Red Chicken (Ayam Bumbu Rujak)

Red Chicken (Ayam Bumbu Rujak)

This is the usual dish people in Java eat together with yellow rice when they have special events, such as birthday, opening ceremony, etc. But it is so popular for an everyday meal, eaten just with steamed white rice, or together with veggie dishes as in mixed rice (nasi campur).

My grandma often cooked it. My extended family also loves it because my grandma’s chicken is tender and the spice absorbed deeply into the meat.

This time I adjust the recipe for a simple version (of spices and method) for saving time and make it easier to cook.

Big red chilli, Garlic, chop.
Thick coconut milk/full cream milk/plain or vanilla milk, make it thick.
Put the spices & kill into the food processor, proceed till well mixed.
Slice the chicken.
In low medium heat, put the chicken into the liquid in the wok, stir till dried.

2 boneless skinless chicken breast,  slice +- 3/4 cm.
4 garlic, big ones, chop.
2 big chilli, take out the seed, chop.
If you like spicy, add 3 small chilli, chop.
200cc thick coconut milk/milk. If we use milk as coconut milk’ substitution, full cream milk is the best. But we can use any plain/vanilla favor milk.
A pinch of sugar
+- 1/8 spoon salt
Fish ketchup/terasi/shrimp or prawn broth. Since I forget to buy, this time I don’t use this item. Actually this item is a must, because it does give this dish the distinctive East Java version’s aroma & flavour.
Any frying oil 5 spoon. Here I use olive oil.


1. Put the garlic, chilli, milk, salt, sugar, broth into food processor. Proceed till it is mixed well. Taste, add sugar/salt if necessary, the taste should be mild sweet & salty. Don’t put too much salt/sugar into it, because the liquid will be dried & absorbed into the chicken.

2. Heat the oil (2 spoon) into non stick wide pan/wok, low-medium heat. Pour the liquid spice in, add the chicken. Make sure the chicken slices are covered with the liquid spice. Stirring occasionally for 10-15 minutes. Check if the chicken are already cooked & tender. The liquid should be absorbed into the meat.

3. When the liquid is getting thicker & almost dried, add more cooking oil (3 spoon). Increase the heat to medium-high & stir more often until the liquid is dried.

4. Remove the chicken from the pan. Served warm with steamed rice, and you can also eat it with the side dish of raw veggies such as local basil leaves (kemangi), cucumber, and cabbage. For 3-4 persons.


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