If I say Peranakan do you know what’s that mean?  Lia of My Bentolicious is a perfect example for a Peranakan (known as Nyonya).  I offered Lia Chen being my guest post to represent the Peranakan food in Indonesia as she is a Chinese-Indonesian descendant. Beside Tata of Bonita’s Cooking & Bento Wonderland, Lia is another Indonesian bentoist that I know very creative and talented. When I got Lia’s email about the post I said to my self “what a perfect dish!” since recently I had a post on how to make Indonesian basic yellow spice paste. She also commented on the post that the Indonesian basic yellow spice paste is her favorite. Probably because her family and the dishes from her hometown use yellow spice a lot.  For your information, Lia is originally from Bangka Belitung (known as Babel) province on Sumatra island. Join me to enjoy Lia’s recipe of Asam Chicken. Don’t forget to take a look her two beautiful blogs, My Bloglicious and My Bentolicious.

I feel honored to have a chance to make a guest post for my fellow Indonesian blogger friend, Pepy. She has a beautiful and very informative blog called Indonesia Eats. You can find a lot of delicious recipes from Indonesia and other countries too. Not to mention, her photography skill is really inspiring. She is one of the blogger friends that inspired me to start my new blog My Bloglicious after almost 2 years blogging about my bento making at My Bentolicious.

Pepy asked me to make a post about food from my hometown. Indonesia has so many regions with their own speciality dishes. And sometimes from one and another regions, you can find similar dishes. I found some of my hometown’s dishes taste similar with the Peranakan Food. I use a lot family recipe for my daily cooking. My late grandma was the master in the kitchen. She loved to cook and I loved her cooking since I was a kid. My mom’s cooking style inherited from her. When we were younger, we didn’t have so much chance to help in the kitchen. Mostly my mom couldn’t stand us in the kitchen, so she preferred to cook alone without her ‘noisy helpers’. And before I had kids, I barely cooked in the kitchen because of the office works. So my husband and I ate out a lot. Then after I had my daughter and stopped working, I started to cook. My mom taught me a lot about family’s recipe. But sometimes, she got annoyed if I asked her about the measurement. She could tell me the ingredients but to mention about how much of each ingredient in one recipe sometimes made her impatient. She usually would send me the spices paste that she has grinded in large batch, so I could keep it in the fridge for few months. For a while, I felt comfortable with the supply from my mom but now I’m making my own spices paste. The spices that I used for my guest post Asam Chicken was adapted from my family’s recipe. Most of the time, my family uses pork meat for this recipe but sometimes we use chicken meat too. So you can choose to use either pork or chicken for this recipe. Both of them will be equally delicious.

Asam Chicken
by My Bloglicious


  • 500 grams chicken middle wings
  • 500 grams chicken wing sticks
  • 2 Indonesian bay (salam) leaves
  • 2 kaffir lime leaves
  • 3 or 4 asam gelugur (asam Medan known as asam gelugor or asam keping in Malay), see the picture on see the picture on Lemongrass Prawn Sambal
  • 2 fresh lemongrass stalks, bruised and cut into small length
  • 500 milliliter coconut milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt or to taste
  •  tablespoons cooking oil

Spices to be ground (or you can use the short cut by making my  Indonesian basic yellow paste a head of time):

  • 30 grams galangal
  • 20 grams turmeric
  • 10 shallots
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 5 long red cayenne peppers

If you like to make it spicy then you can add 2 bird eyes chilies along with the other spices. Grind the spices with mortar and pestle or with food processor like I did.


  • Heat cooking oil in the wok / cooking pot with medium heat.
  • Put the spices paste inside the wok / cooking pot, saute and stir until aromatic.
  • Put inside the chicken and stir until the spices paste corporate well with the meats.
  • Pour the coconut milk, keep stirring.
  • Add Indonesian bay leaves, kaffir lime leaves, tamarind slices, lemongrass stalks, and salt.
  • Keep stirring from time to time under low to medium heat.
  • Cook until the liquid dry and you can see the oil at the bottom.
  • Turn off the heat.
  • Transfer to serving dish. Ready to serve.




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