Ayam Goreng, Fried Chicken, Bali Style

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Fried chicken is eaten all around the world, and each country has their own version of it. In Bali in Indonesia, they call it Ayam Goreng. Crispy on the outside, but succulent, moist and juicy on the inside and thoroughly moreish.

While I was in Bali, I had a cooking lesson from Wayan at Warung Wayan in Lovina in the North of Bali. Along with delicious sambal matah, mei goreng, tempe and sate lilit, Wayan taught me how to cook Ayam Goreng.

The chicken is simmered in a broth with shallots, ginger, garlic, coriander, before frying or cooking on the barbeque. It makes a change from normal fried chicken and is easy to make. Delicious served hot or cold

Three ingredients of Ayam Goreng that you might not know:

Galangal: similar to ginger or turmeric roots in looks, galangal is also a rhizome, but a much paler skin and centre. The tastes are also different. Galagal is citrusy and doesn’t have the heat or spiciness of ginger or the earthy taste of turmeric. If you are substituting ginger, only use about three-quarters of the amount. It is available in Asian food stores or on Amazon.

Candlenuts (or kemiri): raw candlenuts have a rather bland taste, but when toasted or roasted, they taste like almonds without the bitterness. If you can’t find candlenuts you can use macadamia nuts instead.

Monosodium Glutamate: occurring naturally in tomatoes and some cheeses, monosodium glutamate or MSG is normally found in Asian food. It has had some bad press, but it is deemed to be safe. If you are unsure, just use sea salt instead.

White plate on red tablecloth with fried chicken leg, greens, sliced tomato and cucumber, tempe, fried aubergine, corn fritter and tomato sambal

Ayam Goreng (Fried Chicken Balinese Style)

Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 1 hr 20 mins
Cooling Time 10 mins
Total Time 1 hr 40 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Balinese


  • Blender
  • Cooking Pot
  • Frying Pan or Barbeque



  • 8 cm galangal, peeled
  • 5 shallots, peeled and chopped
  • ½ bulb garlic
  • 4 candlenuts or macadamia nuts
  • 2 cm ginger, peeled
  • 2 tsp coriander seeds
  • ½ cup water

Cooking Ingredients

  • 1 chicken stock cube
  • 4 tsp salt
  • 2 monosodium glutamante
  • 1 kg chicken legs with the skin on


  • Put all the paste ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth.
  • Add the blended paste to a pot of boiling water. Next add the stock cube, salt and monosodium glutamate and the chicken legs, put the lid on and simmer for 1 hour.
  • After the hour, remove the legs and leave to cool.
  • Once they have cooled, slice across the flesh. You can then either deep fry or put on barbeque turning until brown and crispy.
  • Serve with salad, rice, sambal, chips or whatever you fancy!
Keyword Chicken

I hope you enjoy making Ayam Goreng and if you have any questions about Balinese food or wish to share any tips of your own ayam goreng cooking, please comment below!

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One thought on “Ayam Goreng, Fried Chicken, Bali Style

  1. […] in ayam goreng – fried chicken – or mei goreng or nasi goreng – fried noodles or rice, spicy […]

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