Help....Malaysian Food


Ayam Masak Merah

Ayam Masak Merah

Red-Cooked Chicken


  • 3 lb whole chicken, cut into 8-10 parts, skinless preferably
  • 2 tbsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • sufficient peanut or vegetable oil
  • 1 cup red onions, chopped
  • 2 tbsp ginger, grated
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 can [6 oz] tomato puree
  • -1 cup or to taste, chili paste
  • 3 tbsp hot chili sauce, or to taste
  • 1 cup tomato ketchup
  • 2 tbsp dark sweet soy sauce
  • 1 large onion, cut into rings
  • tbsp sugar
  • salt to taste
  • 2 cups water
  • 3-4 kaffir lime leaves [Substitute; zest of 1 lime]
  • 2-3 pandan leaves [optional]
  • corn or vegetable oil for pan frying
  • a few sprigs fresh coriander leaves [cilantro] for garnish [optional]

Variation: Substitute chicken with beef, mutton or lamb for 'Daging Masak Merah' [Red-Cooked Meat].


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       To Prepare :

  • Lightly coat chicken pieces with turmeric powder and salt, let stand for at least 30 mins
  • Heat wok or pot on high, add sufficient peanut or vegetable oil to fry chicken (wait until oil is hot). Fry chicken in batches till light golden brown, drain on a metal rack or paper towels, set aside
  • Pour off all but 4 tbsp of oil, add red onions, ginger, garlic, stir-fry a few seconds, add chili paste and stir-fry 1-2 mins
  • Add hot chili sauce, tomato puree, tomato ketchup, dark sweet soy sauce, sugar and salt to taste. Then stir-fry 1 min
  • Add kaffir lime leaves [or lime zest], pandan leaves [optional], 2 cups water, bring to a rapid boil, immediately reduce heat to med, simmer uncovered 10 mins
  • Add chicken, stir well to coat evenly with sauce
  • Bring to a boil again, then reduce heat to low, cover, simmer slowly [for chicken to 'absorb' the sauce], about 25-35 mins
  • Add onion rings, simmer 3-5 mins, onions rings should have a slight crunch
  • Garnish with fresh coriander leaves [optional] and serve with steamed rice, or ideally with nasi tomato [tomato rice]






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