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Chicken chop – How to make the best Malaysian chicken steak

Since I was young, I thought that chicken chop is served in every Western country. Of course, it sounds naive, but I firmly believe that when I was in my teens. 

After traveling extensively for work and vacation, I eventually realized no such thing called chicken chop on the menu in any restaurant I visited abroad

Later, I started working in the F&B industries and slowly found out that chicken chop is a homegrown western-style dish.

The chicken chop is partially western because it is either cooked like steak on the grill or deep-fried like KFC chicken. But it also carries some local culinary elements, using mainly soy sauce as the seasoning with prolonged marination. 

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The chicken chop is the Malaysian homegrown western dish. It is partially western because it is either cooked like steak on the grill or deep-fried like KFC chicken. It is also served with a cream sauce.
But it also carries some local culinary elements, using mainly soy sauce as the seasoning with prolonged marination.

A restaurant-style chicken chop recipe

This recipe is based on what we serve in our restaurant, with some improvisation. The main difference is the mushroom sauce. We made our brown sauce from scratch in the restaurant, which is time-consuming and tedious for home cooks. Therefore, I have substituted it with a simplified mushroom sauce thicken with cornstarch which anyone can whip up within fifteen minutes.

Please note that chicken chop is not chicken chop suey, a different dish. As such, I will call it chicken steak from time to time in this article to remind you that this is a Malaysian chicken dish with western influence. 

How to prepare the Malaysian chicken chop

1. Use chicken thigh, not breast meat 

The Malaysian chicken chop is prepared with boneless chicken thigh, with or without the skin.  Since it is so popular in Malaysia, there are even pre-marinated chicken chops available from the supermarket.  These marinated chicken chops are usually frozen and ready to grill or deep-fried out of the box.

Many local cafes are using these marinated chicken chops for simplicity. Unfortunately, the texture and flavor a far cry from the fresh chicken (or at least chilled, non-frozen). You can immediately feel the difference from your first bite.

I suggest removing the skin if you want to coat it with a batter to deep-fry. However, if you’re going to make a grilled chicken chop as in this recipe, you have the option to leave the skin-on of removing it.

Here are the steps to prepare the chicken chop from scratch: 

  • First, clean the deboned chicken thigh with water, drain and pat dry. Most of the chicken vendors in Malaysian provide the deboning service at no extra cost, which will save you time to do it yourself at home.
  • Place the deboned chicken thigh in a large bowl or plate. 
  • Add the following ingredients: Worcestershire sauce, light soy sauce, freshly ground black pepper, rosemary and thyme (dried herbs should be fine), salt, and some vegetable oil.
  • Massage all the seasonings into the chicken thoroughly.
  • Let it rest in the refrigerator to marinate for at least half a day or longer. 

Important notes on preparing the chicken chop

  • The characteristic flavor of the Malaysian-style chicken chop is due to the use of Worcestershire sauce and light soy sauce. I would say both are indispensable in the recipe, which makes this chicken steak so unique. 
  • Some recipes may include some tomato ketchup, but I prefer to keep it out from the formula as it is not necessary. However, you can check out another Malaysian recipe called Hainanese pork chop, in which ketchup is one of the critical ingredients for the gravy.
  • The majority of the chicken chops in Malaysia are deep-fried, similar to schnitzel. However, grilled chicken chop has a higher value, as diners tend to associate with steak due to the grilled marks on the chicken.
  • Contrary to the (beef) steak, you must marinate this chicken steak for an extended period to imbue the flavor into the meat. That is why marinated, frozen chicken chops work and are on-demand in the F&B industry. (although incomparable with the texture of fresh chicken). 
  • Rosemary and thyme are optional, although I strongly recommend including them in the recipe.  Alternatively, you can add some dried mixed herbs to improve the taste.

2. How to grill the chicken chop

I use a grill pan since I am living in an apartment. But, of course, you can do it on an open fire if you have a barbeque pit.

Here are the steps:

  • Heat some oil in the grill pan. Peanut oil is my favorite, but palm oil, corn oil, and cannula oil are equally good. 
  • When the oil is near its smoking point, turn down the heat to medium-low. Place the chicken chop skin side down on the grill pan, and leave it undisturbed for about four minutes. 
  • After four minutes, turn the chicken steak ninety degrees to create the crossed grill marks, which will take another four minutes, or depending on the skin color.
  • When it reaches the desired color and with clear grilled marks, flip the chicken over to grill the other side for another four minutes. Remove once it has reached the desired color.

