the chicken may tear apart. You can add some 1-2 tbsp chicken seasoning powder to the chicken stock. When chicken is cooked, bring the chicken out and rinse with cold water. Leave to cool before cutting into pieces.

The chicken stock here will be used for cooking rice, for soya sauce and also for dipping sauce. Any balance of the chicken stock can be used for making soups.

Garlic Rice
6-8 pips of garlic, finely chopped
5 small onions, finely chopped
6 tbsps of cooking oil
1 tsp salt
350gm rice

1.Saute the garlic and onions in the cooking oil till fragrant and slightly brown. Turn off heat and pour that into a bowl.
2. Put in rice in the rice cooker and pour in the chicken stock up to the slightly less than 2cm above rice level. Add in 3 tbsp of (1) and salt into the stock and stir to mix with the rice. Press on to cook rice.
3. When rice is cooked,  take a sufficent amount of rice to shape into balls while it's still hot.

Soya Sauce
4tbsp chicken stock
4tbsp light soya sauce
1 tsp dark soya saue
11/2tsp sesame oil

Mix all of the above to make soya sauce and pour onto the chicken pieces.

Chilli sauce (Malaysian Delicacies by Patsie Cheong, with slight changes)
75gm red chillies
30gm young ginger
30gm garlic
juice of 5small limes
chicken stock to taste
salt to taste

Just blend all of the above ingredients to make the dipping chilli sauce.

this is the original chicken rice balls taken from the internet. Photo
I'm submitting this for the Muhibbah Malaysian Monday Event hosted by Shaz  this month.


  1. i tried this before! absolutely yummy!! the one in sg couldn't beat this!!! you portray yours so beautifully Lena! i want to take a bite of the rice now!

  2. I dun quite like rice ball leh, I still prefer rice heeheehee...

  3. when we were in malacca, my kids and i thought that those were fish balls from afar.. so do your kids like these? my three ones do!

  4. Wah, so much work to form them into balls. But then hoh, I think yours look a bit dry compared to those from Melaka.
    We can't eat this on every trip, because it's always so crowded there, with 2 toddlers, yaiks, we will never queue for a table.

  5. Impressive work lena, though I am not a fan of chicken rice and I don't like steamed chicken:P prefer the roasted ones!

  6. That's the first time I saw regular rice shaped like that! I've eaten glutinous rice balls, usually with fried crullers or pork sung, but never regular white rice.

    The rice sounds so flavorful and delicious. I learned a new cooking method today. :)

  7. I have only visited Melaka once but didn't eat this chicken rice there. i think I have tried once in KL. I think I prefer the rice just scooped onto the plate. I wish I can have chicken rice for lunch...drooling.

  8. My oh my! If you hadn't made me a fan earlier, well you made me one now for sure!

    I'm a good ol' fashioned Malacca boy and I love my chicken rice balls! YUMMY! :D

  9. I've never been to Malacca before, but would very love to visit one day, besides the chicken rice ball, the mille crepe also in my "to-eat-list"...hehe

  10. jess, they have this in sg too? there isnt any stalls selling that over here, the one that i had in malacca was really good.

    jess/bakericious, some them dont like it also because they find it a bit hard.

    claire, they like the rice but not in round shapes so i have to loosen up the balls for them. haha!

    wendy, the original ones a more oilier but i still like them, not really much work to shape into balls but have to do it quick, it's more difficult to shape when the rice is not so hot.

    jeannie, yeah actually a lot of people prefer the roasted ones, they find it more tasty.

    esther, that's the unique of this chicken rice..origin from malacca.

    hi rita, yeah, they actually look like fish balls.

    marymoh, i've only eaten this once and i found it really nice. If i were to go malacca again, i would definately eat this again especially the soy sauce, yum yum!

    chris, how can i help you? you want napkins?

    kenny from malacca! i've only been to malacca once, eaten this once but i cannot forget how good the taste of those rice balls and the chicken. The chicken was tender and their soya sauce was so tasty.
    I dont know what's the name of the shop but it's a corner shop..i think somewhere near a river.Actually i had the chicken more than the rice..i took probably around 6-7 balls but it was very filling. i think it was also due to the way they compressed it

    nyeeloh, you must also try the satay celup, another specialty in Malacca.

  11. Hi Lena, This chicken rice balls definitely is top famous in Malacca. My kids love this, my dad would buy these when we are back home. While in Malacca, you can try the mee rebus, nasi lemak, nyonya laksa, heah-peah, satay celup, hor-chien and lots more, I'm drooling just thinking about it! Are you from originally from M'cca?

