Pempek Ayam Lenjer - Fried Chicken Sticks

Author: Anita Jacobson




Prep Time: 2 hours

Cook Time: 1 hour

Total Time: 3 hours

Serves: 6-8


  • Pempek ayam lenjer (chicken sticks)
  • 500 gram skinless boneless chicken breasts
  • 50 gram shallot
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 150 ml (10 tablespoon) ice cold water
  • 250 ml (1 cup) water
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoon anchovy/dashi stock granules
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 125 gram all purpose flour
  • 450 gram - 600 gram tapioca flour
  • Saus cuko (spicy tamarind sauce)
  • 3-5 gram dried red chilies, seeded, soaked in hot water until softened
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 200 gram palm sugar (or dark brown sugar)
  • 100 gram sugar
  • 40 gram tamarind
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 3 tablespoon ground dried shrimps (or 1 tablespoon anchovy/dashi stock granules, or 1/2 tablespoon toasted shrimp paste)
  • 600 ml water
  • Accompaniments (optional)
  • thinly sliced cucumbers
  • boiled egg noodles


  • Pempek ayam lenjer (chicken sticks)
    1. Place chicken breast, shallot, garlic, and ice cold water in a food processor. Ground into a smooth paste, then transfer to a large mixing bowl and set aside.
    2. In a small sauce pot, boil together water, salt, sugar, anchovy/dashi stock granules, and fish sauce. Add all purpose flour and keep stirring until a thick paste is formed. Turn off heat and set aside to cool to room temperature.
    3. Add the thick cooked flour paste to the ground chicken mixture, mix well. Add enough tapioca flour to the mixture, and keep on stirring, and finally kneading with hand into a thick dough. Stop adding tapioca flour once you can scoop a bit of the dough and shape into a small log and it can hold its shape.
    4. Divide into equal 24 portions. Shape each into a 1" diameter log.
    5. Boil a large pot of water in a soup pot. In batches, gently drop the logs into boiling water and cook until the logs float to the surface. Once they float, continue boiling for another 4 minutes. Remove the cooked logs to a strainer/colander. Repeat for the remaining logs. I usually cook 6 pieces at a time, for a total of 4 batches.
    6. Heat 1/2" of oil in a frying pan, fry the boiled chicken logs until golden brown. Set aside over wire rack to remove excess oil.
  • Saus cuko (spicy tamarind sauce)
    1. Puree soaked dried red chilies and garlic in a food processor, then transfer to a sauce pot along with the rest of the sauce ingredients.
    2. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes.
    3. Turn off heat, strain to get a clear sauce.
  • To serve
    1. Cut the fried chicken sticks into bite size pieces and place in a bowl. Top with a bit of the spicy tamarind sauce. Serve with accompaniments if preferred.

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