Spicy soy chicken (ayam masak kicap pedas)

I heart Malay and Indonesian food. Unfortunately whenever I head over to either country which is normally a flying visit, I don’t stick around long enough for my belly to get used to the spices.   When we were in Perth recently, we made a bee line for the Love and Care Cafe for their gorgeous Malay spread.  

After last night’s disappointing creamy chicken, I wanted to redeem myself in the kitchen.  I decided to make ayam masak kicap pedas, which is essentially chicken cooked in a bit of chilli paste and dark soy.  This recipe turned out really well, which I’ll bookmark for ‘grey’ days.  (Grey days – days when it is cold and miserable outside, and you’re terribly homesick, and a plate of something comforting is the only thing to cheer you up).

Don’t be put off by the amount of ingredients – it is worth the effort.

Ingredients:

  • 2 chicken thighs, 2 chicken drumsticks marinated in 1 tsp turmeric powder, 1 tsp chilli powder, 1 tsp curry powder, 1/2 tsp salt for 30 minutes
  • 2 shallots, peeled and chopped
  • 1 clove of garlic, peeled and chopped
  • 1 inch ginger, peeled and sliced
  • 2 red chillies, sliced
  • 1/2 inch galangal, peeled
  • vegetable oil
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 cloves (spice)
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 2 kaffir lime leaves
  • 1 medium-sized potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 1 pandan leaf (optional)
  • 1/4 cup tamarind juice
  • 2 tsp brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp ketchup
  • 3 tbsp dark soy (kicap manis)
  • salt and ground white pepper to taste
  • a handful of cherry tomatoes, sliced

Method

  1. Pre-heat the oven at 180 degrees celsius
  2. Heat 3 tbsp oil in a wok and brown the chicken pieces for 5 minutes (you may need to do this in 2 batches)
  3. Transfer the chicken to a baking tray and bake in the oven for 15 minutes (reserve the oil in the wok)
  4. Blend the shallots, garlic, chilli, ginger and galangal into a fine paste
  5. Heat the wok with the used oil, add the chilli paste, cinnamon, cloves and turmeric powder to the oil
  6. Fry the chilli paste over low heat for 10 to 15 minutes
  7. Pour in the tamarind juice, add the lime leaves, sugar, followed by the potatoes
  8. Take the chicken out of the oven and transfer them to the wok along with the chilli paste and potatoes
  9. Add the dark soy and ketchup
  10. Tie the pandan leaf into a knot and add it to the dish
  11. Put the lid on and leave to cook for 10 minutes until the potatoes are done
  12. Season with salt and pepper, and garnish with cherry tomatoes before serving

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