Friday, July 4, 2014

Beggar's Chicken - A Luxury Dish

Does anyone here knows where this luxurious Beggar's Chicken Dish originated from? I went to China many times and read up the claims made by different provinces. One claimed that a thief in Hangzhou stole a chicken but he was too poor to cook it without pots & pans. So he thought of this brilliant idea to wrap the chicken in leaves and buried it into the earth filled with flames of burning wood. The taste was so delicious as the gravy & fragrant smell was intact when eaten the next day. Soon, the whole village picked up the recipe after smelling it.

Another claim was from the Changshu Village in Jiangsu Province which claimed a beggar caught a wild chicken and figured a way to cook it by burying it inside the mud clay before setting fire on it overnight. So the story goes on and on until it has reached many restaurants of the remote towns in Malaysia.

A close relative on my wife's side visited us from Singapore for his monthly visit to the Highland's Casino to collect his table dividends. This popular uncle and wife were treated to feast on the Beggar's Chicken dinner. I was always fortunate to be invited to tag along for free makan. Why should I refuse?




All 3 car loads of relatives sped all the way from Kuala Lumpur to Ijok, Selangor which took us more than 1 hour as the traffic was very jammed during the near Buka Puasa time. My wife was the compass to direct me there.





New Beggar's Delicious Restaurant must be cooking new dishes invented by a New Generation's Beggar.






 I drove too fast and was too early as no one had arrived yet.





 By 7:00pm all the customers had arrived in big flashy cars like Alphards, BMWs and even Bentley!





I had to sneak inside their kitchen to observe how the beggar had baked the marinated chickens.
He carried them all inside with a wheel barrow from another place. Look at the clumps of baked mud clay.





 Arrgh! This Beggar Chef is from Bangladesh and not Jiangsu in China. He used a hammer to smash hard on all the clays.




 

 He peeled the cracked clay pieces apart to bring out the wrapped chickens in foils.






Look at the yummy Beggar's Chicken in marinated dark sauce with its tender meat and tasty herbal gravy. Slurpss!





This is the original Beggar's Chicken in marinated Chinese herbs & wolfberry that oozed fragrant soup that could boost our health.




They also stored many jars of hidden treasures at the back room!




 


Those jars were pickled lime plums that are sold in small bottles too. A good remedy for your throats and general well being.


 

 Many thanks to our nephew Alexander Lee who hosted the memorable dinner. A young entrepreneur in his 20s, he is already a father of 2 lovely kids and drives a BMW to his mobile phone outlets at LowYat Plaza.


71 comments:

  1. I have heard of this restaurant in Ijok. Very famous it seems for beggars chicken but I have never been there before. A little out of the way for me. I have eaten chicken cooked this way but I am not too crazy about it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think an expert chef like you could bury it in your own garden and burn charcoal over it. We would like to be invited to try your Beggar's chicken. It is nice and fragrant.

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  2. Hak Yi Kai.... I want to eat....

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    Replies
    1. Original one taste better I guess.....

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    2. Bentley lor... drive to there... Yah then those places the food must be pricey then...

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    3. The price is not cheap but showed that well heeled people love to eat what beggars ate! That's funny!

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  3. I don't know about the original story but this dish sure looks yummy!! Makes me wanna eat right now!! :p

    Eh, are you trying to tell us that you are a speed driver by this sentence 'I drove too fast and was too early as no one had arrived yet.'? xDD

    They let you take photos at the kitchen? And the jars of treasures?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am very daring and thick skinned to snap photos anywhere regardless of whether they allow or not. At least I could share and promote their place. Next time they should sponsor me 2 free chickens.

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  4. Good that you are early, then u can take picture and blog about it to share with us, kekeke...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am learning your style of blogging - less words more photos.

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  5. Replies
    1. Go buy KFC and bury it at the Punggol Farm la.... Kakakakaka

      Delete
  6. Ijok? Where ah? Sorry Bananaz like alien to this country haiz truly a 'suah par kow' not a suah par kim chio . Have not tried beggar's chicken before though heard of friends going Bangi. The chicken look yummy ho chiak.

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    Replies
    1. Just go anywhere to eat Beggar's chicken would be the same. I am sure the herbal seasoning is all the same. Yes chicken was ho chiak.

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  7. i was here quite some time ago..... had a fulfilling meal

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    Replies
    1. I believe you would go anywhere on earth to eat or see anything!

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  8. Aiya Bananaz cannot go then no got Alphards, Bimmer or Bentley.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Bananaz can just ride your bicycle there! I am sure you have a Ferrari now!

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  9. Yes, I love the soup of this beggar chicken. Used to have one near my place but they have closed down. :(

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The beggar must have gotten rich and closed his shop! Wakakakaka

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  10. Elo elo.. The moment I saw your post it was already 'fong gung' time lor.. Now tuk-tuk-ing from my phone while Kz watches YouTube beside me.. After this will zzz lor.. Oops sorry for grandma stories..

