Who doesn’t love fried chicken? This is probably one of the most universally-recognised comfort foods and so many regions have their own local variations. If you’re a fried chicken aficionado, ayam goreng kuning should be one of the dishes on your bucket list!
Ayam goreng kuning is an Indonesian staple featuring proudly in the menus of Singapore catering companies like Eatz Catering.
A Fried Chicken with an Indonesian Twist
Ayam goreng kuning, as you’ve gathered from the title and the introduction already, is a fried chicken variation that’s quite popular in Indonesia that is sometimes part of the delicious Indonesian dish Nasi Tumpeng . The phrase “ayam goreng” itself is a literal meaning of the dish – it signifies fried chicken in Malay.
Indonesian fried chicken has a very specific flavour profile derived from the marinate that the meat is placed in prior to going into hot oil.
When thinking of fried chicken most people imagine what KFC has to offer. The Southeast Asian variation of the dish, however, is quite different from its Western counterpart. Apart from being marinated to soak up the specific flavours, ayam goreng isn’t covered in batter before being fried. Rather, the meat is pressed in herbs and spices that give it a delicious crunchy crust without the use of a typical batter.
The spice mixture itself is subject to regional variations, depending on when the ayam goreng kuning is being prepared.
Some of the very typical seasoning options include turmeric, lemongrass, ginger, ground shallots, salt, sugar, Indian bay leaves and tamarind juice among others.
Depending on the types of herbs and spices being used, the chicken may be heated a bit to increase the absorption of the flavour prior to the frying.
Once the chicken is ready, it will be fried in either palm or coconut oil. The fried chicken will then be served with rice, tomatoes and cucumbers or sambal terasi (a hot shrimp paste).
Ayam goreng kuning isn’t the only form of fried chicken you’ll find in Southeast Asia. There are many other recipes and variations that give the dish a bit of distinctiveness.
Ayam pop is a Padang-style (a sub-set of Indonesian food coming from West Sumatra) skinless fried chicken. It’s usually fried until a pale colour is achieved (not intensely golden-brown).
Ayam goreng balado is another Padang variation of the recipe. In that case, the fried chicken is coated in balado chili paste before undergoing thermal processing. Balado is a hot and spicy mixture of red chili peppers, garlic, shallots, lime, oil and tomato. It is a staple of West Sumatran cuisine.
There are also ayam goreng Jakarta (an obvious nod to the region where the recipe comes from), ayam goreng serundeng (the recipe includes serundeng grated coconut), ayam goreng berempah (fried till it becomes very slightly burnt and featuring crunchy flour crust) and ayam goreng kunyit (fried chicken pieces covered in a turmeric coating).
What’s the History of Indonesian Fried Chicken?
There aren’t that many specifics pertaining to the history of ayam goreng.
It’s a well-known fact that ayam goreng and its numerous regional variations have been prepared in Indonesia for a very long time.
Farm animals and poultry have been raised in Southeast Asia for millennia. Frying chicken makes it highly nutritional and the herbs/spices don’t just give the meal flavour – they also preserve the meat from becoming spoiled too quick.
As the Western world became enthralled with fried chicken (fast food chains have a lot to do with the trend), there was also a resurgence in the popularity of ayam goreng kuning and the numerous other regional variations.
Today, ayam goreng kuning is very often featured during celebratory meals and feasts. It can be served on its own as a main dish or it can be presented as a side dish/appetiser in buffet arrangements.
If you’ve never given ayam goreng kuning a try, we have a special offering for you.
The delicious Indonesian fried chicken is included in the Eatz Catering Peranakan Buffets and the Nasi Tumpeng Buffet set. You can try ayam goreng kuning alongside other regional staples like ayam masak buah keluak (a Peranakan classic that roughly translates to chicken braised with black nuts), prawn sambal petai, sambal belachan and sweet and sour fish.
For more information, don’t hesitate to contact the Eatz Catering team.