CHI-MEK — THE INDONESIAN WAY

To say that Koreans love chicken is simply an understatement. Every street corner in Seoul has at least one or two restaurants selling only chicken and most often, people are lining up outside the establishment waiting to be served.

Koreans often eat chicken with their beer. They have coined a term for it — “chi-mek” — which is a combination of two words: chicken and mekju, the Korean term for beer. 

To celebrate the love for chicken, try this Indonesian-inspired chicken dish called Ayam Goreng. Like in Korea, every Indonesian home has its own signature home-made Indonesian fried chicken recipe. Compared to ordinary fried chicken which is coated with flour mixture, the ayam goreng  is quite different and  accentuated by the Indonesian fresh spices, aroma and flavors.

The method of cooking varies, depending on personal preference. Some pound the spices using mortar and pestle, stew the chicken in aromatic mixture before deep-frying. Others just marinate the chicken with spice paste and then fry it. For health-conscious individuals, they can try baking it until crispy. 

Here is the Ayam Goreng recipe that you can try: 

INGREDIENTS:

6 pieces chicken
7 cloves garlic, peel and slice
1 cm fresh turmeric root
1 stalk lemongrass, take the white part only and bruise
Enough water to submerge the chicken
salt to taste
Oil for frying

PREPARATION

Clean and rinse the chicken under cold running water. Trim excess fat.

Using a mortar and pestle, grind garlic and turmeric into a paste.

DIRECTION:

In a pot, combine the chicken and the spice paste. Pour in the water, just enough to immerse the chicken. Add the lemongrass and season with salt. Heat the pot over medium heat. Put the lid and bring it to a boil.

Once it boils, reduce the heat to low and let it simmer for about 15 minutes or until the liquid is reduced. Then, take the pot off the heat. Set aside the chicken to cool down.

In a frying pan, pour the oil, enough to cover the base. Put it on medium heat. Fry the chicken until golden brown. Serve the fried chicken.

TIPS: Make sure to cook the chicken in batches to be sure they are well done. Turn once during the frying time. When the chicken is cooked, remove from the pan and transfer in a plate covered with paper towel to catch the excess oil.

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