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Ayam Tinoransak - Manado Spicy Braised Chicken

Spicy food lovers will love this braised chicken dish from Manado. The lemongrass and kaffir lime leaves make this dish super refreshing, while the chilies provide the heat.
Ayam Tinoransak - Manado Spicy Braised Chicken.

Ayam Tinoransak - Manado Spicy Braised Chicken.

Among the varied cuisines in Indonesia, Manado cuisine is famous for being extremely spicy. Many Manado dishes use plenty of chilies, so it is not for the faint of heart.

Even though I love Manado cuisine, I rarely visit a Manado restaurant. Each dish easily comes with 20+ bird-eye chilies, and my poor stomach cannot handle it. I prefer to cook Manado dishes at home because I can make the dish less spicy and perfect for my family.

Ayam Tinoransak is a spicy braised chicken dish from Manado. This dish feels fresh and light because it uses plenty of lemongrass and kaffir lime leaves.

Comparing this dish to many other Indonesian recipes, it also uses fewer ingredients, but the flavor is not compromised. If your Asian market stocks lemongrass and kaffir lime leaves, you must try cooking this in your kitchen.

Ingredients for Ayam Tinoransak (Manado spicy braised chicken): chicken drumsticks, lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, turmeric, shallot, serrano/jalapeno chilies, bird-eye chilies, ginger, salt, and palm sugar.

Ingredients for Ayam Tinoransak (Manado spicy braised chicken): chicken drumsticks, lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, turmeric, shallot, serrano/jalapeno chilies, bird-eye chilies, ginger, salt, and palm sugar.

Ingredients for Ayam Tinoransak

  • chicken drumsticks
  • lemongrass
  • kaffir lime leaves
  • turmeric powder
  • shallot
  • green serrano/jalapeno chilies
  • red bird-eye chilies
  • ginger
  • salt
  • palm sugar

Lemongrass

Use fresh lemongrass whenever possible. Frozen whole lemongrass is a good substitute for fresh lemongrass, and your Asian market may stock frozen lemongrass in the freezers.

The last option is to use lemongrass paste. I suggest using about four tablespoons of lemongrass paste to substitute fresh/frozen lemongrass for this recipe.

Kaffir lime leaves

Fresh kaffir lime leaves should be available in most Asian markets. A packet can last for a while, and you can always freeze the extras for later.

If you can’t get fresh kaffir lime leaves, you may also use dried kaffir lime leaves. The dried leaves are available from online stores such as Amazon, so this may be an easier option for most people.

If using dried leaves, double the amount since the flavor is weaker compared to fresh leaves.

(1) Puree shallot, chilies, and ginger into a smooth paste. (2) Sauté spice paste, lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, and turmeric. (3) Add chicken pieces and cook until no longer pink. (4) Add water, salt, and palm sugar.

(1) Puree shallot, chilies, and ginger into a smooth paste. (2) Sauté spice paste, lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, and turmeric. (3) Add chicken pieces and cook until no longer pink. (4) Add water, salt, and palm sugar.

How to cook Ayam Tinoransak

  1. Puree shallot, green serrano/jalapeno chilies, red bird-eye chilies, and ginger into a smooth paste.

  2. Heat oil in a pot and sauté spice paste, turmeric powder, lemongrass, and kaffir lime leaves until fragrant, about 3 minutes.

  3. Add chicken pieces, stir, and cook until no longer pink.

  4. Pour the water into the pot, season with salt and sugar, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 25 minutes until chicken is tender and fully cooked, and the sauce has somewhat reduced. Adjust salt and sugar as needed.

  5. Turn off the heat and serve immediately with steamed white rice.

Stop cooking once the chicken is tender and the sauce has reduced.

Stop cooking once the chicken is tender and the sauce has reduced.

Serving, storing, and reheating Ayam Tinoransak

Serving

Since this is a spicy dish, I find it best to serve it with steamed white rice. The rice soaks up all the flavorful sauce and helps reduce the impact of the chilies.

Most Indonesian serve their meals with a glass of ice tea or plenty of iced water, which will be a welcome should you need to combat the spiciness from the chilies.

Storing

You can store any leftovers in an airtight container. It should stay fresh in the fridge for up to a week. You can freeze the dish for up to 2 months.

Reheating

The easiest option to reheat the dish is with a microwave. For the ones stored in the fridge, you only need about 60 to 90 seconds in the microwave.

You can reheat the frozen dish in the microwave, but I prefer to thaw it in the fridge before reheating. Alternatively, you can reheat the frozen dish on a stove using a saucepot.

