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Bubur Ayam - Chicken Congee

What can be better than a bowl of Indonesian bubur ayam in cold days? Piping hot chicken congee served with spiced chicken stock and fried chicken pieces.

Congee is comfort food for most Asian and there is a wide variety depending on countries and regions. Today I am going to focus on Indonesian bubur ayam - chicken congee.

This version of congee is the kind you find being sold by hawkers at almost every side street in the country. If you ever visit Indonesia, you must give it a try even at the risk of stomach discomfort!

My tip to staying safe from eating side street food is to stick to the ones crowded with mobs of hungry buyers. Those usually sell delicious food at a very reasonable price and with minimal risk from getting food poisoning.

If you want to try at your own home, you can, of course, follow this recipe :)

Bubur Ayam - Chicken Congee
Bubur Ayam - Chicken Congee

What's considered as a complete bubur ayam

Taking an analogy from the world of music, bubur ayam is an orchestra, and not a single piece.

It means bubur ayam is not just about the congee.

It is also about the chicken simmered in spiced broth, then lightly fried and shredded.

It is the said broth, strained, and serve along with the congee.

And of course, let us not forget the numerous sides that accompany the congee.

Some of the must-have sides include:

  • cakwe (Chinese crullers), cut into thin pieces.
  • prawn crackers, or onion crackers (Indonesian: kerupuk udang, or kerupuk bawang)
  • fried peanuts
  • chopped fresh scallions and cilantro leaves
  • fried shallots (Indonesian: bawang goreng)
  • sambal (chili sauce), Sriracha or sambal oelek is a good choice if you don’t have the time to make homemade sambal. For those of us grew up eating this from the various bubur sellers in Jakarta, you probably want to make some sambal kacang.
  • kecap manis (Indonesian sweet soy sauce), I prefer Bango brand over ABC brand, but both are delicious with this congee.

If you cannot make the complete set of sides, I highly recommend to at least have the cakwe/Chinese crullers and some chopped fresh scallions and cilantro along with the congee, fried chicken, and the chicken broth.

Bubur Ayam - Chicken Congee
Bubur Ayam - Chicken Congee

What's in my bubur ayam recipe

I aim to provide the minimum required components to prepare a complete Indonesian style bubur ayam, so you will be able to make the following with this recipe:

  • the congee itself,
  • the fried chicken, and
  • the chicken broth.

I already share my cakwe/Chinese crullers recipe in the previous post if you are up to the challenge of making some at home.

If you have access to a pretty well-stocked Chinese grocery, there is a high chance that they will sell it in their frozen section.

The same goes for prawn crackers and kecap manis (Indonesian sweet soy sauce), just not in the frozen aisle of course :)

Bubur Ayam - Chicken Congee

5.0 from 16 reviews

Author: Anita Jacobson




Prep Time: 15 mins

Cook Time: 1 hour

Total Time: 1 hour 15 mins

Serves: 4

Print Recipe


  • Congee
  • 1 rice cooker cup (~ 150 gram or 3/4 regular cup) rice, Thai variety is highly preferred
  • 2 Indonesian daun salam (Indonesian bay leaves) (optional)
  • 7 cup chicken stock (or water)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, or as necessary
  • Fried chicken & chicken broth
  • 1 lemongrass (Indonesian: sereh), bruised and knotted
  • 2 kaffir lime leaves (Indonesian: daun jeruk)
  • 2 Indonesian daun salam (Indonesian bay leaves) (optional)
  • 1 inch galangal (Indonesian: lengkuas), bruised
  • a pair of chicken breasts (either skinless boneless, or with boned in and skin intact)
  • 4 cups chicken stock (or water)
  • 1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper, or to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar, or to taste
  • Spice paste (grind the following together)
  • 80 gram shallot (Indonesian: bawang merah)
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 4 toasted candlenuts (Indonesian: kemiri sangrai), or toasted macadamia nuts
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • Accompaniments
  • cakwe (Chinese crullers), cut into small pieces
  • prawn crackers/onion crackers (Indonesian: kerupuk udang/kerupuk bawang)
  • fried shallots (Indonesian: bawang merah goreng)
  • thinly sliced scallions
  • thinly sliced cilantro leaves
  • peanut chili sauce (Indonesian: sambal kacang)
  • kecap manis (Indonesian sweet soy sauce)


