4 pcs chicken leg (120 g each, bone in)
1 large tomato (chopped)
3 stalk lemongrass (bruised)
10 large red chili
7 cloves garlic (crushed)
120 galangal (sliced)
40 g ginger
15 g fresh turmeric
½ tbsp belacan
1 tbsp coriander powder
½ tsp cumin powder
2 ½ tbsp white sugar
2 ½ tbsp salt
1 L + ¼ cup water
If you love chicken, why would you smash it? The only justifiable reason is to create this unique Asian dish from Java, Indonesia that has spread across Asia and is getting popular across the world as well. A crispy yet tender chicken dish that is quick, easy, and served with a delicious chili paste so you can spice it up to your liking. Best served with steamed rice and usually complemented with simple Indonesian sides including fried tempe (soy protein).
Ayam Penyet originated from Indonesia but it has quickly become popular across multiple locations in Asia from Singapore, Brunei, Malaysia and more. It is Javanese for “smashed chicken”.
Today, Ayam Penyet is listed by CNN’s Catherine Ling as one of the “40 Singapore foods we can’t live without”. And it is no surprise why some people cannot live without it, the juicy deep-fried chicken with smashed batter bits and tangy sambal is a sinful delight. When you pair it with polished white rice, you can have an explosion of flavour.
While there are plenty of places to satisfy your Ayam Penyet cravings, why not try your hand at it?
Believe it or not, cooking Ayam Penyet is not as daunting as it seems. Check out our recipe below!
On average, one plate of Ayam Penyet contains 650 calories. However, you could easily reduce your caloric intake by cutting the amount of rice per plate or cooking a small piece of chicken.
You could also swap Jasmine white rice for brown rice for a more filling meal.
The spiciness of Ayam Penyet comes from the chili peppers. Traditionally, Ayam Penyet is meant to be enjoyed with sambal for an extra kick of flavour.
However, if you dislike spicy foods, you could reduce the number of chillies and add more condiments like garlic and ginger for more flavour.
But for individuals who love spicy food, feel free to add more chili peppers. You could also swap the large red chilis with bird’s eye chili.
There are a couple of ways you could do the smashing:
Follow the recipe and press firmly for battered bits
Place chicken in a ziploc bag and smash it with a pestle to loosen the flesh
Most Ayam Penyet recipes use the chicken thigh fillet. But you could also use other parts like chicken breast or even a whole chicken. Just note that cooking time might differ depending on how you portion the chicken.
Ayam Penyet probably isn’t the first thing that comes to mind when it comes to healthy food. But there are some ways you could make the dish healthier:
Fry chicken in an airfryer
Reduce amount of sugar added
Use chicken breast
Don’t be afraid to break the crust to check doneness: since you will be smashing the chicken anyway, you can easily check the doneness of the chicken by taking a peek under the crust.
Do not refrigerate chicken: after frying the chicken, make sure that it is at room temperature as cold chicken could change the temperature of the oil and you might end up with a soggy mess.
Feel free to use your hands to coat the chicken in the turmeric powder mixture: this allows you to rub the mixture into the chicken.
| You can adjust the spiciness level of chili paste by adding or removing the amount of large red chili or adding chili padi
| Best eaten with steamed rice, cucumber slices, fried tempeh and fried tauhu
Transfer deep fried smashed chicken into a serving plate or dish and serve with chili paste on the side or on the chicken. Serve hot.