Clay Pot Chicken Rice: The Ultimate Food of Comfort

By Mark Wiens 1 Comment


An immediate sensation of welcoming, a homeliness, shocked my body (from my tongue downwards) as I chewed the first bite of my debut clay pot chicken rice in Penang, Malaysia.  It was a sense of comfort, relaxation, like I could sit there all day and eat, a great feeling, leaving me ultimately satisfied, and craving more.


Walking through one of the many food court, hawker centers in Georgetown, Malaysia, I noticed a lady cooking a dish using multiple clay pots.  The smells were unworldly and I immediately without hesitation had to order her specialty.  Going to her stall was an involuntary action on my behalf, I saw it, and needed it.

She started with a portion of raw rice at the bottom of the pot, adding water, soy sauce, and other salty sauces to the mixture.  When the rice was somewhat cooked, she added a few pieces of chicken, a few greens, a few pieces of bacon, and an egg on the top.  A little swig of oyster sauce, drops of sesame oil, some sugar, some wonderful spices, and the clay pot chicken rice in all its splendor emerged from the stall.

img_10701I couldn’t have been the slightest bit happier or any more satisfied with my 4 ringgit (USD $1.11) purchase. The egg smoothly covered the fragrant rice, blending the salty oyster sauce flavors.  The clay pot worked to bring all the ingredients together, into a harmony, as if all the flavors were working together to please the eater.

From now on, clay pot chicken will reign supreme over all others as a comfort food.

If you want to attempt to make it, Lily Wai Sek Hong has a great recipe to try.