Tag Archives: Manado

Ayam Rica Rica – Manado Chicken with Chili Sauce Recipe

Ayam rica-rica is specialty chicken dish from the city of Manado in Indonesia North Sulawesi. Rica means chili in North Sulawesi language, so ayam rica-rica translates to chicken with chili sauce.

If you love bold, spicy, fresh, and citrusy dishes, you will definitely love ayam rica-rica. Maybe just add one or two bird eye chilies if this is the first time making this dish, especially if you have kiddies eating this too.

Also, don’t forget the steamed white rice, and copious amount of cold refreshing drink to counter the heat from all those chilies!

Ingredients to prepare ayam rica-rica (Manado chicken with chili sauce).

Choosing the correct size or weight of chicken for ayam rica-rica

Most Indonesian chicken dishes use a whole chicken to prepare. We typically ask our butcher to chop the chicken up to 8-12 pieces. The weight of a chicken sold in Indonesia averages about 1.5 kg, or about 3.3 lb.

For simplicity, you can just use chicken pieces such as drumsticks, thighs, chicken quarters, e.t.c., as long as they total to around 1.5 kg (or 3.3 lb).

Ayam rica-rica - Manado chicken with chili sauce.

Ayam rica-rica – Manado chicken with chili sauce.

Herbs and spices needed to prepare ayam rica-rica

Ayam rica-rica is all about red chilies, so you will need a lot of it. But aside from the red chilies (I use red fresno chilies, and occasionally, I sneak in some red bird-eye chilies), you will also need the following:

  • lemongrass (Indonesian: sereh)
  • kaffir lime leaves (Indonesian: daun jeruk)
  • lime (Indonesian: jeruk nipis)
  • shallots (Indonesian: bawang merah)
  • garlic (Indonesian: bawang putih)
  • ginger (Indonesian: jahe)

If you are familiar with Indonesian dishes, you will realize that you need a whole lot less of herbs and spices to prepare ayam rica-rica compared to many other Indonesian recipes. 🙂

Ayam rica-rica - Manado chicken with chili sauce.

Ayam rica-rica – Manado chicken with chili sauce.

Transforming this into a grilled chicken dish

If you wish, there is another alternative way of preparing ayam rica-rica. You can turn this braised chicken dish into a grilled chicken dish!

Once the chicken has finished braising in the pot, remove the lid and cook until the sauce really clings to the chicken.

Turn on a grill or an oven broiler, and grill/broil the chicken just until the skin is charred. Enjoy!

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Ayam Tinoransak – Manado Spicy Braised Chicken Recipe

Ayam Tinoransak – Manado Spicy Braised Chicken.

Among the varied cuisines in Indonesia, Manado cuisine is famous for being extremely spicy. Many Manado dishes use plenty of chilies, so it is not for the faint of heart.

Even though I love Manado cuisine, I rarely visit a Manado restaurant. Each dish easily comes with 20+ bird-eye chilies, and my poor stomach cannot handle it. I prefer to cook Manado dishes at home because I can make the dish less spicy and perfect for my family.

Ayam Tinoransak is a spicy braised chicken dish from Manado. This dish feels fresh and light because it uses plenty of lemongrass and kaffir lime leaves.

Comparing this dish to many other Indonesian recipes, it also uses fewer ingredients, but the flavor is not compromised. If your Asian market stocks lemongrass and kaffir lime leaves, you must try cooking this in your kitchen.

Ingredients for Ayam Tinoransak (Manado spicy braised chicken): chicken drumsticks, lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, turmeric, shallot, serrano/jalapeno chilies, bird-eye chilies, ginger, salt, and palm sugar.

Ingredients for Ayam Tinoransak (Manado spicy braised chicken): chicken drumsticks, lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, turmeric, shallot, serrano/jalapeno chilies, bird-eye chilies, ginger, salt, and palm sugar.

Ingredients for Ayam Tinoransak

  • chicken drumsticks
  • lemongrass
  • kaffir lime leaves
  • turmeric powder
  • shallot
  • green serrano/jalapeno chilies
  • red bird-eye chilies
  • ginger
  • salt
  • palm sugar

Lemongrass

Use fresh lemongrass whenever possible. Frozen whole lemongrass is a good substitute for fresh lemongrass, and your Asian market may stock frozen lemongrass in the freezers.

The last option is to use lemongrass paste. I suggest using about four tablespoons of lemongrass paste to substitute fresh/frozen lemongrass for this recipe.

Kaffir lime leaves

Fresh kaffir lime leaves should be available in most Asian markets. A packet can last for a while, and you can always freeze the extras for later.

If you can’t get fresh kaffir lime leaves, you may also use dried kaffir lime leaves. The dried leaves are available from online stores such as Amazon, so this may be an easier option for most people.

If using dried leaves, double the amount since the flavor is weaker compared to fresh leaves.

(1) Puree shallot, chilies, and ginger into a smooth paste. (2) Sauté spice paste, lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, and turmeric. (3) Add chicken pieces and cook until no longer pink. (4) Add water, salt, and palm sugar.

(1) Puree shallot, chilies, and ginger into a smooth paste. (2) Sauté spice paste, lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, and turmeric. (3) Add chicken pieces and cook until no longer pink. (4) Add water, salt, and palm sugar.

How to cook Ayam Tinoransak

  1. Puree shallot, green serrano/jalapeno chilies, red bird-eye chilies, and ginger into a smooth paste.
  2. Heat oil in a pot and sauté spice paste, lemongrass, and kaffir lime leaves until fragrant, about 3 minutes.
  3. Add chicken pieces, stir, and cook until no longer pink.
  4. Pour the water into the pot, season with salt and sugar, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 25 minutes until chicken is tender and fully cooked, and the sauce has somewhat reduced. Adjust salt and sugar as needed.
  5. Turn off the heat and serve immediately with steamed white rice.
Stop cooking once the chicken is tender and the sauce has reduced.

Stop cooking once the chicken is tender and the sauce has reduced.

Serving, storing, and reheating Ayam Tinoransak

Serving

Since this is a spicy dish, I find it best to serve it with steamed white rice. The rice soaks up all the flavorful sauce and helps reduce the impact of the chilies.

Most Indonesian serve their meals with a glass of ice tea or plenty of iced water, which will be a welcome should you need to combat the spiciness from the chilies.

Storing

You can store any leftovers in an airtight container. It should stay fresh in the fridge for up to a week. You can freeze the dish for up to 2 months.

Reheating

The easiest option to reheat the dish is with a microwave. For the ones stored in the fridge, you only need about 60 to 90 seconds in the microwave.

You can reheat the frozen dish in the microwave, but I prefer to thaw it in the fridge before reheating. Alternatively, you can reheat the frozen dish on a stove using a saucepot.

Transfer the spicy braised chicken to a serving bowl, and optionally garnish with fresh kaffir lime leaves.

Transfer the spicy braised chicken to a serving bowl, and optionally garnish with fresh kaffir lime leaves.

Other Manado recipes to try

If you love this Ayam Tinoransak and want to try other Manado dishes, you will love these recipes:

This spicy braised chicken is best served with plenty of white rice to soak up the sauce and combat the heat from the chilies.

This spicy braised chicken is best served with plenty of white rice to soak up the sauce and combat the heat from the chilies.

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