Opor Ayam (Indonesian Chicken Curry)

Opor AyamI love this recipe. It has all the Indonesian flavors I love (especially trassi and kecap manis — please see the glossary). Opor Ayam is a chicken stew that is common in Indonesia. It is rich and aromatic, and some would consider it a curry. It’s simple, and it’s a dish that I do on weeknights.


1.5 – 2 lbs boneless chicken breasts, cut into 2-inch pieces
2 tbsp canola oil
1 large onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp terasi
3 oz chicken stock
1 14oz can reduced fat coconut milk
1 tbsp gula jawa (or brown sugar — see glossary)
2 tbsp kecap manis
3 tsp sambal ulek
2 kaffir lime leaves, very thinly shredded

Spice Mixture

4 kemiri nuts
1 tsp coriander
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp Laos powder (see glossary)
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp white pepper


Combine coconut milk, chicken stock, lime leaves, gula jawa, kecap manis and set aside.

Combine spices for spice mixture and set aside.

Combine the onions, garlic, sambal ulek and chicken and set aside.

Heat oil on medium-high in a heavy sauce pan or wok. Add the chicken mixture, and saute for 5 minutes, until chicken is no longer pink.Cooking Opor Ayam

Add the spice mixture, cook for 2 minutes, then add the terasi and cook for another minute.

Add the broth mixture, bring to a boil, cover and simmer for 30 minutes. Remove the lid and simmer for another 45 minutes, until the liquid is reduced to about half (or a little more, as Indonesian sauces are fairly dry). Serve with steamed jasmine rice.

Serves 4.


6 thoughts on “Opor Ayam (Indonesian Chicken Curry)

  1. jtalley

    made this tonight & really enjoyed the depth of flavor vs. my standard curry, and for not much more effort! do you think that instead of thinly shredding the kaffir lime leaves, would still infuse if were to put in whole or cut into larger pieces?

  2. jtalley

    also, I forgot to shop for gula jawa so used jiggery instead…similar, or do you think that may have changed the flavor?


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