    Wow thanks for posting this.. Finally I can see how Ijok looks like.. My colleagues have been talking about this place for the past one year.. But til today nobody organize anything..

    Yep they say famous for the 'hat yi gai'... Ok la tak jadi pergi with them I see your photos here can assume I 'eat' there already la.. haha.. Eh I think you can bake the same thing at home.. Just buy a packet of herbs and marinade on the chicken and bake la...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are always a real stunner and shocker who had never visited Singapore, tried this Beggar Ayam and what nots? Life is so short and time flies so fast. Go try everything!

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  11. Yummy Beggar's Chicken! I want!!!

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    Replies
    1. Let's Go! You pay and I eat again..... hey, Panda doesn't eat meat laaaa.

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  12. Hahaha! So the chef is from Bangladesh and not China? LOL!

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  13. wah, i never eat this kind of cooking method for beggar chicken, can belanja me go makan? XD

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey you are earning a salary now. Do charity and treat me ok.

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  14. I always find the method interesting.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, these mainland folks have funny ways of cooking and lifestyle.

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    2. can alsoway short cut and home make kihkihkih

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  15. Wah, so syiok lah got treated by your nephew. :)

    Anay must be happy. Tummy happy too, right? :P

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    Replies
    1. You bet, I was damn happy so long as my wallet was not moved.

      Delete
  16. You mentioned you went during buka puasa time so this is a recent visit...

    The place still has the "Selamat Tahun Baru Cina" banner on? LOL

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. lina, this is very common, many Chinese restaurants in Taiping 365 days having "Selamat Tahun Baru Cina" banner and red lanterns as their decor to greet their customers.
      They are just plain lazy/busy to take off the banner/decor.

      Delete
    2. Yes these restaurants would only hang a new CNY banner next year! They wait for sponsors to come and deliver new ones.

      Delete
  17. Not a fan of beggar's chicken - never tried the black/dark one before though...dunno. Hmmmm...your nephew is very handsome leh. Too bad good looks don't run in the family. Muahahahahaha!!!!!

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    Replies
    1. Adoi! I thought STP is writing "Hmmmm...your nephew is very handsome leh. Too bad having 2 kids already, otherwise i will sure hand in my daughter's resume...." Muhahahahah!

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    2. aiyoh why say like that?? I am sure STP's daughter has got lots of admirers for her to choose from.. if something is good then not even need to hardsell but people will automatically demand for it.. agree?? hi hihihi ^^

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    3. Oh so this was what STP was saying that good looks don't run in his family. Oh dear, eat lesser and stay healthy will do.

      Adoi I thought Yannie will send her daughters to Korea in future. More leng zhais there.

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    4. Muhahaha.....you have got a point there, Yannie Muahahahhahaha.....

      aiyo ...ni case of Emperor not kan cheong, eubuch kan cheong mah, SK.... sure his daughter have many admirers . Dont know which one to choose from leh

      Delete
  18. Wah sai! First time I saw chicken was marinated that way, Yannie is jakun. Never try beggar chicken before, may be because Yannie doesn't have Alphard, Bentley and BMW. But, it indeed looks delicious here. Lucky Anay, got treated to good food and gathering with relatives.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You pandai pulling my legs la. I am sure you can eat this ayam anywhere, anytime! Just whisper to Jin Jin's ears tonight.

      Delete
  19. I have eaten this beggar chicken once in China but can't remember much about it. I think I prefer the original style of marinating.

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    Replies
    1. I would never dare to eat this in China. They have funny ways of cooking and using many fake ingredients like eggs & etc!

      Delete
  20. oh, I have heard another version which says the Beggar Chicken was "invented" by the Emperor of Ming Dynasty.. he is known to be from a lower class.. and that's probably why you said it's a luxury dish, because it came from inside the palace!!

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    Replies
    1. Maybe you are right. I need to google more but I heard that this dish became so popular that it was later introduced to the Palace Menus.

      Delete
  21. hmmm, Ijok beggar chicken.. I kind if heard about this before.. but of course I've not been to this place.. all the way to a place just to taste something they are famous for, is not my style la.. I just eat to live but not the other way round.. and I don't remember I had beggar chicken that much also.. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think we can enjoy easily at Tony Romas! Their ayam also nice wat....

      Delete
  22. well, it would be a little unusual if you don't find any foreign workers working in restaurants nowadays.. they have been taught and learn to do all things like a local, don't underestimate them dei.. Anay you are also an Indiam slumdog working in a Cinapek company remember?? wakakakaka!! :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Muahahahahaha Anay is Indian too and I often forgot about this. Only when I see Thambee, i think of our slumdog villages and water buffaloes!