  12. Yup, you got the right one! The only one that matters, the original chicken rice ball shop is indeed a corner shop, next to the bridge over the Malacca River. It's called Chung Wah, if I am not mistaken.

    For a Malaccan, this is the only one that will do; the rest are all tourist traps.

  13. What an authentic dish. Feel like reaching for a rice ball and dip into the chili sauce.

  14. Oh I love those rice balls! What a smart idea and it just makes the dish look so special. I bet the chicken tastes delicious and flavourful. And that chilli sauce sounds amazing, I want to make it! All the garlic and ginger and lime, a great combination!

  15. I love this when we visited Malacca! The rice balls were so addictive. and of course the must have chili sauce! u hv done so well to re create this at home!

  16. I like chicken rice balls. These look like the ones they sell in the shops. =)...Yummy

  17. time when u cook this ,cook on a working day. Claire and I will hop over to your place, no nid to travel to MAlacca so far when we can get from you which is just as good as those famous ones from malacca ;) you have done a great job. Not oily and yet delicious! Well done! Lena

  18. Oh Lena, I cannot remember the last time I went to Malacca nor the last time I had this chicken rice. If I had to guess, I'd say over 12 years ago...this is making me very nostalgic. We used to call this bola chicken rice when we were kids :) There was (is?) a place in Klang that had them as well, but not as good as the Malacca ones I think. I am definitely going to try my hand at making this, it looks absolutely delicious, and I'm sure the kids will love it.

  19. Wow! This looks like such an authentic dish! It looks absolutely delicious! :)

  20. kitchen flavours, oh ya, i just remember you're from malacca. i had the satay celup and the hor chien too..almostforgotten about the hor chien. No, i'm from Ipoh. Come visit me , i'll take you to chicken taugeh, white coffee, saltbaked chicken and many more.

    kenny, thanks for the name..i'll make sure i go chung wah, the last trip was almost 14years ago.

    hi zoe, it is. Originated from our very own Malacca, cant even get this over at my place here.

    sharon, the soya saucue that comes from this recipe is very good and not too bad too for the chilli sauce but then again, nothing beats the original one.

    daphne, i wld love to visit malacca and eat this again, they are too delicious! try to replicate these at home but i tell you, the original one is always the best!

    leny , actually the ones in malacca are more compact and very filling too!

    elin dear, i shall remember that, just cook and bring it over to your office..

  21. Interesting to know some of Malaysian food, although some of them are similar to Filipino food. Thanks for dropping by, and looking forward for more of your recipes. have a great day!

  22. What a delicious meal! I'm not familiar with the food or cultlure of Malacca, but thanks for sharing. My Nana is Malaysian-Chinese but hasn't told me much about her place of birth. All I know is that the food she cooks is delicious. I'm sure your authentic dish would be no exception!

  23. i have never tried chicken rice balls before. I bet they are so much fun to eat!

  24. I never miss this whenever I am in Malacca. They are so good! Thank you so much for the recipe. I have to make this sometime. Since I quit my job as a Sales Manager to help my Quaylo in his biz, I seldom to to Malacca.

  25. Ooh, do let me know the next time you head down - if I happen to be back in my hometown to visit my family, I can join you for some chicken rice balls. :)

  26. What a lovely meal. I love the rice balls. They really make the dish look fancy. I hope you have a wonderful day. Blessings...Mary

  27. hi lani, nice to see u coming by here.

    brittany: if you got a chance,you shld come to visit malaysia, i'm sure you would love the food here.

    crustabakes, yeah, kinda of cute too, you should taste the ones from malacca.

    quaypo,yeay, try making this one day, if your quaylo loves chicken rice, he will love this too.

    kenny, i think you should reconstruct your sentence.."if you visit malacca one day, i'll make sure i make a trip down from kl to be your tour guide!"

    Mary, they do look fancy in a way, that's the way they are being shaped that makes them so special together along with the tasty sauces.

  28. Sorry Lena! Nana what I call my grandmother :)
    Ps. Glad you liked the banana bread

  29. I've tried this once in Malacca but found that there's nothing extraordinary. Just so, so only. Yours look better. Much prefer our Ipoh Chicken rice.

  30. I've heard about these. I think they actually originate from Muar, not Malacca although the Malacca shop is more famous. I've also heard that they're nothing special.

    I prefer fluffy chicken rice.