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Spicy Chicken Stir-Fry (Ayam Paprik)

Ayam Paprik (Spicy Chicken Stir-fry)
Ayam Paprik (Spicy Chicken Stir-fry) pictures (3 of 4)

My college years in Kuala Lumpur (commonly known as “KL”), right after my high school and A-levels in Penang were one of the best times of my life. It was during those years in KL that I met Mr. Rasa Malaysia, and formed precious and lasting friendships with some of my best friends. Lots of beautiful memories, laughter, admirers (yep, I had lots of admirers in the college back then), and scrumptious foods.

At least once a week, after the tedious and boring lectures at the college, Mr. Rasa Malaysia and our best friends would descend to the Malay warung (Malay food stall) right outside of our college. We would always order our favorite ayam paprik—a mouthwatering spicy chicken stir-fry, tom yum, and telur dadar (omelet), to go with the warm and fluffy steamed rice. It was then that I fell in love with Malay cooking, or in this case, Thai-style Malay food.

Spicy Chicken Stir-fry (Ayam Paprik)

There are many Malay warung dotting the streets of Malaysia—a simple set up with gas stoves, fresh ingredients, and 2-3 people manning the stall. These Malay warung make everything fresh, or on orders placed by patrons. The menu ranges from nasi goreng (fried rice), tom yum (Thai hot and sour shrimp soup), to various rice plates. One of the most popular rice plates is probably nasi paprik, a rice plate with a serving of ayam paprik or spicy chicken stir-fry. The dishes served at these Malay warung are not “pure” Malay food, but Thai-influenced Malay food. Many of the cooks learned their recipes from northern Malaysia, close to the borders of southern Thailand.

Here is my ayam paprik recipe. The word paprik is derived from Thai words “Pad Prik.” I asked my friend She Simmers who is a Thai linguist/food blogger and she told me that “pad” means “fry” and “prik” means “chili.” So this is my spicy chicken stir-fry recipe, or ayam paprik, a very popular and well-loved dish in Malaysia. Enjoy!

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17 COMMENTS... read them below or add one

    • Hi Cyndy, paprik is actually derived from two Thai words, Pad and Prik. In Malaysia, they just shorted it to paprik. But I am not sure, perhaps it’s related to paprika. Will have to ask a linguist. ;)

  1. Mitali

    I’m Malaysian of Indian origin and I have tasted a lot of your recipes in Malaysia during my younger days and seeing your mouth watering recipes bring back memories of how much we enjoyed the local street foods. I look forward to your recipes and I like the spices you add and even blending Malaysian and Thai food together. It’s delicious. I save every recipe of yours. I was in Malaysia this time last year and I could not have enough of the authentic Malaysian and Chinese cuisine. I miss that a lot but you have made it possible for us to bring Malaysian food here with your outstanding recipes. So thank you again.

  2. ElizabethCee

    Visited KL for 8 days recently and loved the food. I made this and it was delicious! Maybe not as pretty as yours, but tasted great. Love your blog :)

  3. Jenny

    i just returned from Malaysia and as goodbye dinner i had this disch at a stall sitting with the locals. it was very nice, loved it! so happy to find the receipe in order to try it out my self! thanks a lot for sharing!! :))

  4. Ilkhom

    I am not sure whether it is the same dish but I loved it most during my stay in Tronoh. Spicy chicken with vegetables and little sauce was fantastic. They used to call it Papri Ayam, maybe I misspelled it but that was what I heard.

  5. Eric

    This recipe was WAY too spicy. The excessive chili paste completely overpowered the dish. We ended up throwing the majority of the stir fry in the garbage. Two teaspoons of chili paste would be far more appropriate.

    • Hi Eric,

      What kind of chili paste do you use? I said Nam Prik Pao in the recipe, which is a sweet Thai chili paste and not the overly spicy one (2 tablespoons Thai roasted chili paste (nam prik phao).

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