Back in 1978, while Haji Ramly Mokni was working at a butcher’s counter in a Kuala Lumpur market, he noticed people often asked for halal-certified burger patties and went away disappointed. So he and his wife started making their own from home, with next to no capital and no professional equipment. Adapting the basic patty recipe to suit Malaysian tastes, they started out making 200 a day by hand – and the rest, as they say, is history. Today, Ramly is a multi-billion dollar, multi-faceted business and those burgers are acknowledged among the best in the world.
Ubiquitous in Kuala Lumpur and other Malaysian centres, the street vendors use the original chicken-based patty supplied by Ramly Group, which has never forgotten its roots and gladly supports solo enterprises. But each vendor puts their own twist on it, perhaps with a dash of Lea & Perrins, maybe with cheese, pickles, or their own specially mixed sauces, or a combination of them all. The most famous trick – and it really isn’t a Ramly without it – is to encase the burger in a lacy fried egg coat.
It’s crispy and juicy and a trip to Malaysia just isn’t complete without trying one. But beware – biting into these burgers is a messy challenge, so make sure you have plenty of paper napkins with you. And it’s probably best to eat it while you’re standing!
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