Herbal salt-baked chicken, also known as ‘yim kuk kai’ (材盐鸡) in Cantonese, is a chicken baked in a heap of coarse rock salt.
My mom has always a fetish for this dish, albeit a tad expensive. RM 7.50 for a chicken drumstick, is not a price that she can swallow easily. Today, she made an exception.
She said that herbal salt-baked chicken is nutritious, and I think that she likes the juicy and tender chicken flesh. Even though the chicken is baked in salt, the flesh is not overly salty (the layers of paper keep the salt out) .. just a hint of saltiness, and that’s what makes it to yummy.
Notice the burnt marks at the bottom of the chicken wrapper? Sign of goodielicious salt-baked chicken.
The process of cooking the chicken is painfully long and tedious. This uncle has been selling herbal salt-baked chicken for so long, at a night market near my home in KL. I noticed that the prep portion is getting lesser as well. Hopefully, the business can survive through tough economy times.