Ketchup Chicken from Penang, Malaysia

Malaysian Ketchup Chicken

by Sup Hameed

My girlfriend and I were walking back to the guesthouse after a full day of sightseeing in Penang, Malaysia, when an amazing smell hit our noses. Even though we had already eaten and were full, we couldn't pass by the incredibly smell of spices coming from a tiny little South-Asian Muslim restaurant.

ketchup chicken stewed in a spicy tomato sauce, vegetables, and a boiled egg

We told the man running the restaurant that the aromas of his amazing food had lured us in for a second dinner, and he seemed very proud! When I asked him what he recommended, he just loaded up a huge plate, insisting that we try a little bit of every one of his dishes. What a nice guy!

everything smelled so good, that we stopped inside for a second dinner

He told us that his specialty was "ketchup chicken", a dish that he really wanted us to try. Well, we couldn't pass that up!

Ketchup chicken isn't quite what it sounds like. In fact, I'm not sure that there is actually any ketchup in it at all. It's a sort of curry dish, similar to an Indian butter chicken, but spicier, with juicy chicken stewed in a heavily-spiced ketchup sauce. He also loaded up a plate with sauteed cabbage, steamed vegetables, and an egg boiled in a sweet and savory sauce.

I am so happy that we stopped by! Not only did we meet a new local friend (nothing can bring people together like the love of food!), but we also had one of the most amazing spontaneous meals that we have ever enjoyed on our travels. Highly recommended!

4 MYR (about $1 for a plate)

48, Jalan Penang, George Town, 10000 George Town, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia

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