Balinese Chicken (Ayam Pelalah)
December 02nd, 2011 19 Comments

Balinese Chicken (Ayam Pelalah)

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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.

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19 comments... read them below or add one

  1. Jade says:

    Bee I love Bali. Thanks for featuring this recipe and take me back to my holidays at Bali.

  2. Elaine says:

    I love sambal…the second picture practically makes my mouth waters. I can imagine the taste of this Balinese chicken.

  3. Corina says:

    This is making my mouth water – It sounds so tasty!

  4. Lisa H. says:

    Wow …. delicious looking chicken… Hope to re visit Bali some day ….

  5. Keylee Daud via Facebook says:

    sedap nie :_)

  6. come to my house and make me dinner :) all this food looks soo delicious

  7. 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.

  8. renee says:

    That’s new for me, never see or eat it before.

  9. Winna Torvik via Facebook says:

    My fave <3

  10. Thank you Bee for having me here so that Balinese Ayam Pelalah really deserve to be reckoned wide world :))

  11. 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!

  12. Adrienne says:

    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

  13. Never tried cooking Balinese food and this all sounds so delicious and looking forward to trying it.

  14. ben says:

    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?

  15. Beverley dirckze says:

    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.

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