Apr 6, 2009

Indonesian Chicken Salad


I’m slightly addicted to the Indonesian kitchen but it’s pretty hard for me to actually post Indonesian recipes to my blog. Mainly because I want everyone—regardless of where on God’s green earth they reside—to be able to recreate my recipes without having to go on wild witch-hunts for special ingredients. When it comes to Indonesian cooking; that’s pretty darn hard to do.

Lots of dishes require special spices, spice blends or ingredients. We (and I use the term loosely:) also make use of a sweet and thick soy sauce named Ketjap (Kecap). Things like that are kinda hard to substitute and simply can’t be bought everywhere.

So here’s what I’ve done; I’ve tweaked my original Indonesian Chicken Salad and turned it into a salad using ingredients more widely available. I was not disappointed with the result. Not at all! In fact; I think I even like this version slightly better!




2 chicken fillets (about 12oz)
1/3 cup unsalted peanuts
14 oz potatoes
1 large carrot
3 spring onions
1/2 cucumber


5 tbsp peanut butter
2 tbsp soy sauce
1/2 to 1 tsp sesame oil
1/3 chili pepper
1 tsp ginger
4 tbsp oil
1 lime



Earlier this morning I’ve flattened two chicken fillets with my meat hammer. Seasoned them with salt and pepper and grilled them, over really low heat, to prevent them from browning and crisping up too much. You could also used cooked and shredded (leftover) chicken for this recipe. I’ve covered them with aluminum foil and let them cool off on the kitchen counter.


I’m cheating. Going for parboiled and pretty round potatoes called “krieltjes” in my country. I’ve put them in some salted water and boiled them for a few minutes until they were properly cooked. You can chop up and cook some regular potatoes as well, just make sure to use potatoes that hold their shape!


Wash and finely slice 2 or 3 large spring onions.


Peel and grate a large carrot. Yes, there’s that cheese grater planer (or something) I’ve used in my potato salad as well! I have a give-away planned for that one pretty soon!


Wash and make match sticks out of 1/3 to 1/2 a cucumber. Play with the ingredients; if you like more or less cucumber, just adjust the quantities to your liking. You can do that with any ingredient you like or don’t like.


Get 1 or 2 thick slices fresh pine apple. Cut the skin off, cut the core out and coarsely chop them. Nothing is tastier and more fragrant than fresh pineapple. Yum!


In the mean time my potatoes were done. I’ve drained them, let them cool off a bit and transferred them to a large (salad) bowl. Cut them in bit-sized pieces. Or leave them whole. Whatever you like! I’m so easy-going!


You’ll also want to cut the chicken in small pieces. I wouldn’t recommend leaving them whole. It looks pretty stupid in a salad! :)


Add the chicken and all your other chopped ingredients to the potatoes. Put a large handful of bean sprouts in there as well, but only when you’ll be serving the salad immediately. Otherwise you’ll want to stir them in right before serving the salad. That way they’ll stay crispy.


Add 1/3 (slightly heaping) cup of a unsalted peanuts. You could also give them a few smacks first to coarsely pulverize them.


Now dig your hands in there and mix everything up.


You could serve it like this, and people would love it! But we’re gonna up the flavors even more.


I’ve finely minced about 1/3 of a medium-sized chili pepper. Not nearly enough to get everything flaming hot, but more than enough to add a bit of zing.


Grab a bowl and combine 5 tbsp peanut butter (I’ve used crunchy peanut butter), 4 tbsp oil, 2 tbsp soy sauce and 1/2 tsp sesame oil with the chili peppers.

If you like it sweet, add some sugar. If you have Ketjap available to you, feel free to use that instead.


Add 1/2 tsp fresh ginger. I always keep some in the freezer.


Add the juice of 1 lime and start stirring.


Check the seasoning. You might want to add some sugar or even salt. Always taste what you prepare. I left mine just the way it was because it was delightfully non-sweet and tangy.


Pour the dressing over the salad and carefully fold it in.


Garnish with a little chopped up coriander or flat-leaf parsley and you’re done. This salad hits all the rights spots, I tell ya! Best served room-temperature, and trust me when I say it’s a meal on its own!

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    1. 1

      Oh yes, this can totally be a meal on its own! Yum!

      Mrs Ergül on Apr 6, 2009 @ 10:35 am Reply
    2. 2

      Looks lovely – love the pictures you take – makes it more interesting :) great one, must try this…

      Arch on Apr 6, 2009 @ 12:22 pm Reply
    3. 3

      Oh yum! Thanks for writing up recipes for those of us who live 45 minutes from the nearest ethnic grocery store!

      Rachel on Apr 6, 2009 @ 3:29 pm Reply
    4. 4

      I have an approach to many of the recipes on my blog – improvised ethnic. I stock several key ingredients that I can find locally that will give the essence of a certain cuisine (for example, coconut milk, fish sauce, chiles, and basil for Thai) without having to have every single authentic ingredient. This approach works great for home cooks – can’t wait to try this recipe Kay! (PS your photos are fab!)

