Ayam Kuluyuk or Ko Loo Kee is a Peranakan (Indonesian Chinese) style of sweet and sour chicken. I’ve known this dish as Koloke which I recalled during my childhood in East Java, there were plenty street vendors of Chinese foods that sold this menu.
Generally speaking, Peranakan foods in Indonesia depend on the area. Adapting to the local cuisine where the Chinese migrants settled in Indonesia. So, Peranakan foods in North Sumatra, Bangka, South Sumatra, West Java, Central/East Java, or Kalimantan will be different. Without realizing, Peranakan foods are becoming a part of Indonesian foods as the Chinese settlements have been centuries long before European invaded Indonesia.
I don’t recall Ayam Kuluyuk menu at Chinese street food vendors when I lived in Bogor, West Java but maybe I just didn’t pay attention at that time. They might have it at Chinese restaurants not at Chinese street food vendors like in East Java.
The recipe that I have here is an adaptation from a cookbook “Indonesian Chinese Cooking” by Cherry Hadibroto. She is a third generation of Indonesian Chinese descendent who grew up in Semarang, Central Java. As I grew up in East Java, the Peranakan food is very similar to Semarang style.
Surely, I tweaked her recipe. Please be mind that every brand of ketchup has a different sweetness and sourness level as well as the country of manufacturing plays in those two characteristics based on its people’s preference.
This time, I’m using Heinz Sriracha Tomato Ketchup which is pretty closed to ketchup in Indonesia in regards to the sweetness level. Although it’s said Sriracha but this ain’t spicy at all to my tastebuds.
- 300 grams (10.6 oz) skinless and boneless chicken breast or thighs, thinly sliced
- 1 small onion, divided into 6-8 parts
- 3 cloves garlic, bruised
- 100 grams (3.5 oz) angle cut carrots
- 100 grams (3.5 oz) deseeded cucumber, angle cut
- 1 fresno red chilies, angle cut
- 240 mL (1 cup) chicken broth or water
- 5 tablespoon Heinz sriracha ketchup
- 1 teaspoon sugarcane vinegar or any type of vinegar
- 1 teaspoon soy sauce
- 5 tablespoons cooking oil
- salt and sugar to your liking
- 1 clove garlic, minced or 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons corn starch
- Combine sliced chicken with minced garlic or garlic powder and soy sauce. Add corn starch and mix them well with chopsticks or your fingers.
- In a wok, heat up cooking oil at medium heat. Stir in chickens. Make sure chickens aren't sticky to each other. Fry until golden brown. Set a side.
- Strain remaining cooking oil and put back 3 tablespoons the leftover oil to the wok. Heat up at medium.
- Stir fry onions until wilted. Add in garlics and keep stirring until yellowish. Stir in carrots and pour in chicken broth or water. Let it to a boil.
- Add in ketchup, vinegar and soy sauce or salt. Optionally you can season with sugar. Depend how sweet is your ketchup.
- Stir in chili cuts, chicken strips and cucumber. Keep stirring until thicken. Serve.
- There are many different variants in regards of vegetables or fruits to be added to Koloke or Ayam Kuluyuk. You can use paprika or pineapple.
- If you are using water instead of chicken broth, I'll suggest you to add fish sauce to boost the flavour.