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Old 24-01-2012, 06:50 PM
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Default Salted chicken

Ipoh's salted chicken

You cant miss the Aun Kheng Lim shop at the junction of Theatre Street.

The chicken is buried in rock salt and turned over periodically.

The shop has a steady stream of customers including out-of-state travellers who buy boxes of the salted chicken to take home.

IPOH: The former tin capital of Malaysia is well known for its ngah choy kai, or bean sprouts chicken. Who would have thought that it would also be famous for salted chicken?

In 1986, an enterprising man by the name of Lim Ming Teck and his wife started what they called the "salt-baked chicken" in Ipoh.

A number of people tried the novel culinary item out of curiosity and it wasn't long before it gained popularity by word of mouth.

Today, 25 years later, the salted chicken is rivalling the ngah choy kai for the title of Ipoh's state dish.

There are a couple of places in Kuala Lumpur that sell the salted chicken. It is not clear if these are branches of the Aun Kheng Lim shop at the junction of Jalan Raja Musa Aziz and Theatre Street in Ipoh.

Its full name is Ayam Garam Aun Kheng Lim -- Salted Chicken. You can't miss it. It's all decked out in red. Like they say, you can spot it a mile away.

A long time ago, Lim revealed his special recipe for the salted chicken. Apparently, the chicken is stuffed with tiny slivers of dong guai after it is vigorously rubbed with salt.

Dong guai is also known as "female ginseng". Its scientific name is Angelica sinensis. It is a herb from the Apiaceae family and is indigenous to China. It is used to treat menopausal and menstrual problems.

But that doesn't mean the chicken is not good for men. I have tried it and my appetite has improved by leaps and bounds.

The chicken is buried in rock salt in a large wok and turned over periodically. At last count, there were 15 such woks in the shop. Frankly, you wouldn't be impressed by the sight of the chicken. My first impression raised the question: "Why does the chicken look so sickly?"

But one taste and you would quickly change your mind. First, your eyes brighten and your saliva begins to flow. Before you have even finished the first piece, your hands are reaching out for the second.

The salt-baked chicken has an unusual but very flavourful taste. The meat is quite tender so even if you have loose teeth, you should be able to take a few mouthfuls.

The Aun Kheng Lim shop enjoys a steady flow of customers from 10am to 7pm. Out-of-state travellers make a pit-stop at the shop to buy a couple of boxes to take home.

At RM16 per box, the volume of sales must have the shop owner crowing with delight.

The KL outlets sell the same at a few ringgit more. That's because, as the sales person would tell you, of transport costs.

I have only tried it once but that was enough to convince me. Slice up the chicken and mix the pieces with Maggi Mee or Nong Shim (Korean noodles), and you will be in seventh heaven.


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Old 19-07-2017, 07:25 AM
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