Congee is comfort food for most Asian and there is a wide variety depending on countries and regions. Today I am going to focus on Indonesian bubur ayam – chicken congee.
This version of congee is the kind you find being sold by hawkers at almost every side street in the country. If you ever visit Indonesia, you must give it a try even at the risk of stomach discomfort!
My tip to staying safe from eating side street food is to stick to the ones crowded with mobs of hungry buyers. Those usually sell delicious food at a very reasonable price and with minimal risk from getting food poisoning.
If you want to try at your own home, you can, of course, follow this recipe 🙂
What’s considered as a complete bubur ayam
Taking an analogy from the world of music, bubur ayam is an orchestra, and not a single piece.
It means bubur ayam is not just about the congee.
It is also about the chicken simmered in spiced broth, then lightly fried and shredded.
It is the said broth, strained, and serve along with the congee.
And of course, let us not forget the numerous sides that accompany the congee.
Some of the must-have sides include:
- cakwe (Chinese crullers), cut into thin pieces.
- prawn crackers, or onion crackers (Indonesian: kerupuk udang, or kerupuk bawang)
- fried peanuts
- chopped fresh scallions and cilantro leaves
- fried shallots (Indonesian: bawang goreng)
- sambal (chili sauce), Sriracha or sambal oelek is a good choice if you don’t have the time to make homemade sambal. For those of us grew up eating this from the various bubur sellers in Jakarta, you probably want to make some sambal kacang.
- kecap manis (Indonesian sweet soy sauce), I prefer Bango brand over ABC brand, but both are delicious with this congee.
If you cannot make the complete set of sides, I highly recommend to at least have the cakwe/Chinese crullers and some chopped fresh scallions and cilantro along with the congee, fried chicken, and the chicken broth.
What’s in my bubur ayam recipe
I aim to provide the minimum required components to prepare a complete Indonesian style bubur ayam, so you will be able to make the following with this recipe:
- the congee itself,
- the fried chicken, and
- the chicken broth.
I already share my cakwe/Chinese crullers recipe in the previous post if you are up to the challenge of making some at home.
If you have access to a pretty well-stocked Chinese grocery, there is a high chance that they will sell it in their frozen section.
The same goes for prawn crackers and kecap manis (Indonesian sweet soy sauce), just not in the frozen aisle of course 🙂
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