This Indonesian chicken recipe is so easy to prepare and tastes amazing!
While travelling in Bali, Caroline and I were introduced to many Indonesian chicken recipes. Some were quite complicated and others were very simple. This is one of the simple Indian chicken recipes that is packed with the delicious flavour of homemade sambal matah.
About this recipe…
One of the most delicious and easy starters I tried in Ubud, Bali was at a place called Biah Biah. The restaurant was recommended by a friend and every dish was amazing. Chicken with sambal matah was one of many dishes we ordered. That’s it in the photo above. No, I can’t prepare the banana leaves so they look that pretty but if you can it does look good.
It’s really just a light, chicken salad that’s packed with the delicious flavours of a raw sambal.
If you can’t be bothered to cook one evening and want a healthy dinner, purchase a cooked rotisserie chicken and peel off all the meat to use in this recipe. That works fine.
What is Sambal Matah?
There are many different sambals served in Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore. Each region has their own special version. Sambal Matah is hugely popular all over Bali and it translates as raw sambal. It’s similar to the way you would prepare a Mexican salsa.
This version, however requires a little cooking. Shrimp paste and finely sliced lemongrass are first fried in coconut oil. This cooks the shrimp paste and tenderises the lemongrass. The shrimp paste, coconut oil and lemongrass mixture is then poured over the raw ingredients. It tastes incredible!
Do I have to add the chicken?
Nope. Sambal matah is good as a side dish for many different Indonesian dishes. It’s used similar to a Mexican salsa. You also don’t have to add the shrimp paste if you are vegetarian.
Indonesian chicken with sambal matah in pictures…
If you like this Indonesian chicken with sambal matah, try some of these too…
Crispy Vietnamese Pancakes
Vietnamese grilled scallops
Bo Kho – Vietnamese beef stew
Cha Ca – Fried fish with dill
Bun Cha – Vietnamese grilled pork patties in sauce
Vietnamese fish sauce chicken wings
Vietnamese pork and lemongrass skewers
Pork stuffed tofu in tomato sauce
- 8 boneless chicken thighs or breasts, skinned
- Salt and freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
- 2 tbsp rapeseed (canola) or coconut oil
- FOR THE SAMBAL MATAH
- 8 green bird’s eye chilies, chopped finely
- 2 red jalepenos or bird’s eye chillies
- 8 shallots, sliced thinly
- 5 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 lime leaves, stem removed and sliced thinly
- 1 tbsp lime juice
- Salt to taste
- Sugar to taste (optional)
- 2 lemongrass, peeled white part only
- ½ tsp terasi or Chinese shrimp paste (optional)
- 3 tbsp coconut oil
- To make the sambal matah, place the chillies, shallots, garlic, lime leaves and lime juice in a mixing bowl. Set aside.
- Heat the coconut oil in a pan over medium high heat and fry the lemongrass to soften for a couple of minutes. Then add the shrimp paste and fry, stirring continuously for another 30 seconds.
- Pour this over the chopped veggies and mix it in. Taste it and add salt and/or sugar to taste. Set aside.
- To cook the chicken, season the chicken thighs with salt and pepper to taste. Then heat the oil for the chicken in the same pan over medium high heat.
- When visibly hot, add the chicken and cook for about 4 minutes per side or until cooked through. The juices should run clear when pricked with a knife. The cooked temperature for chicken is 75c/165f.
- Shred the cooked chicken into bite sized pieces and mix it into the sambal matah. Serve immediately with a few ice cold Bitangs if you like.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 319Total Fat: 17gSaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 138mgSodium: 427mgCarbohydrates: 14gFiber: 2gSugar: 5gProtein: 29g