7 Indonesian Traditional Chicken Dishes


If we could draw an Indonesian Culinary map, the result would very colorful. From Sabang to Merauke, we can see the different dishes, all rich in spices and variations. Even one single ingredient can be cooked in many variations.

Let’s talk about Indonesian dishes made from one main ingredient: chicken. These dishes, although they are made from same main ingredient, have different flavor, appearance, and fragrance. Have you tasted these 8 specialty chicken dishes from various regions of Indonesia:

  1. Ayam Tangkap from Aceh

    Roughly translated, Ayam Tangkap means ‘catching chicken’. No, this is not a menu where you need to catch the chicken first before enjoying this delicious dish. Ayam Tangkap is made from marinated chicken and served in a plate full of fried leaves such as curry leaves and pandan leaves. The spicy chicken and unique flavor of the leaves is a very precise combination, giving you a whole new experience of enjoying fried chicken!
  2. Ayam Napinadar from North Sumatera
    ayam napinadar

    Usually, this dish is served during Batak traditional ceremonies. It is said that cooking this dish needs special spices and patience. The unique thing about this dish is that the sauce is made from chicken’s blood itself! Andaliman (Batak specialty pepper) and minced garlic are mixed to the chicken’s blood, and this sauce is served with the grilled chicken.
  3. Ayam Goreng Kalasan from Yogyakarta
    ayam goreng kalasan

    This fried chicken is cooked with special spices from Kalasan, Sleman, Yogyakarta. Before fried, the chicken is boiled in coconut milk and spices made from garlic, galangal, palm sugar, and bay leaves. Usually, kremes (crispy rice flour crumbles) are sprinkle on this dish to enhance the flavor. This dish is best served with hot Sambal Tomat and hot steamed rice!
  4. Ayam Woku from North Sulawesi
    ayam woku

    Dishes from Manado, North Sulawesi are mostly hot and spicy. So is Ayam Woku. As the name implies, the chicken is cooked in Woku, an authentic Manado sauce made from red ginger, turmeric, candlenut, and red chili pepper, mixed with chopped shallot, scallion, tomato, lemon or citrus leaf and turmeric leaf, lemon basil leaf and bruised lemongrass. It has rich aroma and of course, spicy taste!
  5. Ayam Betutu from Bali
    ayam betutu

    Indonesians are quite familiar with this specialty dish from Bali. Originated from Gilimanuk, Bali, this dish is always available in the restaurants serving Indonesian cuisines. Ayam Betutu is marinated in special spices and sauce before it’s grilled. It is perfect to be served with Sambal Matah!
  6. Ayam Taliwang from West Nusa Tenggara
    ayam taliwang

    This is also probably one of the popular kinds of grilled chicken from Indonesia. Unlike other grilled chickens, when Ayam Taliwang has been grilled halfway, it is removed from the grill and tenderized with pestle. It is then dipped in cooking oil, and then is put in a spicy sauce of garlic, chili, and shrimp paste. Usually, Ayam Taliwang is served along with water spinach (pelecing) and eggplant covered with chili sauce.
  7. Ayam Paniki from Ternate
    ayam paniki

    From the eastern part of Indonesia, this dish will surely make your taste buds happy! Chicken meat is cooked in coconut milk and spices made from ginger, lemon grass, garlic, turmeric, coriander, and other herbs. Ayam Paniki tastes spicy and it tastes even more delicious if you eat this with hot steamed rice. Yummy!