Singgang Ayam, Grilled Chicken ala Padang

Written by on June 13, 2012 in Sumatra Culinary with 0 Comments

Singgang Ayam, Grilled Chicken ala Padang



  1. 1 free-range chicken ( weighing about 1kg ), cut in half lengthway
  2. 800 ml thick coconut milk
  3. 5 kaffir lime leaves
  4. 2 stem lemon grass, outer leaves discarded, bruished
  5. 2 salam or bay leaves
  6. 1 turmeric leaf ( optional )

Spice for the paste:

  1. 4 large red chillies, de-seeded, chopped
  2. 10 shalllots, chopped
  3. 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  4. 5 candlenuts, roughly chopped or crashed
  5. 4 cm or 2 tbsp ginger
  6. 4 cm ground turmeric or 2 tsp turmeric powder
  7. 3 cm or 1.5 tbsp galangale, chopped
  8. 1 tsp cumin ( optional)
  9. 2 tsp salt

Roasted / Grilled Chicken ala Padang

Place of Origin: Padang – West Sumatra

Source: Indonesian Recipes Collection

Tips & Tricks!!

There are many varieties of Indonesian poultry dishes. A famous variant among them is “Singgang Ayam” or “Grilled Chicken ala Padang” which’s originated in Padang, the capital city of West Sumatra Province. This is one of my favorite recipes – A special New Year’s Eve Dinner menu for the whole family & close friends.

Tips: If possible, choose the young chicken for the better taste. There are two ways of cutting method, concerning the serving’s appearance. If you want to have a whole chicken to be served, then cut chicken in half lengthwise along backbone, leave the breast uncut. Tie up the chicken together with kitchen string. This way you will get a lovely roasted chicken at the end (see picture). If appearance is not your concern, then just cut the chicken in half lengthway on both sides. The advantage of this method : The chicken is much easier to be handled & no need extra attention. Whatever methods should you prefer, the taste should not be different. Good luck !!


  1. Put all ingredients for the paste in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth.
  2. (If necessery add a little bit oil to help the blending process).
  3. Heat 2 tbsp oil in a wok or largish saucepan. (Don’t add oil if already added in a blender).
  4. Stir fry the paste, lemon grass, kaffir-lime leaf and bay leaf. Stirring all the time until fragrant.
  5. Pour in the coconut milk and bring to boil over a medium heat. Stirring constantly.
  6. Add the chicken, cook the breast side for 20 minutes.
  7. Turn the chicken around, then cook the other side for another 20 minutes.
  8. Take the chicken out and set aside.
  9. Simmer the sauce over a low heat until the coconut milk is little bit driven off and the sauce becomes thicker. Lift.
  10. Meanwhile prepare the charcoal for Grilled Chicken, otherwise preheat oven to 350°F (180°C) for roasted one.
  11. Pour the sauce evenly on the chicken, so that all surfaces are well coated with the sauce.
  12. Grill the chicken for barbecue. Or roast in a pre-heated oven for about 20 minutes.
  13. Serve hot with rice, salad and sambal lado ijo/merah ( if you like it hot!!).


  1. Singgang Ayam can be prepared one day in advance. Just keep the chicken & sauce in different containers and let them cold. Store in a refrigerator.
  2. Pour the sauce over the chicken just before grilling / roasting.

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