Apr 2016 - New Heong Kee Restaurant

A special nighttime Enak this April ! Thanks to Joanne Mahendran for organizing and Chee Keong Choy for the fabulous photos and information! A wonderful night with delicious food and company!



"BEGGAR's CHICKEN" (or Hak Yi Kai) at New Heong Kee Restaurant in Ulu Klang, Kuala Lumpur. There are only three places in the Kuala Lumpur-Klang valley that serves Beggar's chicken. One is in Ulu Klang (New Heong Kee, the original HakYi Kai that has been around for 50 years), in Ijok (Sg. Buloh) and the third place is in Bukit Jugra, Banting.


At New Heong Kee, the chicken is first marinated in a blend of soy sauce, 7 kinds of herbs / spices and Shaoxing rice wine before being stuffed with other secret ingredients. Some of the herbs include yu zhu or solomon's seal, dangshen or Codonopsis pilosila, wolf berries (or sometimes called goji berries / Lycium chinense), dang guy (Radix angelica), and hong zhao or red dates. Some recipes may include star anise and cinnamon.

Next the bird is wrapped, first in cooking foil, then wax paper, and tied with string. The final step is encasing the entire package in a “dough” of mud. The oblong parcels of beggar’s chicken are laid out in a row, ready to be lifted up by a shovel and thrust into the heart of the charcoal ash-filled kiln.
The mud-encrusted chicken is slow cooked for 8 hours. This dish must be orderered 24 hours ahead.

Like most popular dishes, Beggar’s Chicken is a dish with an interesting story of origin, dating back to the Qing Dynasty. A starving, homeless beggar in rural China stole a chicken from a yard and was about to cook it when the emperor’s guards passed by. In his state of panic, he tried to hide the chicken by covering it with mud and threw it into the fire. Hours later when the coast is clear, he ended up with a chicken that was said to be the most tender and flavorsome he’s ever eaten"



Hosted by Joanne Mahendran & written by Paulette Norman