Notes

  • Take your time to grill the chicken steak. Do not rush by using high heat.  The average time required to cook the chicken chop is about ten to twelve minutes.
  • One common problem we faced in the kitchen is when the chicken steak looks perfect outside but still raw inside.  This problem happens frequently when you grill the chicken over high heat. In this case, the surface has been thoroughly cooked, and the skin has become crispy, but the inner part is still raw. 
  • If you are unsure, check the temperature by poking a kitchen thermometer into the thickest part of the chicken steak. The chicken is cooked when the internal temperature reaches 165°F/75°C.
The chicken chop is the Malaysian homegrown western dish. It is partially western because it is either cooked like steak on the grill or deep-fried like KFC chicken. It is also served with a cream sauce.
It is also called chicken sterak.

3. How to prepare a quick and easy mushroom sauce

We serve chicken chop in the restaurant with our brown sauce made from scratch. Although that is one of the best side items on the menu, it is not practical to make it at home as it is time-consuming. Here is a simple method that you can do within fifteen minutes.

  • Saute some chopped garlic in a pan with some oil.
  • When the garlic becomes aromatic, remove it and add the sliced onion. Saute the onion until tender and translucent.
  • Return the garlic to the pan. 
  • Add the mushroom land saute for another one minute.
  • Add about half a cup of store-bought chicken stock, plus 3 tbsp of whipped cream.
  • When it returns to a boil, mix 1 tsp of cornstarch with 4 tbsp of cold water to form a slurry. Pour the slurry into the pan to form a thick gravy.
  • Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  • Finally, add about 1/4 tsp of dark soy sauce to darken the color of the sauce.

Related recipes that you should try

If you like this chicken chop recipe, there are a few related recipes that I want to recommend to you:

Hainanese pork chop is another culinary wonder of the cross-cultural hybrid of Chinese and European cuisine. You can substitute the pork with chicken should you want o make a Hainanese chicken chop! It tastes completely different from this grilled chicken chop with mushroom sauce.

One of the less spicy curry dishes, Kapitan Chicken, is genuinely a Malaysian curry, the amalgamation of the Malay, Chinese, and Indian eating cultures. This unique flavor of this Nyonya chicken dish results from the complex interplay of a myriad of herbs and spices.

Lemongrass chicken is one of the most popular recipes on this blog. If you want to throw in some Asian flavor apart from the typical soy sauce-based Chinese cuisine, this Vietnamese-inspired lemongrass chicken will promise to be an absolute crowd-pleaser. 

Yield: 3 chicken chops

Chicken chop - How to make the best Malaysian chicken steak

chicken chop square

The chicken chop is the Malaysian homegrown western dish. It is partially western because it is either cooked like steak on the grill or deep-fried like KFC chicken. It is also served with a cream sauce.

But it also carries some local culinary elements, using mainly soy sauce as the seasoning with prolonged marination.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes

Ingredients

Ingredients A (For the chicken)

Ingredients B (For the sauce)

Instructions

For the chicken

  1. Clean the deboned chicken thigh with water, drain and pat dry. 
  2. Massage all the ingredients A into the chicken thoroughly.
  3. Let it rest in the refrigerator to marinate for at least half a day.
  4. Heat some oil in the grill pan. Place the chicken chop skin side down on the grill pan, and leave it undisturbed for about four minutes. 
  5. After four minutes, turn the chicken steak ninety degrees to create the crossed grill marks for another four minutes.
  6. Flip the chicken over to grill the other side for another four minutes. Remove.

For the mushroom sauce

  1. Saute some chopped garlic in a pan with some oil.
  2. When the garlic becomes aromatic, remove it and add the sliced onion. Saute the onion until tender and translucent. 
  3. Return the garlic to the pan. 
  4. Add the mushroom land saute for another one minute.
  5. Add the chicken stock.
  6. When it returns to a boil, mix 1 tsp of cornstarch with 4 tbsp of cold water to form a slurry. Pour the slurry into the pan to form a thick gravy.
  7. Add the whipped cream.
  8. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  9. Finally, add about 1/4 tsp of dark soy sauce to darken the color of the sauce.
  10. Pour the sauce over the chicken chop and serve mashed potatoes and any vegetables of your choice.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

3

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 366Total Fat: 26gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 17gCholesterol: 98mgSodium: 810mgCarbohydrates: 9gFiber: 1gSugar: 3gProtein: 23g

This data was provided and calculated by Nutritionix on 5/14/2021

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