  • Congee
    1. Wash and drain rice, then place in a pot along with daun salam, chicken stock, and salt. Bring to a boil, then lower to a simmer, cover, and cook until tender and thickened into a congee consistency.
  • Chicken broth
    1. Heat 2 tablespoon of oil in a soup pot over medium high heat. Sauté spice paste, lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, daun salam, and galangal until fragrant.
    2. Add chicken breast and cook until both sides are no longer pink. Then add chicken stock, salt, ground pepper, and sugar. Bring to a boil.
    3. Reduce heat to a simmer, cover the pot, and cook for about 20-30 minutes, or until the chicken is infused with the spiced broth.
    4. Remove the cooked chicken breasts from the broth and set aside until quite dry.
    5. Strain the broth to serve along the congee.
  • Fried chicken
    1. Once the strained chicken breasts are quite dry, heat a bit of oil in a frying pan over medium heat, and fry until both sides are golden brown.
    2. Shred the fried chicken breast into thin pieces with a pair of forks (or hands but make sure they are cooled enough to handle!).
  • To serve
    1. Ladle congee into serving bowls, and serve along the strained chicken broth, the shredded fried chicken, and the assorted accompaniments.
Indonesian Pantry
Indonesian Kitchen


  • Dave Dave says:

    Terima kasih banyak bu, untuk menulis recep dan artikal ini. Hari ini saya merasa sedih karena saya sakit sedikit. Sepuluh tahun dulu saya tinggal di indonesia untuk setahun (maaf kalau bahasa indonesia saya tidak bagus sekarang!) Saya cinta makanannya, orang-orangnya, kulturnya, musiknya, dan cinta buburnya banget haha. Saya memakan itu waktu dulu saya sakit di indonesia, jadi saya kangen itu kapan saya sakit disini. Itu tidak dijual disini (di inggris) jadi saya akan memesaknya sama recep dia. Saya membaca recep-recep dia sering-sering dan suka memesaknya untuk teman-teman saya. Mereka memikir yang itu eksotik, istimewa, dan enak! Hope that made some sense, its been a long time since I spoke any Indonesian! Really love your website.. It's great to have so many indo recipes in one place and the simple design runs really smooth on handphones (unlike lots of sites). Do you have any recipes for jamu, I'd be interested to read them if so. However, definitely think bubur is the medicine my aching stomach needs right now. Cheers! (Bersulang?)

    • Anita Anita says:

      Hi Dave, your Indonesian is still very good. I can understand your sentences just fine :) Also, thanks for the compliment for the site. Hm... I don't have traditional jamu recipes here, but I do have some traditional drinks that we kinda drink when feeling a bit under the weather, such as wedang jahe sereh, wedang teh susu, or the more potent wedang jahe. But bubur sure is quite perfect, especially when the stomach needs a milder sort of food. I hope you will get well soon. Cheers!

  • Kate Kate says:

    Looks so delicious, saving this for later!

  • Traci Traci says:

    I love every single ingredient in this recipe! What a scrumptious number that's actually pretty approachable. Thanks for sharing another winner :)

  • Emmeline Emmeline says:

    Mmm this looks delicious! Just what I want these cold November days!

  • Mary Mary says:

    What a great collection of flavors! I love thinking of it as an orchestra all playing together!

  • Rebecca Rebecca says:

    this looks delicious! I've never tried congee before but now I definitely need to!

  • Dannii Dannii says:

    I love making this. So delicious and a great way to use chicken.

  • veena Azmanov veena Azmanov says:

    This looks awesome and the flavors amazing. Surely need to get this done for family. My first attempt to trying it.

  • Alice | Skinny Spatula Alice | Skinny Spatula says:

    I love crispy chicken - I'll definitely give this one a go!

  • Helen Helen says:

    This looks great - I can imagine how good all those components will taste together.

  • Helen Of Fuss Free Flavours Helen Of Fuss Free Flavours says:

    This was such a good read, and has made me feel quite hungry! The dish sounds really interesting, and I love how the combination of dishes makes it work. Describing it as an orchestra is just wonderful, and I totally understand it.

  • Syarifa Syarifa says:

    Anita, this bubur ayam is perfect for cooler days! I will learn how to make cakwe, but it is perfect enough without it. Thanks!

  • Bram Surjadinata Bram Surjadinata says:

    Terima kasih ya :) Very delicious, I made this today for my mother. It made her day.

  • Kana Alam Kana Alam says:

    Oh my godddddd this was amaaaaazing. Tasted just like home. Thanks so much!

  • Bing Bing says:

    This is fantastic. Just what we needed for a comforting taste of my home region. Thank you!

  • Julian Julian says:

    So delicious.

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