Clay Pot Chicken Rice: The Ultimate Food of Comfort

By Mark Wiens 3 Comments


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.

3 comments. I'd love to hear from you!

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  • Vishal Kaushik

    4 years ago

    Its really great.

  • Vincent C

    12 years ago

    Man, this was written 3 years back and no single foreign traveler who visits your site for indulgence ever tried Claypot Chicken Rice???? By far, this is one of those meal aromatic meals which you can eat alone and just think of…nothing and just space out. This is one of those meals you leave and say — “I just treated myself well.”

    • Mark Wiens

      12 years ago

      Haha, yes Vincent, I agree – it’s possibly the most comforting dish ever created!