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Malay Red Cooked Chicken~ Ayam Masak Merah- Ayam #2

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Recipe recreated on 17 May 2012

When I was a kid, there was a nasi lemak stand operating across the road from our family's coffee stall. That was my first encounter with Ayam Masak Merah. The abang only sold each piece of chicken for 80 cents(25 years ago). I wonder how he makes money out of it, whereas regular fried chicken were at least RM1 per piece that time.

When the local council made all of us move to a new area, this abang managed to get a lot just a short distance from us. Glad that we are still near to each other. But for him, business is longer as brisk as he has lost the morning kids who bought from him on the way to school.

To me, his version seemed to be my first love of Ayam Masak Merah, may not be the best, but it's unforgettable. The most memorable times was when I bit into those cardamom pods.. hahaha!

Malay Red Cooked Chicken / Ayam masak merah
Recipe source: WendyinKK

850gm chicken parts (6 large drumsticks)
1 tsp salt
½ tsp turmeric powder
Dash of pepper

3 shallots
2 cloves of garlic
1 cm ginger
2 red chilli

2 inches cinnamon
3 cloves (bunga cengkih)
3 cardamoms (buah pelaga)
1 red onion sliced

½ cup tomato ketchup
½ cup coconut milk
½ cup water
1/3 tsp salt
1 Tbsp sugar
1 cup canned green peas (I used Ayam brand of which is more pale in colour and has that soft mushy texture)

1. Marinate chicken with salt, turmeric and pepper for at least 30 minutes.
2. Mill shallots, ginger, garlic and chilli.
3. Heat wok and put in ½ cup of oil. Pan fry chicken pieces until the skin turns golden. Dish up. It’s ok if the chicken is not cooked thoroughly and still oozes some blood.
4. Pour away some of the oil, leaving behind about 2-3 Tbsp of oil.
5. Saute the milled ingredients on medium heat until it looks glossy, put in dry spices and sliced onion and continue to sauté until the onions looks translucent and wilts.
6. Put in the rest of the ingredients, except peas. Return chicken into the wok to cook until the gravy reduces to preferred amount.
7. Put in green peas and let it cook for a while. Dish up and serve.

Ayam Masak Merah with Nasi Tomato

41 lovely notes:

Mel August 15, 2012 at 11:18 AM  

I was craving for some spicy food lately and your this week post just the right food for my craving! Oh, I like your Nasi Tomato.... looks for appetizing and delicious.

Catherine August 15, 2012 at 11:42 AM  


Looks good! One of my favourite. I add lemongrass and galangal to spice it up.

Catherine han

Honey Bee Sweets August 15, 2012 at 11:44 AM  

Hey Wendy, you no good lah, always post these during lunch time...make my stomach churn! But You know this recipe seems slightly less complicated compared to the rendang, I think I'll try it, heehee.:D plus I'm ketchup "queen"!

Sonia ~ Nasi Lemak Lover August 15, 2012 at 11:44 AM  

Ayam masak merah is one of my favourite Malay dish, i like to add this when i buy nasi lemak from Malay stall.

WendyinKK @ Table for 2..... or more August 15, 2012 at 11:51 AM  

one day, nasi week will come :)

Yummy, those two sounds like good additions

Yeah I think the ingredients are easier for u to find

me too!

kym August 15, 2012 at 12:20 PM  

cool... still match nasi tomato... really is nice... hehe hungry lioa

Phong Hong August 15, 2012 at 12:57 PM  

Yummy! I always think that nasi tomato and ayam masak merah goes really well together. One of my favorite chicken dishes. And its no fun biting into cardamom pods!

Veronica @ Minty’sKitchen August 15, 2012 at 1:44 PM  

Another mouth-watering dish! I've never had ayam masak merah before! Love your tomato rice.

Jeannie August 15, 2012 at 1:52 PM  

I love this dish, the only chicken I am still "tapau-ing" from the nearby parked van selling nasi for lunch. Yours looks delicious! Want to try soon!

Wabbitfoot August 15, 2012 at 2:12 PM  

This is my favourite dish as well. Just bought one piece of thigh the other day at Ramadan Bazaar and it caused my RM3. Not sure if this is a standard price thou...

Yours looks really yummy..... Might cook it one of these days.

Elin August 15, 2012 at 2:25 PM  

I must cook this...the kids favorite and Wild Boar love this dish too ! Now with the recipe , I will definitely give this a try. Sedapnya ! slurppp!

ICook4Fun August 15, 2012 at 2:50 PM  

I think I should go to bed now. My stomach is growling just looking at this yummy dish. One of my fav Malay dish. I am thinking of cooking this dish for the up coming Hari Raya gathering.

Food Dreams August 15, 2012 at 3:52 PM  

wow.. yr pics are really gorgeous... and I am a huge fan of nasi tomato with masak merah... got Nasi tomato recipe please?

always want to make nasi tomato... I can eat this three meals a day!! ;)

Jess @ Bakericious August 15, 2012 at 4:40 PM  

Wendy, I am on diet leh but you are tempting me with my favourite chicken dish, drooling now!

WendyinKK @ Table for 2..... or more August 15, 2012 at 6:39 PM  

Small kucing,
Yup, sometimes things can be simple and delish

ngam ngam that day i also cook nasi tomato, haha.

Phong Hong,
It's kind of refreshing to bite into one, actually, hahaa. Just that it's rather unexpected, like kena gotcha!

