Saturday, June 09, 2012

Malacca Hainan Association - Traditional Hainanese Food

Malacca Hainan Association

After breakfast and a guided tour at Cheng Ho Cultural Museum on Sunday, the bloggers arrived at the Malacca Hainan Association. In the air-conditioned conference room, there was a hive of activity. The ladies from the Women's Wing were busy cooking lunch for us. Authentic Hainanese dishes. Wheeee!!

Hainanese Chicken Rice Balls and Hainanese Chicken

As they brought out the dishes one by one, the aroma of food filled the room. Since we couldn't eat yet, we started taking photos of the food.

These freshly made Sesame Glutinous Rice Balls with peanut filling (煎堆) were delicious. The skin is chewy and the peanut filling is fragrant.

Traditional Hainanese snack : Yi Bua 象征吉祥幸福的薏粑

Hainan island is a tropical island where visitors can see abundant coconut trees growing on the island - in the village, by the seashore and on the roadside.
"Yi-Bua" is one of the few vanishing Hainanese snack which has a fragrant cocnut filling. In the old days, this snack was usually eaten on special occasions like weddings and birthdays. Parents will give relatives this snack to announce the first month (as well as first year) of their new born baby.

ou bua kia 鸡屎藤粑籽汤

A Hainanese medicinal dessert made from a creeper called Chicken Sh*t Creeper. I know, it sounds morbid. It doesn't taste like the waste product but it does not appeal to me. :P

Bua Ta Art 蒸压粑

Youngsters in Singapore these days prefer fast food, western cakes and pastries, we hardly get the chance to taste these delicious traditional snacks which our grandmothers and mothers used to lovingly make. I am guilty of not learning how to cook these vanishing dishes. :P

Photography Time : bloggers crowded round the table laden with Hainanese dishes to take photos of the food.

Hainanese grannies teaching us to make chicken rice balls.

Bloggers having a hands-on session of shaping chicken rice  balls.

Happy bloggers enjoying this cultural exchange.

Some of the ladies from the Women's Wing of Malacca Hainan Association, they prepared these delicious Hainanese dishes. Hugs and kisses to them!! 

Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam came for lunch with the bloggers. He enjoyed the food as much as we did.

I would like to thank the Malacca Hainan Association for their hospitality. I would like to express my heartfelt thanks to the ladies, many are grannies, who laboured on a Sunday morning to cook the traditional Hainanese meal for us. I love your dishes and hope to go back for another round. :D


  1. It is good to see you blog after a very long time! What incredibly delicious-looking food! Thanks for the tour.

  2. the medicinal dessert sounds disgusting, but i dont mind trying. perhaps it really works for my body :)

    Latest: Happy Father's Day

  3. Hi Sandy!
    Great to hear from you again.
    The food is traditional Hainanese fare and is not easily available.

  4. Fish,
    The wisdom of our elders should not be wrong. Like all medicinal herbs, it doesn't taste good but was told it is beneficial to health.

  5. Thanks for this information on a Malacca Hainan Association, and the authentic Hainanese dishes.

  6. Nice cover! I had benn searching high and low abt the name of 'Bua Ta Art', and I found it in your blog...thanks a lot. :)

  7. Robo,
    My husband is a Hainanese, remember? :P

  8. oceanskies,
    Have you tried all these Hainanese dishes?

  9. Some of these dishes look very good, others not so much. I'm a wimp when it comes to trying new foods.

  10. Joyce,
    Some of the dishes taste awesome! You will love them, come to Singapore!

  11. Oh, it has been ages since I tasted those chicken rice balls! I should make some myself one of these days, because I have chicken rice lovers in the house.

  12. Joyce,
    Nostalgic, isn't it? They are pretty easy to shape if you aren't afraid of the heat and oily mess. :P

  13. I have not heard of many of these dishes except for the sesame glutinous rice balls, but they are usually filled with red bean paste. Was the creeper dish salty or sweet? You never know with a "medicinal" dish. :D

  14. I'm a Hainanese and I remember how my grandma will make the "Yi Bua" although I don't remember the name of the kuih.

    That must be a great trip! So many hainanese together eating & chatting (I imagine it must be very noisy too. HAHA).

  15. Hooting Anni,
    Yes, it was a delicious feast of authentic traditional Hainanese dishes!

  16. AVCr8teur,
    There are several types of fillings available in sesame glutinous rice balls sold at some eateries.

    The filling is usually grounded peanut but now we can ask for red bean paste, green bean paste, coconut or even coconut jam filling.

    The creeper dumpling is tasteless but the soup is ginger tea boiled with brown sugar.

  17. Hi Tsu Lin,
    Ahhhh... you still remember your grandma's 'Yi Bua'. Do you know how to make it? :P

    This was a really fun trip. The Hainanese people at the Malacca Hainan Association are such warm and hospitable hosts. The ladies really go all out to cook the authentic Hainanese dishes. I am truly touched.

  18. I'm a Malaccan and I've tried chicken rice balls like only ONCE! >.<