New Recipes

Balinese Chicken (Ayam Pelalah)


Balinese Shredded Chicken Recipe (Ayam Pelalah)

400g chicken breast

Aromatic herbs:

2 salam leaves (Indonesian bay leaves)
3 kaffir lime leaves (daun jeruk)
2 stalks lemongrass , bruised and tie into a knot
Juice from 3 limes (limau), optional

Spice paste:

10 red chilies, deseeded and sliced
6 bird eye chilies, sliced
10 shallots, sliced
5 garlic, chopped
3cm fresh turmeric root, sliced
½ teaspoon toasted shrimp paste (terasi/belachan)
1 tablespoons olive oil or coconut oil
Oil, for frying
Salt and sugar to taste


Preheat the oven 180 degree Celsius. Rub the chicken breast with the olive oil or coconut oil and season with salt. Place the chicken on a baking tray and roast until done, about 40 minutes.

Using a mortar and pestle or food processor, combine chilies, shallots, garlic and turmeric, grind to a smooth paste. If you using a blender, make sure to add a little bit of water or cooking oil to blend the ingredients.

Heat 5 tablespoons of the cooking oil in a wok, add in the spice paste, lemongrass, bay leaves, and kaffir lime leaves, stir-fry until fragrant. Season with salt and sugar to taste. Add in another tablespoon of cooking oil if you want. Remove from the heat and transfer into a bowl, set aside.

Back to the chicken in the oven. When it’s done roasting, remove from the oven and let cool. Discard the skin and deboned, shred the meat into medium-thick strips. Take a spoonful of the spice paste, combine with the chicken meat with the spice paste, toss well until the chicken until the chicken is perfectly coated with the spice paste. Add another spoon of the spice paste if not well coated. Serve the remaining spice paste as a side or as sambal.

Meanwhile, heat a non-stick skillet over medium heat, place half of the chicken and stir-fry for about 2 minutes, repeat the same for the remaining chicken. (I did this step because I found that the shredded chicken meat was a bit wet after being mixed with the spice paste so by doing the quick stir-fry, the texture is what I wanted, a slightly dried up shredded chicken that I love. If you use charcoal to grill the chicken, coal-grill, other than oven grill/roasting, I don’t think of this step is required.)

Transfer the chicken onto a a serving plate and squeeze the juice of the lime before serving.

Cook’s Note:

The limau lime (jeruk limo/nasnaran Mandarin), or jeruk sambal is used for enhancing the flavor of sambal and sauces. It’s commonly used in Balinese cooking. The fruit is small with a smooth skin surface, it releases an aromatic and citrucy smell when it’s touched and squeezed.

Enter to Win FREE Prizes

Kitchen Supreme Bundle Giveaway
Vinturi Vertical Lever Wine Corkscrew Giveaway
Tovolo Christmas 2015 Bundle Giveaway

20 COMMENTS... read them below or add one

  1. Pepy@Indonesia Eats

    When I saw the picture through your RM Facebook, immediately I recognized the style. Ira’s photo style is very unique. Not to mention the props that I envy. Very Indonesian style! :)

    I’d like to have this with a plate of rice.

  2. momgateway

    Can’t wait to try this! The combination of spice paste and aromatic herbs looks so good…since I can’t eat chicken,, I’ll try this with fish. Thank you, thank you!

  3. Adrienne

    Hi Bee, Thanks for the Balinese Chicken recipe. Being Aussies we travel to bali twice a year and LOVE the food there. Bali is almost an outer lying suburb of Australia!!! I will def. be cooking this for my family till our next trip to Indonesia in April. :) YUM xxx A

  4. ben

    Hi Ira / Bee, is the shrimp paste compulsory? I bought a block of dried shrimp paste from a local Asian supermarket labelled terasi/belachan (Malaysian made). How do I toast it? And my partner hates shrimp paste smell, any tips in cooking this without overwhelming the entire house with the smell?

  5. Beverley dirckze

    We have returned from Bali. we loved the place the friendly people . the food was awesome and so flavoursome I loved it in fact i loved every bit the country had to offer.

  6. Margaret Reeves

    I went to Bali to meet some friends who are both, like me, originally from Louisiana in the south portion of the USA.I had four days on my own and stayed at an beautiful old resort at the end of the old part of the city. It was wonderful, but I really got a work out because the Villas were all nestled into the side of a hill with huge stone steps. If I needed something to eat or drink, I went out on my balcony and rang a bell. In no time at all there would be a young man politely waiting at my door to take my order.

    I was walking down to the beach area to send a wire to my friends and peeked into a humble restaurant. What I saw inside was a beautifully decorated group of rooms with chocked fully gorgeous native plants. While I was deciding whether I would dine there for my midday meal, the owner came up to me. He wanted to chat. Since I was obviously American d\or a Kiwi or an Aussie he spoke English to me. Not perfect English by an means, but I could understand what he was saying, We talked about Bali for a while and then to my amazement he asked me to come to his kitchen and prepare Teriyaki Fish. He explained that many of his tourist guests and world-wide expatriates living on Bali had asked if he could prepare a Teriyaki meal.

    I thought, “Well why not? I am in an exotic village on the island of Bali, so this could be an exciting opportunity, and something I would naturally remember forever”!

    The kitchen was small but well organized so I set out to see what vegetables.fruits. condiments and sauces I might use to create a Balinese version of Teriyaki sauce. They did have fresh ginger, lemon grass, several different kinds of Ketchups, spices and the largest papaya I had seen anywhere. Everyone in the kitchen helped me. and the fish just caught an hour ago was perfectly firm and fresh; so I left it whole and slathered it with a variety of sauces, chopped fruits and the basic vegetables they suggested. It definitely was NOT the traditional Japanese or Hawaiian version of Teriyaki “anything”, but oh my lord,it was scrumptious. The owner and I ate in the dining room at the prettiest table of all, and he was so grateful for the recipe I had written out in English that he insisted on naming it” Teriyaki Fish Bebe”. I did try to tell him it was NOT Teriyaki, but soon saw that it was hopeless.He actually sent me a Christmas post card to thank me again!

    What a nice man!

    I met up with my friends,at last,and we continued our adventures a few days later with a trip to Lombok and The Gillies Islands. Believe me, that entire trip was an adventure that is another long story!

    Thanks for listening…reading…sharing?

    Chef BeBe

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *