Saturday, 30 August 2014 | MYT 12:00 AM

Roti Ayam

This snack is based on Roti Babi, which as its name suggests, contains pork. It is said to be of Penang Nonya or Hainanese origins and has been around since the time of the British. There doesn’t seem to be a definitive recipe for this filled fried bread, and so I have made Roti Ayam based on information I have gathered from several sources. I read that the famous Yut Kee restaurant in Kuala Lumpur included raw sengkuang in the filling (along with Chinese wax sausage). 

The eggs that they use to coat the bread parcels before frying are separated and the egg white whisked like a meringue first. This produces a crisper coating. I have also included cooked crab in the filling as suggested in a few recipes. Roti Ayam is eaten with knife and fork (so British!) and a condiment of cut chillies in Worcestershire sauce.

This recipe is from the story, "Malaysian food for the ages". 

  • Serving



  • 350g chicken fillet
    150g cooked crab meat
    5-6 shallots, peeled
    2cm galangal, skin removed
    3-4 cloves garlic
    1-2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
    ¾ tsp coriander powder
    ½ tsp white pepper
    2 medium onions, diced
    1 tbsp sugar
    salt to taste
    150g sengkuang (yam bean), cut into matchsticks
    1 large unsliced Hainanese/Bengali sandwich loaf
    3-4 eggs, separated
    oil for frying


Mince the chicken fillet by hand.

Pound or blend the shallots, galangal, garlic, Worcestershire sauce, coriander powder and white pepper. Heat some oil in a sauté pan and fry the blended ingredients until fragrant, adding 1-2 tbsp water if the mixture is dry. Move it to one side of the pan.

Add 1 tbsp of oil and sauté the onions until translucent. Add the minced chicken and toss all the ingredients together. Add a little water to the pan and cook until done and mixture is quite dry. Stir in the crab meat and cook for another 30 seconds. Season with sugar and salt. Cool. Stir in the sengkuang.

How to assemble the roti ayam.

Cut the bread into 4cm-thick slices. Trim off some of the crust. Make a slit in the centre of one of the longer sides to form a pocket (pic 1). Spoon some filling into the pocket and press the edges together (pic 2).

Whisk the egg whites with a pinch of salt until thick and fluffy. Lightly beat the egg yolks, then fold in the whites (pic 3).

Dip the bread pocket in the egg to completely coat it (pic 4). Fry until golden, 2-3 minutes on each side. Drain, cut in two and serve immediately. Makes 4-5 roti ayam.

Tags / Keywords: Roti Ayam , Roti Babi , chicken , bread , French toast , Nyonya , Hainanese


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