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Spice Up your Life! Manado Chicken with Spicy Chilli Sauce

Recipe for Manado Rica Rica Chicken with Kaffir Lime Leaf Powder and Bird's Eye Chilli

Our tastebuds are tingling away just thinking of this Ayam Rica Rica recipe. Braised or grilled, this is one unforgettable dish on the palate!

One of our colleagues, Mike has been experimenting with Indonesian cuisine and found out that kaffir lime leaves, lemongrass and bay leaves are staple ingredients. And the other powerhouse ingredient is, of course, Red Hot Chillies!

Indonesians love their spices, in fact, the hotter the better! Any self-respecting cook would stock up his kitchen well with spices, so you can imagine the wonderful smells that waft through this gastronomical space...

So, Mike has been cooking up a storm and experimenting with so many spices he practically has these beautiful smells oozing out of his skin. He discovered that these gorgeous spices come in pre-made paste or sauces and powder form as well. And these are authentic Indonesian staple brands such as Cap Ibu, Bumbu 47 and Bamboe. Mike tried an Ayam Rica Rica recipe last week from scratch and the result was unbelievable.

Grand Laguna Hawthorn* in Melbourne and Am-mart St Ives in Sydney both stock the above Indonesian sauces as well as My Blue Tea´s products such as Pandan Powder, Butterfly Pea Tea and Butterfly Pea Powder. You can also get our Sarawak Native Bird's Eye Chilli powder at Grand Laguna Melbourne. Or BUY Direct from the list of stores here.

*Two more new stores in Preston and Point Cook (Victoria) will be opening soon.

The Ayam Rica Rica dish is a typical North Sulawesi dish, better known as Manado. Rica means “spicy” in Manado. So Ayam Rica Rica means spicy chicken. This is usually served with warm white rice or you can serve it grilled accompanied by your favourite salad.

If you like spicy cuisine, then you must try this dish. If you are not wild about spices, don’t worry, you can adjust the spiciness level.

Chicken Curry | Ayam Rica rica | Kaffir Lime | Chilli
Manado Ayam Rica Rica - braised or grilled

Put it on the Grill

If you wish, there is another alternative way of preparing Ayam Rica Rica. You can turn this braised chicken dish into a grilled chicken dish!

Once the chicken has finished braising in the pot, remove the lid and cook until the sauce really clings to the chicken. Turn on a grill or an oven broiler, and grill/broil the chicken just until the skin is charred. Enjoy!

Ayam Rica Rica - Manado Chicken with Chili Sauce

Prep Time: 15 mins

Cook Time: 30 mins

Total Time: 45 mins

Serves: 6


  • 1 chicken (about 1.5 kilogram/3.3 lb.), cut into 8 pieces (or use drumsticks cut in halves.)

  • 3 lemongrass bruised and knotted

  • 1 tspn Kaffir Lime Leaf Powder

  • Juice from 1 lime

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • ½ teaspoon sugar

Grind the following into a spice paste:

Method :

  1. Marinate the chicken with salt and lime juice and let it sit for 30 minutes.

  2. Heat 5 tablespoons of cooking oil in a frying pan, stir fry the spice paste until fragrant, for about 3-4 minutes.

  3. Add lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, lime juice, salt, and sugar and cook for another 2 minutes.

  4. Add chicken pieces and mix well. Cover the pan with a lid and let it cook undisturbed for 20 minutes on medium heat, or until chicken is fully cooked and tender. Serve with a bowl of steaming white rice.

Optional -

  1. Grill the chicken on a barbeque grill or in an oven over moderate heat until done. When it is done, serve with the rest of the sauce.

  2. Serve Ayam Rica Rica with coleslaw and chips.

The above recipe is adapted and combined from both Tasty Indonesian Food and Daily Cooking Quest. While you are enjoying this delicious spicy dish, why not take some time also to chill with a refreshing Butterfly Pea Rambutan drink?

Butterfly Pea Rambutan Drink made with coconut water, rambutans, butterfly pea powder, dragon fruit powder from My Blue Tea. Video recipe courtesy of Raw Chef Yin.

If you cannot get rambutan in your local area, you can substitute with lychees or longans - photos below are by Curious Charlie in Melbourne.

Stay tuned for more Indonesian cuisines such as Opor Ayam, Kueh Bong Kong and Semur Ayam! They are all beautifully rich in tastes and smells, plus they are actually easy to cook at home. They make a wonderful perk-me-up and comforting treat during this lockdown in Sydney. We may physically be confined, but our culinary adventures and experiments continue. A simple Ayam Rica Rica that gets everyone at home involved and excited is a wonderfully comforting ingredient during a challenging period. And what better end to a cooking spree than to sit down together and enjoy beautiful food with loved ones?

Get your spices rolling!

Sources :-


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