One day.. try cooking this and you will know the taste :)

I think every Malay rice van definitely has this.

I think almost there la, now one ayam percik whole leg is RM5 in KK here ler.

Raya raya!

Semangat Malaysia! go go go!

Food Dreams,
Maybe in a nasi week, dunno when.

Hahaha, no need diet la u.

cherry potato August 15, 2012 at 10:06 PM  

真巧,今天我突然很想吃 Rendang Ayam,可是没准备到材料.就先借你这 Ayam Masak Merah解我嘴馋,可以吗?

ibundo August 16, 2012 at 8:10 AM  

Looks good and tempting. I usually add about 2 or 3 tablespoons of cili kering paste to give a bit of pedas taste to balance the sour and sweetness.
Well.. tq for giving me idea of what to cook for breaking fast this evening.

esther,  August 16, 2012 at 2:25 PM  

Oh my, its so yummy. My favourite dish n so simple. Must cook it this Raya to enjoy the festive mood. Thanks for sharing the recipes as requested. I really appreciate it.

Poh Lin,  August 16, 2012 at 4:47 PM  

One of favourite Malay food as well. I didn't know there's santan. Or is this your version?

Vivian Pang August 16, 2012 at 9:53 PM  

I like Malay food but hardly cook myself as kids still young to eat spicy food. Your ayam masak merah looks really good! It has been long time not having it.

Sharon @ Feats of Feasts August 16, 2012 at 10:58 PM  

oh yum yum, i just bought some chicken drums n think i will try this out, of course have to x the peas for hubster is an avid hater. :)

lena August 17, 2012 at 10:16 PM  

this is such a popular dish among the malays and i never tried that before! you know why, that's becos there's always curry or rendang besides it and i always choose the latter. I always have the impression that they are sweet and now reading your recipe, i dont think it's really sweet..

Serenely August 19, 2012 at 7:55 PM  

Just wanted to say thanks so much for the recipe. I just made this for dinner today and my husband and son just loved it. I didn't add the green peas though (didn't have any)... is it usually customary to have peas in ayam masak merah? I'll try adding them in the next time I make it

Mimielola August 22, 2012 at 11:36 AM  

Made it just now, tasted like nasi kenduri! Thanks for the recipe. (I added lemon grass and galangal btw)

WendyinKK @ Table for 2..... or more August 22, 2012 at 8:48 PM  

that does sound good with cili kering, more ummph

Poh Lin,
No lam, there is. If you were to taste it, it's there, but naik minyak oredi.

Hmm... the abang that I mentioned here, never puts, but I do see many putting it in. So, I think it's a popular practice, but not a must.

Annielicious Food August 24, 2012 at 8:55 AM  

Man! I really wanna cook this!!! I want!!! I want!!! :(

Sharon Wong August 27, 2012 at 2:45 AM  

"Mill shallots,ginger...??? My husband is English but dia tak pernah dengar lah

WendyinKK @ Table for 2..... or more August 27, 2012 at 1:31 PM  

Sharon Wong,
Mill can be used as both a noun and verb
~Noun: device that reduces a solid or coarse substance into pulp or minute grains by crushing, grinding, or pressing
~Verb: To grind, pulverize, or break down into smaller particles in a mill.
~Reference: http://www.thefreedictionary.com/Mill
Sorry, English bukan bahasa pertama saya. Needed the dictionary to comfirm my usage is right

Anonymous,  August 30, 2012 at 11:21 AM  

This dish is my absolute favourite but it seems that nasi pandang stalls don't always carry it anymore. I thought that fresh tomatoes is used for this dish. Will prepare this soon, yums! Sabby

WendyinKK @ Table for 2..... or more August 30, 2012 at 1:45 PM  

You will need a lot lot of fresh tomatoes to get this colour :)

Anonymous,  August 31, 2012 at 10:08 AM  

Hi Wendy, tomotoes rice seems perfect to go with this dish. Can you share the tomatoes rice recipe? Thanks. Marie

Cherie November 12, 2012 at 8:17 PM  

Hi, i did exactly as per your recipe but mine turned out orange rather than red. Any idea what went wrong?

apart from that, the taste is good! :)

WendyinKK @ Table for 2..... or more November 12, 2012 at 8:50 PM  

The better quality dried chillies are redder.
Did your gravy 'pecah minyak" ?

Cherie Cheong November 14, 2012 at 10:07 AM  

Oh. I used fresh red chili, alright i will try it again with quality dried chili.
Mine didn't pecah minyak.

Thanks for the tip.

WendyinKK @ Table for 2..... or more November 14, 2012 at 12:18 PM  

Cherie Cheong,
Oh sorry, I forgot that I actually used fresh chilli until I read the recipe again.
I'm using Del Monte tomato ketchup.
Just remember cook until pecah minyak then it will be nice.

Anonymous,  December 14, 2012 at 11:43 PM  

I live in Paris and in this winter, nothing is as good as Ayam masak merah. Thank you for the recipe.

Annie Mok March 7, 2013 at 2:47 PM  

Nasi kasi 2 mangkuk boleh?

MH May 7, 2013 at 10:25 PM  

Hi! I've tried this dish today and it was very well received by my family. Thank you! :)

Anonymous,  August 10, 2013 at 4:22 PM  

Hello Wendy, I would like to try this with tomato rice too. Do you have the recipe for your tomato rice? Thanks!


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