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".
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.