If you are in the mood for some spicy dish, may I suggest giving this ayam goreng saus tauco – fried chicken in spicy soy bean sauce a try? There is two parts to this dish, fried chicken pieces, and the spicy soy bean sauce. Once you master this recipe, feel free to switch the chicken with fish, tofu, or tempeh, and I guarantee it will work with any of my suggested substitute.
For the juiciest possible result, stick with chicken thigh. That said, if all you have at home is chicken breast, it definitely will work so don’t worry too much about it. For a speedy cooking time, cut chicken thigh (or breast) into strips, and marinate with bruised (or roughly minced) garlic, lime juice, and salt. Once it has rested for 15 minutes, start preparing oil for deep frying. You can then whisk all purpose flour, tapioca starch (corn starch is okay too), and salt. Dump the chicken into the flour mixture and coat really really well, there shouldn’t be any liquid at all at this stage. Fry chicken until golden brown and set aside.
Tauco and Terasi/Belacan
Some of the key ingredients for this delicious sauce is tauco (salted soy beans) and terasi/belacan (shrimp paste). The links I provide are for products that should be available in your Asian market, such as Marina or 99 Ranch. Of course, you can always buy from Amazon, but the price is more expensive online. Another ingredient that you may consider getting online is Indonesian bay leaves (Indonesian: daun salam). You cannot substitute regular bay leaves with Indonesian bay leaves, and if you cannot get them, my suggestion is to omit from the recipe.
Spicy Soy Bean Sauce
Once you have all the ingredients for the sauce together, first, make the spice paste by grinding with a food processor/blender. I find that if I add a teaspoon of oil into my food processor along with the ingredients, the blended paste is much smoother. To prepare for the spicy soy bean sauce, simply fry the spice paste, lemongrass, and Indonesian bay leaves until fragrant. Add tauco, sugar, mix well, then add water and bring to a boil. Once the sauce is reduced and look slightly dry, add fried chicken to the pan and toss to coat well. It is best to serve this dish hot with some steamed white rice.
- 600 gram boneless skinless chicken thigh, cut into strips
- 4 cloves garlic, bruised
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 100 gram all purpose flour
- ½ tablespoon tapioca starch (or corn starch)
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground white pepper (or ground black pepper)
- enough oil for deep frying
- 100 gram shallot
- 4 cloves garlic
- 5-10 red Thai bird eye chilies, seeded
- 5-10 dried red chilies, seeded
- 2 teaspoon shrimp paste (Indonesian: terasi, Malaysian/Singaporean: belacan), toasted
- 2 tablespoon oil
- 1 lemongrass (Indonesian: sereh), white part only, thinly sliced
- 2 Indonesian bay leaves (Indonesian: daun salam), omit if you cannot find this
- 4 tablespoon salted soy bean (Indonesian: tauco)
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 90 ml (6 tablespoon) water
- Mix together chicken with bruised garlic, lime juice, and salt. Then let rest for 15 minutes.
- Whisk together all purpose flour, tapioca starch, and salt. Toss the chicken into flour mixture to fully coat. There shouldn't be any standing liquid at all at this point.
- Heat enough oil in a wok/pot for deep frying. Once the oil is hot enough (it should looks shimmering and runnier), add the coated chicken pieces, in batches if needed, and fry until golden brown. Set aside over a wire rack while we prepare the sauce.
- Heat 2 tablespoon oil over medium high heat in a frying pan and sauté spice paste, sliced lemongrass, and Indonesian bay leaves until fragrant. About 3 minutes.
- Add salted soy bean and sugar. Mix well. Then pour water, stir, and bring to a boil. Once the sauce is reduced and slightly dry, return the fried chicken to the frying pan, and gently toss to coat the chicken pieces with sauce.
- Turn off the heat, and transfer to a serving plate. Serve immediately with steamed white rice.