      Michele Morris on Apr 6, 2009 @ 4:03 pm Reply
    5. 5

      This looks wonderful! I figured I should stop being shy and finally comment – I’ve been a follower of your blog for several months (found your site via the LJ cooking community) and your website is the first one I visit every morning. :)

      In our little cottage, the pre-dinner conversation (which can start as early as 8am – we like food!) is usually some variety of “What should we have for dinner? Is there anything on Kayotic Kitchen we can try?” I think we’ve made somewhere around 20 of your recipes with great success. This recipe will make 21! Nom nom nom. :)

      Jessica the hedgehog on Apr 6, 2009 @ 4:39 pm Reply
    6. 6

      Love the sound of this, especially the dressing. I’m also fascinated by the par-boiled potatoes. Never heard of that before!

      Kalyn on Apr 6, 2009 @ 4:53 pm Reply
    7. 7

      That looks gorgeous. Your photography is stunning and the salad sounds sublime.

      schatze on Apr 6, 2009 @ 9:25 pm Reply
    8. 8

      Oh, I just printed this out, it looks so delicious!

      Dani on Apr 7, 2009 @ 1:54 am Reply
    9. 9

      We can get ketjap here in Utah! We have a Dutch import store in Salt Lake City.

      Holly on Apr 8, 2009 @ 12:50 am Reply
    10. 10

      I am making a pasta dish with chicken and satay sauce tonight. This looks like a lovely variation to try, another time. I will have to find a nice pineapple, to show off my gadget that I have come to adore– it peels, cores and slices perfect pineapple slices! Maybe because I was born in Hawaii…but I LOVE anything with pineapple!

      Debby on Apr 8, 2009 @ 1:10 am Reply
    11. 11

      Looks mouth watering. Loved the detailed explanation!

      Mona on Apr 8, 2009 @ 11:28 pm Reply
    12. 12

      This looks so good. My mother is dutch, but born in Indonesia, so I grew up on delicious dutch/Indonesia foods. We have all the Sambals here at a local specialty shop. Which one would you recommend for this recipe?

      I can’t wait to make it!

      Dede on Apr 11, 2009 @ 11:22 pm Reply
    13. 13

      This looks so good. My mother is dutch, but born in Indonesia, so I grew up on delicious dutch/Indonesia foods. We have all the Sambals here at a local specialty shop. Which one would you recommend for this recipe?

      I usually make my own Sambal, but Sambal Badjak would work really well with this.

      Kay on Apr 21, 2009 @ 9:29 pm Reply
    14. 14

      This looks and sounds absolutely delicious and I love all the photos along the way. Definitely adding this to the “must try” list! :)


      (seen on Tastespotting)

      Kitty on May 13, 2009 @ 11:35 pm Reply
    15. 15

      I would never have though of this combo but it looks and sounds really good!

      Kevin on May 16, 2009 @ 10:58 pm Reply
    16. 16

      Thank you for your help!

      Adsense Indonesia on Jun 17, 2009 @ 2:24 pm Reply
    17. 17

      Poza sunt perfect. Rteta nu este complet. Pecat.
      Noroc, Kees.

      Kees on Jul 8, 2009 @ 2:26 pm Reply
    18. 18

      Hi, I found your blog by accident when I’m googling Indonesian recipes. I’m impressed that you’re able to make “gado gado” – that’s the real name of that salad you made, actually and we usually buy them from street vendors. Yummy and cheap!

      By the way I’m an Indonesian living in Denmark and miss my home food and wish I lived in the Netherlands instead :(

      the writer on Aug 18, 2009 @ 8:13 pm Reply
    19. 19

      @the writer:

      Thanks! Our Gado gado is very different. We don’t mix the vegetables, but rather slice them and put them on a big plate next to each other. Wed add potatoes, hardboiled eggs, cabbage, cucumber, green beans, bean sprouts and drizzle the peanut dressing on top. The peanut dressing is made with djinten, laos and djahe. So in the Netherlands this is more a basic salad with peanut dressing than Gado Gado.

      Kay on Aug 18, 2009 @ 8:30 pm Reply
    20. 20

      Amazing pics!! I would personally, bring the peanut butter a bit down and add more ginger for an extra punch. Thanks for sharing.

      Ramirezsaad on Oct 22, 2009 @ 7:23 pm Reply
    21. 21

      Wow! Stumbled across your site and was amazed and inspired by the variety and types of recipes! Tried this salad tonight and my husband and two teens loved it! Am looking forward to trying some others soon.
      Vancouver Island, Canada

      Wendy-Lee on Apr 20, 2011 @ 2:13 am Reply
    22. 22

      Hi Kay,
      I was surfing for an Indonesian recipe (Acar) to teach my class in Chile and I opened your page. It is beautiful and I loved your attitude and your style. I will be coming back for more. Saludos from Santiago.

      Sonia Hofstadt on Apr 21, 2011 @ 9:20 pm Reply
    23. 23

      Wow! When I saw a picture of this, I had to peek at it, and I was surprised to see it was from 2009!  Bump this one up indeed! Especially delightful for summer! YUM, thanks Kay!

      Trish-in-MO on May 6, 2011 @ 3:07 pm Reply

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