      The world is mixing up all the races now. It gets pretty interesting and weird sometimes esp seeing a Bangla wearing Mandarin collar to work as waiter at the Chinese Restaurant at Nikko Hotel (last time)

      Delete
  23. ahh the chicken look absolutely delicious, both the dark ones and the original ones, though I have not tried the dark ones before.. I wonder where they get the idea to cook it dark?? probably they Bangladeshi kitchen helper suggested or he inspired the chef?? hihihi~~ :p

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    Replies
    1. Oh No - My mistake! My wife just told me that the dark one was a duck! Muahahahahahaha

      Delete
  24. I love those pickled lime and plum, made into drinks of course.. they are ever so refreshing and cooling, and if course likewise you said, very good for throat.. how much is a jar?? I think not as expensive as a cup they sell at RM2 in the kopitiam huh??

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We bought one bottle too and I didn't pay for it. Let me try if that was nice. Yeah everything is expensive at the coffee shops now. I might carry my own water bottles there to drink next time!

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  25. Fuyoh!! Must bookmark this place... but then who is going to take me there? That is another problem... hahaha.. the two chickens displayed above, are they differently cooked? One is darker in colour.. more on the roasted side and the other one is like "steamed" ... yummmmmmsss!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are really a Happy Mummy who would eat anything! Your best friend Kathy lives near so many Beggar's Chicken Restaurants! I am sure she could be your driver!

      I am shy to admit that the dark coloured was a DUCK!!!!!... Muahahahaha

      Delete
    2. Why shy to admit.. actually it looks like a duck to me... but you never mentioned.. or did you? I must scroll up again.. hahahaa..

      Delete
  26. that is really good..the chicken the herbs ...
    Make you STRONG STRONG all the time.....
    grrrr grrr grrrrr.....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Kuku Bird! What a pleasant surprise to see you in several blogs today!
      So you ate this and had a baby!!!!

      Delete
    2. yah le .. miss you guys so come and drop by...
      no le .. just eat normal stuff and grr grr grr more... lol

      Delete
  27. Hmmm...in my memory, I don't think I ever had this chicken before despite I have seen and read so much about this chicken with 'not so luxury' name but certainly a delicious dish. I think the next time my dad drives us to Kuala Selangor must stop by this restaurant to try it. Looks so good to me especially it is marinated with lots of herbs and other secret ingredients..lol

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Of course you might not have eaten this beggar's chicken. Your knight prince would pamper you to dine at posh restaurants with delicious food from Michelin Kitchens! I really envy you both la.

      Yeah ask your dad drive you there & order their signature glutinous rice wrapped too! It was very GOOD!

      Delete
  28. The 1st chicken looks like duck :P I mean the size~~

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  29. sulk....why you go there no come visit me......

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  30. Uiks you go to the old building ah? why tarak go to their new building....more comfy

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  31. I like the beggar chicken but then sometimes their QC not consistent

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  32. Aw, I love beggar chicken! How now, Tan?? I'm salivating! Not easy to find beggar chicken in SG you know?

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  33. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  34. Many of my friends been telling me about this 'must try' place for years. I am very hesitant to drive such a long way there. Whatever food they offer, I always cook them in my kitchen. I must say I am very fussy with food.

    Yesterday , I decided to drive my family and a group of friends there to try it out. To be honest, I am not too impress with all the food, may be with the exception of the chicken and the pig stomach soup. Almost everything are served in aluminium foil. I am not sure they were cooked in the foil as well. If so, it is not very healthy and you ‘lose’ the original taste.

    The original version of beggar chicken I tasted near Port Klang (that was 20 years ago ? ) has very little or no gravy. It should be because you wrap in clay. Here I suspected they pour in the gravy when served. I would prefer the original taste without the added gravy.

    The only dish I enjoyed is the pig stomach soup and the plum ball honey drink.

    As for the rest, so so only. My family and my friends commented I can cook better than those. Every time when my family visit a new ‘makan’ place, we always have a show of hands who wish to come back again. My family all said no. And it is not cheap actually.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Meng Foo Leong ~ Thanks for dropping by with your frank comments. I was inside the kitchen to see the worker unwrap the foils where the gravy was inside together. They might have added some gravy before baking but I am not certain about this.
      I did enjoy the chicken, yam pork dish and lime plum juice. I didn't eat the pig stomach or trotters and other meat like duck and pork knuckles as the amount of meat they ordered that night scared me off.
      I should have tried these beggar chickens in China but I have doubts and phobia with the mainlanders which I won't dare to elaborate here.
      Hmm... I am curious what are your specialities as you seem to be a confident chef! How nice if I could be your guest! Have a good day.

      Delete

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