Despite my (not too) far-fetched claims of extraordinariness, I’m actually a rather typical Malaysian. So if you are anything like me, it is most likely that your first encounter with Western food is the chicken chop.
Chicken what? Chicken chop… as unique to Malaysians (okay fine, Singaporeans also and they are to be included every time I mention Malaysia or Malaysians here) as the usage of lah, sure or not, eh hello, how can like that and various other delightful Manglish expressions.
I grew up automagically linking Western cuisine with chicken chop, then fish and chips, then steak, then lamb, then pasta. It wasn’t till I was much older when I realised that hey, no one outside of Malaysia or Singapore knows what the heck a chicken chop is! It is not even to be found on Wikipedia!!!
Then I was duly informed that the chicken chop is a local creation: I’m not able to provide a history of how it came about, but it may have something to do with the Hainanese in Malaysia. I suppose it’s the evolution of pork chops to lamb chops to hey, let’s grill this chicken too and call it chicken chop.
I even conducted a survey to find out if I was indeed correct. Below is my finding, garnered from my sample size of one.
Me: Do you know what is a chicken chop?
MrSixPackAbs: Yes. It’s a karate blow used when scared shitless. Why?
A chicken chop as I know it is a piece of de-boned chicken thigh, breaded and deep-fried or just plain grilled or pan-fried. Its accompanying sauces are usually black pepper or mushroom which you pour all over the chicken. In KL there’s the Hailam sauce which I don’t quite fancy because of its slight sweetness.
The usual side dishes that come with the chicken chop are the coleslaw and French fries. Variations? Assorted vegetables, mashed potatoes or rice, whatever suits your fancy. Thus fulfilling the requirement of meat + carbs + greens. Very Western, or at least it seems so in our Asian minds!
What’s my point? Nothing, really. I just thought it was amusing. I was at the restaurant near where I live and wanted something for dinner. I asked the proprietor…
“Got what ar?”
“Malay, Chinese, Western…”
“What Western food do you have?”
And so in order to write this post, I began my chicken chop phase. What is a chicken chop phase? Just a long stretch of time where I could eat the same type of food for breakfast, lunch and dinner for days. Then I realised that…
I ACTUALLY REALLY, REALLY, REALLY LOVE CHICKEN CHOP!
So if you know where I can get awesome chicken chops in KL or PJ, let me know. Better still, TAKE ME WITH YOU! Heh, thanks.