Balinese Shredded Chicken Recipe (Ayam Pelalah)

Balinese Chicken (Ayam Pelalah) recipe - This chicken is an everyday dish as well as a ceremonial staple. Balinese food is spicy and calls for numerous spices in the preparation process, but it's well worth it!

Course Main Course
Cuisine Indonesian
Keyword Balinese Shredded Chicken
Servings 4 people
Calories 254 kcal


  • 400 g 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, (optional)

Spice paste:

  • 10 red chilies, deseeded and sliced
  • 6 bird eye chilies, sliced
  • 10 shallots, sliced
  • 5 garlic, chopped
  • 3 cm fresh turmeric root, sliced
  • ½ teaspoon toasted shrimp paste, terasi/belacan
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil or coconut oil
  • oil, for frying
  • salt and sugar, to taste


  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.)
  6. Transfer the chicken onto a a serving plate and squeeze the juice of the lime before serving.

Recipe Notes

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.

Nutrition Facts
Balinese Shredded Chicken Recipe (Ayam Pelalah)
Amount Per Serving (4 people)
Calories 254 Calories from Fat 54
% Daily Value*
Fat 6g9%
Saturated Fat 3g19%
Cholesterol 71mg24%
Sodium 157mg7%
Potassium 1044mg30%
Carbohydrates 24g8%
Fiber 3g13%
Sugar 11g12%
Protein 25g50%
Vitamin A 1155IU23%
Vitamin C 179.9mg218%
Calcium 56mg6%
Iron 3.3mg18%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.