Tag Archives: taman

RECIPE: Ayam Kicap (Soya Sauce Chicken)

22 Aug

I know It doesn't look great, but believe me... it tastes awesome!

Finally…. I cooked Ayam Kicap over the weekend. I didn’t think it fair to upload a recipe of something I hadn’t recently made. The last two times that I made it, my sister was the only one who wasn’t a believer in the wholesome goodness of Ayam Kicap. But when I cooked it last night, she too turned *yeahee me!* So here it is…


  • One whole chicken (with skin), cut into 8 pieces. You can go with skinless if you like.
  • 1/2 tsp tumeric
  • Salt to taste (This recipe makes use of concentrated  soya sauce, which is quite salty… so please be careful)
  • 1tbsp ginger (chopped)
  • 1tbsp garlic (chopped)
  • 4tbsp onions (chopped)
  • 2 medium-sized onions (cut into thick rings)
  • 4 tbsp white sugar or 3tbsp brown sugar
  • 1tbsp vinegar
  • 6tbsp thick soya sauce. If you don’t have the thick kind, just reduce a cup of the regular soya sauce over low heat. I did this, much to the dismay of everyone at home (everything smelled like soya sauce)… but it was worth it.


  • Massage the chicken with salt and tumeric. Heat a cup of cooking oil and fry the pieces until they’re golden and well cooked.
  • Remove the chicken from the oil and let it rest on the side. In the same oil, add the chopped onions, garlic and ginger. Cook till brown.
  • Add the chicken and cook some more. Add about a cup of water and reduce. The onion, garlic and ginger mixture should have a paste-like consistency.
  • Add the soya sauce and cook well. Now add the sugar and vinegar and cook some more. This is where the advantage of using chicken with skin comes in. Its texture, upon being caramelized, is what makes the difference.
  • At this point, the chicken will be slightly brown and dry. Add another cup of water and when you get the required consistency, then add the onion rings.
  • Let it cook for a while, then remove from flame and serve. I usually like the chicken to be slightly dark, gleaming with oil and smelling sweet. You could add more water, but that softens the chicken, completely undoing the crunchy texture. So I would advise against it.

Enjoy and let me know how it turns out for you.


Ayam Kicap (Soya Sauce Chicken)

17 Aug

Photo courtesy: Fun-Travel-Malaysia.com

Last year, my beautiful friend Freddie and I went on a trip to Malaysia for two weeks. There’s one word to describe that vacation… ‘Magical’. Magical because it marked many firsts of our lives. It was the…

  • First time Freddie and I had been together for so long since our college days (we used to be roomies).
  • First heavy expense since we both started earning.
  • First time I was going on a self-financed trip with a friend.
  • First time I used a credit card online.
  • First time I watched a movie in 3D.
  • First time I went on a night jungle-walk.
  • First time I saw a field mouse in my hotel bedroom.
  • First time I flew Air Asia.
  • First time I rode a jet ski.
  • First time I went so deep into the sea.
  • First time I went inside a bat cave.
  • First time I walked a canopy bridge.

So you see, it was a special time for me. This was the first time I was doing everything on my own expenses…it was an adrenaline rush. Nevertheless, I should clarify that it wasn’t my first time in Malaysia. It wasn’t even my second, or third, or fourth. Long story short… I had been to Malaysia several times before, but this time I experienced a lot of new things.

I still remember, it was our first day in Taman Negara, which is Malay for National Forest, and we had just been on a bus for almost 5 hours and on a boat for another one.

This is where we were:

We were exhausted and absolutely famished. Finally we reached our home for the next two nights. It was a beautiful resort, with a bunch of wooden huts in the wilderness. For us city girls, this was as exciting as it could get. Here we were, in the middle of nowhere, with absolute strangers, in what was one of the thickest and oldest rain forests in the world. Now that I think of it, it’s scary; but back then, it was awesome.

Our cabin at Taman Negara

Anyway, after a somewhat dramatic entrance into our motel room (involving fat lizards, my reluctance to touch anything in the room or enter the shower, and freddie pulling our beds AWAY from the walls),  freddie & I cleaned up. We were supposed to be at the Mama Chop Floating Restaurant after dinner. This was our group’s assembling point. Dinner was supposed to be at the resort.

Photo Courtesy: Muffledsolitude.com

So there we were, all set to be fed to the fill, when’ we were greeted by a not-so-appetizing-looking Chicken dish. For a chicken lover like me, that’s saying something, but considering how hungry I was, I could have eaten my friend if I had to. Anyway, the dish was Ayam Kicap… and believe you me, it was amazing. Never before have I tasted something that looked so unappealing yet tasted soooo good.

Photo courtesy: Linapg.blogspot.com

Ayam Kicap (pronounced “Kichaap”) or Soya Sauce Chicken is a purely chicken and onion dish, which, from the looks of it, kinda reminded me of the Bengali dish, Murgh Dopiaza (that means Chicken with Onions). However, the taste is quite different. The dish, like most Malaysian food, is kind of sweet; most prominent flavours being of the rustic, earthy brown sugar, some thick sweet soya sauce, garlic and a bite of vinegar. Onions, in this dish, unlike in Pakistani cuisine, are not halved, finely sliced and fried until golden brown. They are cut into thick onion rings that can withstand the entire cooking process. The chicken, at the end, tastes almost as though it has been caramelised… which is NEVER a bad thing. The dish was accompanied by the staple Malaysian side dishes… nasi goreng (fried rice) and sauteéd vegetables. We thoroughly enjoyed everything on the table, my favourite part being when I would mix some vegetable stock from the sauteéd veggies, with the rice and chicken…and gorge on a mouthful. Though we were in the wild, everything was serene at that moment.

So, while we had much to complain about (in the context of our room), when our group assembled at Mama Chop’s, we had nothing but good things to say about the meal that made up for everything else.

Note to self, must plan a girls-only trip again!

UPDATE: Just remembered, I cooked Ayam Kicap twice after returning to Pakistan. Needless to say, it was great. Will upload recipe and original camera shots soon.

Photo courtesy for un-captioned images: Freddie Kruger