Traditional Indonesian Barbecue (Ayam Bakar)

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Ayam Bakar, literally meaning roasted/grilled chicken, is one of the many flavorful dishes that Indonesia has to offer. While living there for two years, I discovered this local favorite and instantly fell in love with it. Its thick sweet and spicy sauce instantly takes your senses for a ride and makes your house smell like Christmas had a barbecue baby. Needless to say, when you make this recipe, you will not be disappointed. With that being said, here is the recipe brought to you from 9,000 miles away right here, right now on Instructables for my FIRST EVER INSTRUCTABLE.

Step 1: Assembling the Ingredients

Indonesian recipes can contain 15-25+ ingredients. However, with this condensed version for Indonesian barbecue, you get that same great flavor with only a small handful of ingredients. This makes for a quick and easy dinner that anyone will enjoy.

Prep Time: 15 mins

Cook Time: 15-20 mins depending on heat

Total Meal Time: 30-35 mins

2 Chicken Breasts

2 Limes

2 Large Cloves of Garlic (Or 3 Small)

3-4 Red Pearl Onions

1 Water Chestnuts (For a subtle, light/fresh flavor)

6-7 Chili Peppers (reduce or increase according to your spice tolerance. 3-4 chilis will have a good kick)

2 tsp. Cumin

1 tsp. Ground Cloves

2 tsp. Salt

1 T Fresh Ginger

2 tsp. Pepper

1/2 - 3/4 cup. Sweet Soy Sauce (Also known as Kecap Manis)

Step 2: Marinating the Chicken

Trim the fat from the chicken breasts and season lightly with salt and pepper and place inside a small plastic bag. Add the juice from the two limes into the bag. Work the lime juice and the salt and pepper around the chicken and then store in the refrigerator for about 10 mins as you cut vegetables / add spices.

Step 3: Making the Delicious Sweet and Spicy Sauce

Peel the garlic, red pearl onions and garlic. Wash the Chili Peppers. Now throw them all into a blender with the spices with a tiny bit of water to get a blended but chunky consistency. If you process it completely, it will come out really watery and you want the sauce to be really thick. If your pieces are still too thick, you may want to take the bottom part of a spoon and smash them a little bit smaller. By this point, your kitchen should be smelling fantastic! Now add about 1/2 c. to 3/4 c. of the sweet soy sauce (kecap manis) to the mixture of spices. It should have the distribution of spices and veggies as represented in the final picture. If it looks like that, you've got the magic ratio. Now for the best part! Grilling!

Step 4: Cooking the Chicken

Now you are going to want to take the chicken out of the fridge. Be sure to drain the lime juice out of the bag. Again, if you add the lime juice, the mixture may get too watery. If you like a pronounced lime flavor, you can add a bit of lime juice after the fact. However in this case, I did not. After the lime juice is drained, you are going to want to put the chicken inside the sauce and mix it evenly so that the sauce gets all over the chicken. Once you are convinced it is evenly distributed, feel free to throw it on the grill on medium heat. (I used briquettes but whatever you use for grilling should work just fine) Once you have evenly cooked the chicken, (About 5 minutes on each side) crank up the heat to make a caramelized/ crunchy layer of sauce on the chicken. You do this by basting layers of the sauce on each side with a basting brush. If there are little chunks of chili, garlic etc. on the brush - even better! That will just enhance the flavor! The high heat will make the sauce stick on the chicken nicely and will give a delicious crunch! You will want to do this flipping/basting technique on both sides for about another 5 minutes until it looks like the picture displayed. Now comes the best part! EATING!!!

Step 5: Eat It!

After cooking the chicken, it should be perfectly white and juicy on the inside and have a slight crunch on the outside. Serve it up with some rice and some of the extra basting sauce you have left over. This also goes really well with some roasted red peppers, onions, zucchini etc.

Caution #1: If you want to have some additional sauce for dipping or for rice, be sure to set it aside before soaking the raw chicken in it. Failure to do so may result in sickness.

Caution #2: This chicken may leave you totally and helplessly addicted to Indonesian cuisine. You have been warned.

Thank you so much for checking out this delicious Indonesian Barbecue recipe. It is so easy and quite rewarding at the end. Let me know if you end up making it for yourself!

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20 Discussions

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MartinB195

2 months ago

This looked so delicious, I spontaneusly decided to make it. Had no sweet soja sauce, just normal one - so just added some sugar. It was delicious indeed, wife and I loved it - thanks :)

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stephanie_t

2 months ago

Love your enthusiasm -- that alone makes me want to try this! Kasih!

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AndrewA167

2 months ago

This is a recipe I am definitely going to have to try; it looks so delicious! Thanks for posting it!

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Mastering MeAndrewA167

Reply 2 months ago

Definitely is an Indonesian staple and a total flavor roller coaster! Give it a shot when you can! :) See you on the next Instructable!

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dadswoodshop

2 months ago

There’s like a million varieties of chili peppers. What are you using here and what do you recommend? 6 to 7 chili peppers of a certain type will melt your head off. Thanks for the recipe. Really looks delicious. Great Instructable but clarity is key in cooking.

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Mastering Medadswoodshop

Reply 2 months ago

Thanks for the reminder! You're right clarity is key! I used Thai chilis that I found at a local Asian market. They are cheap and really give a good kick. You are right, 6-7 will be really hot but that's how I like it! Hehe. In Indonesia, the food gets extremely spicy so you can vary the amount of chilis to accommodate your personal spice tolerance. Thanks for the comment!

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dadswoodshopMastering Me

Reply 2 months ago

Thanks! The chicken is marinating now! Found generic green chili peppers at Walmart. Would a can of hot green chilies too?

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Mastering Medadswoodshop

Reply 2 months ago

The chilis are really only for heat. The flavor is there but isn't the star of the show. So it really all depends on how much heat you want and the flavor you are going for! Good luck!

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obillo

2 months ago on Step 5

Terrific recipe--but I would never waste a perfectly good ziploc bag to marinate the chicken. So many plastic bags are all over the place with almost any food we buy. They're on huge rolls in the produce section; they come with loaves of bread and trays of English muffins. If you worry about the printing on some bags leaching into your food, just whip the bag inside out. To make sure there are no leaks, inflate by mouth before using.

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red_gear

3 months ago

So delicious, seems like my mom's ayam bakar. For best result, you can cook it upon burnt coconut charcoal (arang kelapa). Thanx for drooling me! :-)

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Mastering Mered_gear

Reply 2 months ago

Yes this is extremely common in Indonesia! That is a good point I will have to keep that in mind! Terima kasih!

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RichardS457

2 months ago

Sounds Great, Keep posting these Instructables, I found informative and a fun read. Keep it real. That is what I liked about the read,

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mitchman029

2 months ago

Thanks, I'm excited to make this with my wife! She was born Kediri and grew up in Indo for 16 years. Her family makes Thai and Indo food often, we use kecap manis all the time. Termia Kasih!

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Mastering Memitchman029

Reply 2 months ago

Sama-sama! Semoga berhasil! :) (I use kecap all the time too! Super good!)