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Indonesian Fried Chicken

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I learned to make this amazing Indonesian fried chicken recipe in Bali. It’s really easy to prepare.

If you like your KFC, you are going to love this Indonesian fried chicken. It has so much more flavour and it’s lighter too. Just enough flour is used to coat the chicken that is marinated with a tasty sambal.

Indonesian fried chicken

Really crispy and packed with flavour. Try this!

What is Indonesian fried chicken?

There are many different recipes for Indonesian fried chicken. Some are heavily coated in flour, while others are coated in a batter before frying. In this recipe, you simply coat the chicken with aromatic ingredients to marinate along with a small amount of rice or cornflour (corn starch).

One thing they all seem to have in common is the use of a sambal marinade, just like the one you will be making for this recipe.

What flour?

Although you will find many recipes for Indonesian  fried chicken that call for wheat flour, it is far more common to use rice flour. Rice flour gives the chicken a nice, crispy exterior. 

In fact, the chicken will stay good and crispy for quite some time after you finish cooking. 

Is this Indonesian fried chicken gluten free?

You bet! Whether you used rice flour, cornflour (corn starch) or a combination of them both, this fried chicken recipe is gluten free.

If you are not on a gluten free diet and only have plain (all purpose) flour, that will work too. 

Working ahead.

The chicken can be season with salt and pepper a good day ahead of cooking. It will penetrate the chicken and add more flavour.

You can also marinate the chicken for 24 hours. The longer marination time will be beneficial to the flavour. 

Marinating time…

You really can marinate the chicken with the marinade ingredients and go straight to frying. For best results, marinate the chicken for at least 30 minutes or even overnight. The longer the better. 

To cooking tips…

  • Ensure that you use bone in chicken with the skin on for the best flavour and texture. 
  • Be sure that your oil is hot enough before adding the marinated chicken. If it is not hot enough, the chicken will become greasy. 
  • Rest your Indonesian fried chicken for a couple of minutes after frying. Then serve immediately.

What do you serve Indonesian fried chicken with?

As there are no spicy hot spices in the marinade, you might want to serve Indonesian fried chicken with sambal oelek or another good hot sauce.

Fried potatoes, green salad or fried vegetables like this Indonesian green beans recipe are also popular sides. 

Step by step photos of Indonesian fried chicken

Ingredients for Indonesian fried chicken.

Get your ingredients together before starting. It’s easier that way.

Blending the marinade ingredients

I usually blend the chunky ingredients first.

Preparing the marinade.

You can then add the ground spices which will blend well with the prepared marinade.

Seasoning the chicken with salt and pepper.

Season the chicken with salt and pepper. This can be done a day ahead of frying.

Covering the chicken with the marinade and flour.

Rub the prepared marinade into the chicken. Then add the flour.

Chicken marinating.

Once mixed into the chicken, the marinade and flour should look like this.

Frying the chicken.

Give the chicken another good stir to coat and then add it to hot oil to fry for about 10 to 15 minutes.

Finished Indonesian fried chicken.

Fry until deep, golden brown and crispy. This usually takes 10 to 15 minutes.

If you like this Indonesian fried chicken recipe, you might also like to try some of these.

Indonesian Chicken Sate
Soto Ayam
Sambal Oelek – Indonesian hot sauce
Chicken with Sambal Matah
Babi Kecap
Spicy Green Beans Indonesian Style
Indonesian Bakso
Ikan Bakar – Indonesian Fried Fish
Nasi Goreng
Mee Goreng
Sambal La La – Spicy Clams
Indonesian Blackened Fish
Seafood Laksa
Chicken Rendang
Beef Rendang
Butter Egg Floss Prawns
Malaysian Chicken Curry
Malaysian Devil Curry
Ayam Masak Merah – Malaysian Red Chicken Curry
Chicken Kapitan
Homemade Kecap Manis

Have you tried this Indonesian fried chicken recipe?

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Yield: 4

Indonesian Fried Chicken

Indonesian fried chicken
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes


  • 1kg (2 lbs) chicken thighs and legs on the bone
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 85g (1/3 cup) rice flour or cornflour (cornstarch)
  • Rapeseed (canola) oil for deep frying
  • 5 shallots, roughly chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 1 x 2.5cm (1 inch) ginger, roughly chopped
  • 1 x 2.5cm (1 inch) galangal, roughly chopped
  • 2 makrut lime leaves, stem removed and roughly chopped
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tbsp ground turmeric
  • 2 stalks Lemongrass, white part only, finely chopped


  1. Season the chicken with salt and pepper. This can be done up to
    a day before you fry.
  2. To make the marinade, place all of the ingredients in a blender or food processor with just enough water to make a smooth marinade. Pour the marinade all over the chicken and add the flour. Mix well with your hands
    to coat. Allow to marinate for at least 30 minutes or up to 24 hours. The longer the better.
  3. When ready to fry, heat enough oil for deep frying over a high heat. You are aiming for a cooking temperature of 175c/350f. If you don’t have an oil thermometer, Test the oil by dipping one piece of the chicken in. If thousands of little bubbles form and bubble around the chicken like crazy on contact, you’re good to go. You can cook in batches if necessary.
  4. Carefully add the chicken and fry for about 10 - 15 minutes or until golden brown and crispy. Be sure to move the chicken around in the pan from time to time so that it doesn’t stick to the bottom. Transfer the cooked chicken to a metal rack to drip any excess oil and season with more salt and pepper to taste.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 422Total Fat: 18gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 14gCholesterol: 42mgSodium: 1893mgCarbohydrates: 53gFiber: 4gSugar: 8gProtein: 16g

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I hope you enjoy this Indonesian fried chicken recipe. If you do try it, please leave a comment. I’d love to hear from you. 


Sunday 26th of March 2023

Do you think that this could be adapted to work in an air fryer?

Dan Toombs

Sunday 2nd of April 2023

Yes, you could try this in an air fryer to make it healthier. Thanks Dan

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