This post may contain affiliate links. We may earn a small commission from a qualifying purchase without extra cost to you. Check our disclosure policy for more info.
Ayam Goreng Penyet
Ayam Penyet has become very popular in the last decade. The chicken dish that was originally from Solo, Central Java, has taken place in the hearts of chicken and chilli lovers since it was introduced in Surabaya, East Java.
So, what and why is this dish about?
Well, Ayam Goreng Penyet literally means fried chicken (Ayam) that has been lightly bruised, crushed or smashed using a pestle.
Even though this dish doesn’t use many ingredients and its cooking method is pretty straightforward, it serves you with a mouthwatering look and taste. If you like the western flour-dipped fried chicken that you often enjoy with ready-made chilli sauce from the bottle, then you must try this Ayam Penyet.
Just get your plain white rice ready with some simple salad such as cucumber, tomatoes and carrots pieces. Or, you can have it with this cucumber and tomato salad or the well-known Gado-gado. Whichever you decide, you’re good to eat this flavoursome chicken for your next dinner. Or lunch. Or brunch??
But please don’t complain to me if you can’t stop eating it, as I have the same problem whenever I make this chicken dish. I can never get enough, and at times I become greedy.
This recipe I’m sharing with you is based on my mom’s recipe that roots in the original recipe. It will help you make Ayam Penyet from scratch, no shortcut of using ready-made chilli paste or sambal and whatever. And the best thing is you can adjust the heat level of chilli in your dish without reducing the deliciousness of your chicken.
Here is the list of what you need to make Ayam Penyet:
- Chicken ( ideally with bone).
- Tamarind (block or paste).
- Fresh red chillies.
- Tomatoes (optional)
- Oil for frying.
So you only need 7 items. Ah, I forgot to mention salt. But do I have to put salt in the list anyway? Because you will always have salt in your kitchen cupboard or pantry, won’t you?
As you can see that I put tomatoes as optional. The reason is that the original recipe doesn’t use tomatoes. However, I understand that to make enough sauce for this recipe, I will need double as much red chillies. Although it won’t be a problem for me, it can be a problem for those who can not handle chillies well.
Therefore, I put a tomato to increase the amount of chilli paste and to decrease the chilli heat at the same time.
So if you are a true chilli lover, you can omit the tomato and use twice as much the big red chillies for this recipe.
How to make Ayam Penyet
As time goes by, the popularity of this humble dish spreads, there are many ways and methods of cooking the dish have been invented and developed.
But the essence is the same. You fry the chicken and make the sambal (chilli paste sauce), then you smash the chicken before you pour the chilli over it. It is as simple as that.
If you want to use a very traditional way like the original recipe, first you make Indonesian Ayam Goreng Bumbu (spicy fried chicken). Then you make the fresh chilli paste sauce from this recipe page.
In this recipe, I’m sharing with you another way of how many Indonesians make their fried chicken. Because there are numerous ways and recipes of Indonesian fried chicken. I will share those recipes one by one, God willing.
Firstly, you marinate the chicken with tamarind and salt. If possible, try to pierce the chicken using a skewer or fork before you marinate. This will help the flavour go into the poultry meat better.
Secondly, deep-fry the chicken until they are thoroughly cooked. Set aside while you make the chilli paste.
Thirdly, using a pestle and mortar, or a food processor, pound the onion, chillies, tomatoes, garlic and salt into a roughly grounded paste. Don’t do it too smoothly. You want the big-cuts of chillies and onion.
Then you fry the chilli mixture using some oil from previously used for the chicken. Make sure you cook the chilli until all the liquid released from the onion and chillies have evaporated. You should end up with a nice-sheen chilli sauce with the oil separated from the edges.
Lastly, using a pestle, lightly bruise and pound the chicken pieces. Then pour and spread the chilli sauce over the chicken.
I hope you are now planning to try this Ayam Penyet recipe. When you do, it will be great if you can share what you think about it in the comments below (leave a reply box).
And before you go, don’t forget to check my other recipes for more ideas.
- The best Indonesian sweet soy sauce chicken – Ayam Kecap Manis.
- Indonesian chicken wontons – Pangsit Ayam.
- Chicken and sweetcorn soup – Indonesian style.
- Soto Ayam – Indonesian clear chicken soup.
- Indonesian fried-chicken – Ayam Goreng Bumbu.
- Ayam Suwir Bumbu Bali – Balinese spicy shredded chicken.
Thank you and all the best.