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Ayam Dabu-Dabu - Pan Fried Chicken with Dabu-Dabu Sauce

Dabu-dabu sauce, a.k.a sambal dabu-dabu, is a fresh and fiery chili sauce from Manado, the provincial capital of North Sulawesi. Made form tomatoes, chilies, shallots, and lime juice, this chili sauce is sure to whet up the appetite. The ingredient lists sounds a lot like those for salsa, no? I always wonder if there is any connection between Indonesian dabu-dabu and the Spanish salsa.

Ayam Dabu-Dabu – Pan Fried Chicken with Dabu-Dabu Sauce

Ayam Dabu-Dabu – Pan Fried Chicken with Dabu-Dabu Sauce

Dabu-dabu sauce is typically served alongside grilled fish or grilled chicken. But really, it is so perfect with almost any bland-ish meat. To me, the easiest way to enjoy this in any home is to make a batch of pan fried chicken, as long as you have some boneless skinless chicken breasts, some salt and pepper, some all purpose flour, and some sort of oil (you can use butter too), and any beat up frying pan, you are good to go. ♥

Ayam Dabu-Dabu - Pan Fried Chicken with Dabu-Dabu Sauce

5.0 from 1 reviews

Author: Anita Jacobson




Prep Time: 15 mins

Cook Time: 15 mins

Total Time: 30 mins

Serves: 4

Print Recipe


  • Chicken
  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breast
  • pinch of salt
  • pinch of ground pepper
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • Dabu-Dabu Sauce
  • 3 medium size tomato
  • 8 shallots (Indonesian: bawang merah)
  • 6 Thai chili (Indonesian: cabe rawit)
  • 1 lime (Indonesian: jeruk nipis)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Garnish
  • lime wedges


  • Chicken
    1. Drizzle some olive oil in a frying pan and heat on medium to high heat.
    2. Pat dry the chicken breasts and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
    3. Once the pan is hot enough (try by sprinkle some flour to the pan, if it sizzles, it is ready), coat the chicken breast with flour and place it on the pan (do the coating just prior to putting it into the pan). Don't crowd the pan too much, it is best to do just two breasts at a time.
    4. When you can see that the breast turns white about half way from the side (around 4 to 5 minutes), flip it and cook the other side until both sides are evenly golden brown. Remove from the pan and set aside. Repeat for the other two chicken breasts.
  • Dabu-Dabu Sauce
    1. Cut tomatoes, shallots, and chilies (you can remove the seeds to reduce the level of spiciness) into small pieces and place in a mixing bowl.
    2. Drizzle with the juice of lime and sprinkle with salt.
    3. Gently fold everything together with a spoon.
  • To serve
    1. Cut each chicken breast into bite sizes and place in a serving plate. Spoon some of the dabu-dabu sauce and garnish with lime wedges. We love eating this with steamed white rice, but I wager it would be wonderful as sandwiches.
Indonesian Pantry
Indonesian Kitchen


  • Dedy@Dentist Chef Dedy@Dentist Chef says:

    wowo, it looks healty and refreshing dish ! actually i would love it even more with finer chopped dabu2 salsa.....

    • Anita Anita says:

      Totally agree with you Dedy, I do need to cut my tomatoes into thinner slices :D

  • PJ PJ says:

    I'm part Javanese, Chinese and Manadonese. You're right Anita, the dabu dabu is definitely reminiscent of salsa. Much of Manadonese food, culture and local language was heavily influenced by the Dutch, Portuguese and Spanish who came for (and stayed, and traded) the plethora of spices of Minahasa. Other local fare favourites that came during same time include the panada (spin-off version of the Portuguese empanada), klappertart (coconut tart, the recipe was created by Dutch housewives who lived in Manado) and oliebolen (Dutch donuts) - to name just a few.

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