This recipe is so unique! Chicken is first poached in a spiced liquid and then grilled! “Ayam bakar” is Indonesian for “grilled chicken.” It is a popular dish in Indonesian cuisine that typically consists of marinated chicken that is grilled over charcoal or wood fire. The marinade often includes a mixture of spices such as turmeric, coriander, and tamarind, which give the dish its distinctive flavor. It is usually served with steamed rice and a variety of condiments, including sambal, a spicy chili sauce.

A key ingredient is Kecap Manis, a sweet soy sauce that is commonly used in Indonesian and Malaysian cuisine. It is made by combining soy sauce with palm sugar and other seasonings such as garlic, shallots, and spices. It is used as a marinade, dipping sauce, and as an ingredient in many traditional dishes. It has a thick, syrupy texture and a sweet, savory flavor. It is often used in dishes such as nasi goreng, satay, and gado-gado.

I love Indonesian Food!

Indonesian cuisine is diverse and influenced by various cultures, including Indian, Chinese, and Dutch. It is known for its use of a variety of spices, herbs, and seasonings, which give the dishes a unique and complex flavor. Some popular Indonesian dishes include:

  • Nasi Goreng: Fried rice dish typically served with meat or seafood, vegetables, and a fried egg on top.
  • Sate: Skewers of marinated meat, usually chicken or beef, grilled over charcoal and served with a spicy peanut sauce.
  • Gado-gado: Vegetable salad with boiled potatoes, beans, and tofu, topped with a peanut sauce dressing.
  • Rendang: Beef or chicken stew cooked in a thick, spicy coconut milk-based curry.
  • Mie Goreng: Fried noodles with vegetables and meat or seafood, served with a sweet soy sauce.
  • Martabak: A popular street food, it is a pan-fried filled with meat, eggs, and vegetables.

Indonesia is a vast archipelago, and each island has its own unique dish. These are some of the most popular dishes, but the list is far from exhaustive.

Indonesian Grilled Chicken – Ayam Bakar

4.84 from 18 votes


Spice Paste

  • 4 kaffir lime leaves 2 gms
  • Galangal 20 gms
  • 2 stalks of lemongrass use only the white portion 40 gms
  • 1/4 cup Ginger – 30 gms
  • Garlic – 5 pcs – 20 gms
  • 3 Shallots – 2 cups – 150 gms
  • 3 long finger Chillies – 1/2 cup 40 gms
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 5 Macadamia nuts – 6 gms – typically candle nuts are used but Macadamia is a good sub – you could also use cashews
  • 1 tablespoon tamarind paste
  • 1 tsp White Peppercorns
  • Water as required

Chicken & Gravy

  • 1200 gms Chicken
  • Salt
  • Prepared Spice paste
  • 100 ml Kecap Manis
  • 250 ml Water
  • 1 tsp Salt


  • Make the spice paste by blending all the ingredients together
  • Sear the chicken briefly on both sides in a little oil and keep aside
  • Add the spice blend and cook for about 5 mins
  • Add the kecap manis, water and salt and bring to the boil
  • Cook the chicken for 20 mins, flipping over in between
  • Remove the chicken and cook in the oven or bbq for 6 – 10 mins
  • Serve with the reserved sauce