Ayam Penyet (Indonesian Smashed Fried Chicken)
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Meat
Serves: 4 x chicken legs
  • 4 x Chicken legs (I’m using Kampung / organic chicken)
  • 3 stalks lemongrass
  • 20 shallots
  • 10 garlic
  • 6 cm ginger
  • 4 cm galangal (blue ginger)
  • 3 bay leaves (optional)
  • 1 tbsp tumeric powder
  • 2 tsp white ground pepper
  • 1 tbsp salt (adjust more if needed)
  • 1 pc firm tofu (tau kua) – cut into 8 pieces
  • 2 pcs tempeh (fermented soy cake) – cut into 8 pieces (optional)
  • 3 cups vegetable oil (I'm using soya bean oil)
  • Mix spices:
  • 3 tbsp coriander seeds
  • 1 tbsp fennel seeds
  • 1 tbsp cumin seeds
  • 6 candlenuts
  • Batter:
  • 1 cup reserved chicken broth
  • 5 tbsp corn flour
  • 3 tbsp rice flour
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  1. Prepare spice mix but toasting them in a dry pan over low heat for 2 – 3 mins until fragrant.
  2. Place into a food processor or blender and pulse for 30 seconds.
  3. Add in shallot, garlic, ginger, galangal and blend until a chunky paste is formed. You do not need to blend it too finely.
  4. Fill half of a large pot with water and bring to boil.
  5. Add in spice paste, turmeric powder, lemongrass, bay leaves and salt.
  6. Stir and simmer for 10 mins. Give it a taste and adjust with more salt if needed. The broth should taste briny.
  7. Carefully add in chicken legs and bring to boil.
  8. Cover and simmer for 20 – 25 mins.
  9. Allow to cool for 15 mins before transferring the chicken into a large heat proof container and cover with the broth.
  10. Place cooled chicken into the fridge and marinate overnight for maximum flavor.
  11. mins before cooking, take out the chicken to bring to room temperature.
  12. Add one ladle of reserved chicken broth to the batter and mix well.
  13. Coat the tofu pieces in the batter.
  14. Heat 3 cups of oil in a heavy bottomed pan or pot until hot (150C/300F). Alternatively, you could insert a wooden chopstick in the hot oil and if it bubbles around the chopstick, the oil is ready.
  15. Carefully add the tofu and fry until crispy.
  16. Drain on paper towel.
  17. Repeat with the tempeh if using.
  18. Next, add the chicken and fry over high heat for about 6 mins, until the skin is crispy and golden brown.
  19. Drain on paper towel.
  20. Drizzle the remaining batter into the hot oil and fry until crispy and golden brown.
  21. Place the chicken in a ziploc bag and use a hammer or pestle to smash and loosen the flesh. Alternatively, you could press the down firmly with a large cleaver.
  22. Serve warm with rice, fried tofu, cucumber slices and sambal chili. Sprinkle crispy batter on top.
Recipe by Bear Naked Food at https://www.bearnakedfood.com/2017/05/26/ayam-penyet-indonesian-smashed-fried-chicken/