My husband and I became acquainted with Indonesian food when we were students at UC Santa Barbara. We used to go out to brunch at a restaurant called Blue Dolphin, circa 2003-2005, which is now closed. Fortunately for us, when we arrived late for brunch one day, we discovered their Indonesian lunch menu and never turned back. This was our favorite menu item, erroneously called Goreng Ayam. After the restaurant closed down, we were surprised to learn that there is a dish called Ayam Goreng, a fried chicken dish, and that it is not this one. We were actually laughed at by several grocery store merchants who had no idea what we were talking about when we were searching for recipe tips. It took us a little while, but we finally found a way to replicate it when we came across a seasoning mix at Indochina Market in Goleta called Ayam Goreng by Kokita.
While we now know how to make the simmer sauce from scratch, we tend to still use the seasoning mix more often than not because it’s such a quick dinner and it’s so easy that we could make it in our sleep. If you’re interested in purchasing it, we purchase ours from Indo Food Store’s website, but if you’re lucky enough, you might be able to find it at a local market. Here’s our recipe below:
Indonesian-Style Chicken Curry
3 oz Ayam Goreng Seasoning Mix (about 1/4 jar)
1 cup water
2-3 sliced chili peppers (jalapeno and/or birdseye chiles)
1.5 lb chicken thighs
Cabbage, ½ head
Steamed rice, to serve
Add seasoning mix to a medium saucepan and stir in water to thin. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Add chilies and chicken and lower heat to medium. Simmer for about 15-20 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. Serve with steamed rice and garnish with sliced cabbage.