Chicken in soy sauce (ayam masak kicap)

I forgot to take the pomfret out of the freezer last night, so I decided to cook chicken for dinner. We’ve had plenty of chicken meals in the last week, but we can’t seem to get enough of them!

For dinner tonight, I made chicken in soy, or ayam masak kicap, which was a childhood favourite. Mum used to make it for us for lunch, and it was the best dish ever. I have memories of her cooking this dish while I’d be doing my homework and thinking how wonderful mum’s cooking was. Besides, it was probably the only thing I ate apart from KFC.

I digress. This is a quick and satisfying meal, and the flavours are enhanced if you leave it to set for an hour before you tuck in.


  • 2 chicken thighs, 2 chicken drumsticks
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1 lemon grass, bruised
  • 1 inch ginger, sliced
  • 2 shallots, sliced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 chilli, sliced
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 star anise
  • 4 to 5 tbsp dark soy (kicap manis)
  • a handful of curry leaves
  • 1 small potato, diced
  • a pinch of white pepper
  • 1/4 cup of water
  • 1/2 tsp brown sugar
  • salt to taste


  1. Marinade the chicken with the turmeric powder and salt for 10 minutes
  2. Heat the oil in a wok and brown the chicken for 4 minutes (you might need to do these in batches)
  3. Remove the chicken to a kitchen paper-lined plate
  4. Fry the shallots, curry leaves, ginger, garlic, chilli, cinnamon stick, star anise and lemon grass for a minute
  5. Add the chicken back into the wok and mix well with the onions and spices
  6. Add the soy sauce, mix well and put the lid on. Leave to cook for 2 minutes over a medium heat
  7. Remove the lid, pour in the water and add in the potatoes. Leave to cook for 15 minutes with the lid back on
  8. Season with salt, pepper and salt and leave to cook for another 4 to 7 minutes
  9. Serve with basmati rice


2 thoughts on “Chicken in soy sauce (ayam masak kicap)

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