Transfer the spicy braised chicken to a serving bowl, and optionally garnish with fresh kaffir lime leaves.

Transfer the spicy braised chicken to a serving bowl, and optionally garnish with fresh kaffir lime leaves.

Other Manado recipes to try

If you love this Ayam Tinoransak and want to try other Manado dishes, you will love these recipes:

This spicy braised chicken is best served with plenty of white rice to soak up the sauce and combat the heat from the chilies.

This spicy braised chicken is best served with plenty of white rice to soak up the sauce and combat the heat from the chilies.

Ayam Tinoransak - Manado Spicy Braised Chicken

5.0 from 5 reviews

Author: Anita Jacobson

Categories:

Cuisine:

Ingredients:

Prep Time: 30 mins

Cook Time: 45 mins

Total Time: 1 hour 15 mins

Serves: 8

Print Recipe

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoon oil
  • 2 lemongrass, bruised and cut into 2 inch lengths
  • 8 kaffir lime leaves, remove the ribs
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 8-10 chicken drumsticks, or a whole chicken cut into 8 pieces
  • 3 cups (750 ml) water
  • 1 tablespoon salt, or to taste
  • 1 tablespoon palm sugar, or to taste
  • Spice paste (grind the following)
  • 100 gram shallots
  • 4-8 green serrano/jalapeno chilies
  • 3-6 red bird-eye chilies
  • 1 inch ginger

Instructions

  1. Heat oil in a pot and sauté spice paste, turmeric powder, lemongrass, and kaffir lime leaves until fragrant, about 3 minutes.
  2. Add chicken pieces, stir, and cook until no longer pink.
  3. Pour the water into the pot, season with salt and sugar, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 25 minutes until chicken is tender and fully cooked, and the sauce has somewhat reduced. Adjust salt and sugar as needed.
  4. Turn off the heat and serve immediately with steamed white rice.
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Indonesian Kitchen

Comments

  • Yi @ Yi Reservation Yi @ Yi Reservation says:

    I really love the aroma from lemongrass and kaffir lime leaves. The kaffir lime leaves are pretty hard to find in NYC but I mentioned to find a big batch some time ago and have been using Thai curry and my rendang beef (yummy) since! Just judging by the ingredients in this dish I really love it! Will let you know how the chicken comes out! Thanks!

  • Gene Cox Gene Cox says:

    My goodness that sounds good. I haven't eaten Thai food in a while, so I don't know if I can take the hot, so I will take your advice and reduce the chilis. Thanks for a wonderful supper idea. I will make it now.

    • Anita Anita says:

      I hope you will love the dish, Gene. By the way, it is an Indonesian dish. :)

  • Eiling Eiling says:

    Love all your recipes and photos! This dish looked so good, it was one of the first dishes (out of many!) I chose to make. I see that you do some Japanese dishes too. I do plenty of Jap food myself, but first time attempting Indonesian food. :) Will try Telur Bumbu Bali and Soto Ayam Ambengan tomorrow.

  • Ari Ari says:

    I think tinorangsak is better when made with pork :)

    • Anita Anita says:

      Really? Then I must try doing so next time.

  • Angelique Angelique says:

    Hello! I love your recipes and have been trying several! I have a question—does this keep well? If I cook today and serve in 2 days…?

    • Anita Anita says:

      Hi Angelique, definitely! I always make a big batch and store it in an airtight container in the fridge. Then, I will just portion out the amount as I need for my meal and use my microwave to reheat. It should easily stay fresh for a week in the fridge.

  • Carrie Robinson Carrie Robinson says:

    Oh wow! I had never heard of this dish before, but it sounds so flavorful! Can't wait to try this recipe soon. :)

  • Diana Reis Diana Reis says:

    I love braised chicken and the flavors in this dish are wonderful and spicy.

  • Sara Welch Sara Welch says:

    Enjoyed this for dinner last night and it was a hit all around the table! Such a unique blend of flavors; easily, a new family favorite meal!

  • Janessa Janessa says:

    I've never tried cooking chicken drumsticks but this looks absolutely delicious! Your post is very thorough so I feel confident that I could make it and am planning to make it this weekend.

  • Geraldine Geraldine says:

    Hi Anita. I have a question. When should I put turmeric powder in the cooking? I don't see it in the cooking steps. Thank you for always sharing recipes. :)

    • Anita Anita says:

      Hi Geraldine, oh no, it is indeed missing from the recipe. Please add the turmeric powder along with spice paste, lemongrass, and kaffir lime leaves (step 1). :)

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