Last thursday, a bunch of super semangat youngster took an hour drive to Bukit Jugra (Banting) for the famous beggar’s chicken. I heard of it numerous time but yet this is the first time I’m trying it. The ride was bumpy and my heart is bumping with excitement too. It took us another 15 minutes from Banting town to reached here. The journey is like some adventure because we were surrounded by scarcely distributed rumah panjang and nothing but forest!
So do you know about the origin of beggar’s chicken? It happened long long ago. The federal dynasty imposed heavy tax on civilians, and people were deprived of everything. Family broken up, they strayed everywhere as beggars. One day, a beggar was floating in Changsu of Jiangsu Province, cold and hungry. Little by little, he couldn’t stand up and fainted. His fellow sufferers were trying to save him. They collected wood and burned it to warm him up. One fellow sufferer took out the only remained chicken and prepared to cook for him. But without any tools to cooking, they were very worried. Suddenly, one of them got an idea. He suggested wrapping up the chicken with slush, and putting the mud pie into fire to bake. They continuously collected wood and baked mud pie. Finally, when the chicken was fully cooked, they began to knock open mud. To everyone’s surprise, the feather was also falling off with mud, and the chicken smelled very nice. The aroma attracted all neighbors around. They came and couldn’t stop praising the unique cooking style and the unique taste.
I came to know that there are only two beggar’s chicken place around Selangor – Ijok and Bukit Jugra. Is it true? The bukit jugra place is so well known that most Banting folks can point you the direction once you asked.
The ‘kitchen’ for all the beggar’s food item. The stuffed food were cooked under the hot ashes of charcoal fire.
The chicken were stuffed with herbs, wrapped in layers of silver foil and grease prove paper before the clay. It is then cooked under the heat of glowing ashes. It’s a bit disappointing because we never get to see the knocking of the clay layers. The food were served this way.
Because the chicken is cooked in a sealed envelope, the original taste is perfectly kept, we can feel a fragrance coming when opening the grease proof papers. Only complain is that the chicken meat is a bit dry.
Other than beggar’s chicken, their specialty includes beggar’s duck, beggar’s pig leg, beggar’s stomach, beggar’s mutton, traditional rice and traditional fish. The traditional rice is cooked in beggar’s style where it was wrapped and cooked under the charcoal fire. It’s actually glutinous rice with mushroom, dried oyster and dried shrimp. This is nothing fantastic compared to those that I have eaten in banquet dinners.
The traditional fish is actually saitoh fish or ikan parang. The flesh is scrap off from the bone and minced repeatedly before some seasoning is added. The glue-ify fish paste is then attached to the head and tail to be deep fried.
The fish paste is springy and full of flavour.
Stir Fry Choy Dam
The longetivity soup combines ginseng roots, whole chicken and assorted herbs and being cooked for hours. C
hicken is rich in high-quality protein and fat, while ginseng effectively relieves fatigue and depression, and even helps fight anemia and diabetes.Thus this dish is full of not only nutrition but also sentiment.
The rosy-cheeked clan for taking in too much of tonic – 2 chickens, a duck, 2 fishes, 2 traditional rice and a longetivity soup. Very “bou” a!!
The pricing – reasonable for pricey?? You judge it. The total bills come about rm 280 which amounts to rm 28 per person. Only complain is the traditional rice costs rm 33 each! Is there hidden abalone slices or sharfins inside? Overall, it is a bit dissappointing because we heard so much about this place and we took so much effort to reach here, we tend to expect more than these.
Restaurant Bukit Jugra (Banting)
Bukit Jugra (Permatang Pasir),
Opens from 1 am to 8 pm.