Chef's Recipes

Padang chilli fried chicken (Ayam goreng balado)

Australian Gourmet Traveller recipe for Padang chilli fried chicken (Ayam goreng balado)

By Tony Tan
  • 25 mins preparation
  • 40 mins cooking plus marinating
  • Serves 8
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Padang chilli fried chicken (Ayam goreng balado)
The term balado indicates a dish from Padang that's usually packed with chillies, tomatoes, shallots and garlic, though there are variations. If you love hot chilli dishes, this fiery number from Padang is the one for you. It contains no coconut milk and the traditional incendiary flavour is quite addictive. The following recipe uses a fair number of chillies to give body to the hot sauce, and the sauce itself should be relatively dry so that it coats the chicken.


  • 1.5 kg chicken Marylands, cut through the joint
  • 50 gm tamarind pulp, mixed with 125ml water, strained, solids discarded
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • Pinch each of ground turmeric and ground white pepper
  • For deep-frying: vegetable oil
  • 6 golden shallots, thinly sliced
  • 2 vine-ripened tomatoes, coarsely chopped
  • 15 long red chillies, processed to a fine paste in a small food processor
  • 5 kaffir lime leaves, thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • Pinch of caster sugar
  • 1-2 tbsp lime juice, or to taste


  • 1
    Massage chicken with tamarind liquid, coriander, turmeric, white pepper and 1 tsp fine sea salt, then refrigerate to marinate (4 hours-overnight).
  • 2
    Heat oil in a deep saucepan to 180C. Pat chicken dry with absorbent paper and deep-fry in batches, turning occasionally, until golden but still under-cooked (6-8 minutes; be careful as hot oil will spit), then drain on absorbent paper. Reserve 120ml oil in saucepan (discard remainder), add shallot and stir occasionally over medium heat until tender (5 minutes). Add tomato, chilli, lime leaves, garlic and sugar and stir until mixture is fragrant (5 minutes). Add chicken and stir to coat, then add 60ml water and cook over low-medium heat, covered and stirring occasionally, until sauce is well reduced (15-20 minutes). Add lime juice to taste and serve hot.


This recipe is from the June 2011 issue of Australian Gourmet Traveller.

  • undefined: Tony Tan