Ayam Goreng: Classic Indonesian Fried Chicken

Recipe for one of Indonesia’s favourite dishes. Unlike fried chicken elsewhere, Ayam Goreng is simmered in a paste before being deep-fried.

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Nunuk Sri Rahayu
Nunuk Sri Rahayu
Nunuk hails from Solo, the historic royal capital and cultural centre of Java, Indonesia. She has been cooking since the age of 12, and also performs and teaches traditional Javanese dance. Her dream is to eventually write her own Indonesian cookbook.

Ayam goreng, or fried chicken, is everyone’s favourite food! It’s enjoyed across Indonesia by the rich, the poor, the middle class, men, women, children…in short, everyone!

The delicious ayam goreng is widely available both as street food and in upper-class restaurants. It is always welcome, whether served with rice for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, or eaten as a snack. Any time is a good time for fried chicken.

Ayam goreng comes in numerous regional varieties whose recipes may include different spices and marinades. The cooking method is usually similar, involving marinating, simmering and then deep frying. One of the advantages of simmering the chicken before deep frying is that the spices are better absorbed. Also, after simmering, you don’t have to deep fry it immediately. You can fry them in batches, whenever required, and keep the remainder in the fridge for a few days.

Sambal Tomat and Sambal Matah both make for excellent accompaniments to ayam goreng.

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Ayam Goreng: Classic Indonesian Fried Chicken

Ayam Goreng: Classic Indonesian Fried Chicken

  • Author: Nunuk Sri Rahayu
  • Prep Time: 40 minutes
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Category: Poultry
  • Method: Frying
  • Cuisine: Indonesian
  • Diet: Halal


Ayam goreng, or fried chicken, is one of Indonesia’s favourite dishes. Unlike fried chicken elsewhere, Indonesian fried chicken is simmered in a paste before deep-frying, and does not require a batter.


  • Half chicken, portioned, washed thoroughly and set aside
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
  • 4 shallots, peeled and chopped
  • 2 candlenuts, chopped
  • 3 cm fresh galangal, peeled and chopped
  • 2 cm fresh turmeric, peeled and chopped
  • 2 cm fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
  • 1 tsp whole coriander
  • ¼ cup water
  • 2 stalks lemongrass, use only the white parts, bruised, knotted
  • 1 salam leaf (daun salam, or Indonesian bay leaf)
  • Salt to taste
  • A pinch of sugar
  • Vegetable oil for frying

Ayam Goreng ingredients


  1. Using a food processor or blender, blend the chopped garlic, shallots, candlenut, galangal, turmeric, ginger and the whole coriander, and the ¼ cup of water, into a smooth paste.

    Ayam Goreng blender

  2. Put the chicken in a cooking pan, then pour the paste all over the chicken.

    Ayam Goreng marinate

  3. Add Salt and sugar.
  4. Gently knead the chicken and spices until thoroughly mixed. Put the knotted lemongrass stalks at the bottom and the bay leaf in between the meat, so the aroma will be evenly absorbed. Set aside for 15 minutes to marinate.

    Ayam Goreng mix spices

  5. Cover the pan and cook the chicken on medium heat until it boils. Lower the heat.
  6. Simmer for about 15 minutes with the lid on. Then, remove the lid and continue cooking for another 15 minutes until the liquid evaporates. Turn off the stove.
  7. Let the chicken rest for a while before deep frying it. You can also keep the chicken in the fridge for a few days and fry it when you need it. The taste will be better absorbed and it will be more delicious.

  8. When you are ready to fry it, heat enough vegetable oil in a frying pan, on medium heat.  Deep-fry the chicken until it turns golden-brown.
  9. Enjoy the fried chicken with sambal or if you prefer, a piece of bread.


  • To reduce the oiliness, after frying, put the fried chicken on a plate covered with 2 layers of paper towels. The paper towel will absorb the excess oil. After that you can transfer it to a serving plate.

Keywords: Non-spicy, batter, marinade

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