Malaysian Inspired Chicken Dishes

This webpage is dedicated to chicken dishes that I grew up with in Malaysia :)

- Ayam Percik

- Ayam Masak Merah

Ayam Percik

Ayam percik, Malay words for Spicy BBQ chicken. It is one of my favorite Malay-style grilled chicken. I remembered the exotic spicy smells every time my mum would pick up ayam percik from a local chicken eatery. After 8 years away from home, I decided to make this dish. Initially, I thought it was difficult to concoct but to my surprise, it's not. I modified this recipe and made my own version from ingredients I can find in the USA. This BBQ dish can be another yummy alternative to the American styles. Enjoy!


1 whole chicken breast with skin on (do trim away fat), 1 lemon grass stalk, 4 shallots, 3 garlic cloves, 1 fresh Hungarian wax pepper (or 4 Thai chilies), 1 cup thick coconut milk, 1 tsp ground nutmeg, 1 tsp turmeric powder, 1 tsp ground cinnamon, 1 tsp chili powder, 1 tsp ground ginger, 1 tsp ground black pepper, 0.5 tsp salt, 1 tsp sugar and 1 medium size lime


1. Peel skin off garlic and shallots. Remove outer and tough layers of lemon stalk. Crush the garlic, shallot, chilies and lemon stalk till pulp in a food processor

2. In a large bowl, mix pulp with spices, coconut powder, salt and sugar

3. Roll lime to get the juices going. Zest the lime and add zest in the marinade. Slice the lime and squeeze it in the marinade. Stir to blend well

4. Pierce a few holes in the chicken meat with a fork. Place chicken in the marinade and cover. Let it marinade for at least 3 hours or overnight in the fridge. Turn chicken occasionally

5. Prepare BBQ pit with handfuls of charcoals. When the coals are hot, spread charcoals to occupy half of the pit. Place grill over the charcoals. Spray the grill with cooking oil

6. Place chicken on the grill close to but not directly over the charcoals. Cover the grill and let the chicken cook for an hour

7. During this time, reduce the leftover marinade over medium heat until bubbly. Remove from heat and set aside

8. Open the grill and flip the chicken. Spread marinade over the cooked side of the chicken. Cover and let the chicken cook for another hour or until the chicken is cooked thoroughly

9. Serve chicken with cooked marinade as a dipping sauce

Ayam Masak Merah

Literally means "chicken cooked red" in Malay. It is a spicy chicken dish simmered in tomato sauce. It is a delicious dish, great for a change in your every day chicken meal.

My recipe tends to be on the spicier side so do adjust the amount of sambal to your taste.


4 chicken breasts, 1 tbs turmeric powder, 0.5 tbs cumin powder, 0.5 tsp salt, 0.5 cup vegetable oil, 1 inch ginger root, 1 small lemongrass stalk, 2 tbs sambal, 1 large tomato, 3 tbs ketchup, 0.25 cup water, and half of lime


1. Cut chicken into cubes. Marinate chicken with turmeric powder, cumin powder, and salt. Set aside for 30 mins

2. Pulverize ginger root and lemongrass stalk. Slice tomato to bite size

3. Heat vegetable oil in a large pan. Brown marinated chicken on all sides (take about 5 to 7 minutes). Remove chicken onto paper towels to drain excess oil

4. Save 1 tbs of oil and remove the rest from the pan. Over low heat, fry sambal, ginger, and lemon stalk until fragrant

5. Add chicken, tomato, ketchup, and water into the pan. Mix together and cover. Stir occasionally until the sauce thickens (about 15 minutes)

6. Squeeze lime and stir the mixture

7. Serve warm with rice

Served with plain Jasmine rice

Served with nasi kunyit and Nyonya acar