Balinese Style Chicken

As temperatures rise, the kitchen seems like a bit of a hostile place to be. Recipes that have 3-4 steps and come together in no time are our favorite all year round but especially in the summertime. And if those recipes also happen to be exotic and incredibly delicious, excuses to stay out of the kitchen disappear.

This Balinese Style Chicken dish, Ayam Bali, is one of those recipes, light on the number of steps, heavy on the incredible flavors. It’s a little sweet from the Kecap Manis, a little spicy from all the chili, the perfect hit of brightness from the lemon juice, fragrant and super satisfying.

Balinese Style Chicken (Ayam Bali)


3 Shallots or 2 medium Onions
2 tsp chopped Ginger
2 cloves Garlic
4 small Red Chilis, deseeded (If you prefer less heat, use a non-spicy dry red chili)
3 Candlenuts or 6 blanched Almonds or 6 blanched Cashew nuts
2 tsp Kecap Manis (this is a thick, dark, sweet soy sauce. For this recipe, if you don’t have any, you could try a mix of 1 tsp regular soy sauce and a tsp of Jaggery)
1/4 cup or 60 ml Oil for cooking, preferably Peanut Oil
8 pieces or 250gm-300gm Chicken
1 cup /250 ml Coconut Milk
2 tsp Brown Sugar
2 tbsp Lemon juice
Salt to taste


Place the shallots, ginger, garlic, chilis and nuts in a grinder or mortar and pestle and make a paste. Add the Kecap Manis (or substitute) to the paste.
Heat oil and cook chicken till golden brown. Remove the chicken and place on some paper towels to soak up the oil.
Remove the excess oil from the pan and cook the paste for 1-2 minutes. Add the coconut milk, sugar, salt,  lemon juice and chicken and simmer for 25-30 minutes or until chicken is tender.

Serve with rice and if you like some vegetables with your meals, add some Indonesian Style Green Beans.


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