Ayam Masak Merah Recipe: Delicious and Highly Addictive

Are you craving for something sweet and spicy? Look no further. Think no further. I’ve got the right answer for you. Make yourself this highly addictive Ayam Masak Merah! Chicken cooked in a rich, spicy tomato sauce with a concoction of spices and herbs, it’s a no-brainer this is an all-time national favourite dish. Before you proceed, make sure to you bookmark and print out this ayam masak merah recipe because people will be asking you for it.


Ayam masak merah recipe


  • Chicken, 1 whole chicken, cut into 14 pieces. (2 wings, 2 thighs, 2 drumsticks, each breast cut into 4 pieces)
  • Salt, to taste (~2g)
  • Turmeric Powder, 1 tablespoon (~7g)
  • Cooking Oil , ~800ml for deep frying, 200ml for saute/tumis (175C)
  • Garlic, 4 cloves (20g)
  • Red Onion, 3 (300g)
  • Ginger, 1/2 inch cube (30g)
  • Rehydrated Dried Chillies, 90g
  • Tomato Ketchup, 1/2 cup (150g)
  • Chilli Sauce, 1/2 cup (150g)
  • Tomato Paste, 50g
  • Water, 100ml
  • Lemongrass, 1 (bashed) (12g)
  • Yellow Onion, 1 (cut into half rings) (120g)
  • Peas, 50g
  • Salt, to taste (1tsp, 6g)
  • Sugar, to taste (1tbs, 12g)


  1. Rehydrate dried chillies by placing in a covered pot of boiling water for 20 minutes. Drain and reserve.
  2. Remove the skin of the red onions and cut into quarters.
  3. With flat side of a knife, flatten the garlic, remove the skin and cut off its roots.
  4. Remove the skin of the ginger and slice thinly.
  5. Add rehydrated dried chillis, red onions, garlic and ginger into a food processor and blend until smooth. If using a blender, add some water as well.
  6. Remove the outer layer of the yellow onion and slice into half rings at approximately 1cm in width.
  7. Slice off root end of lemongrass, remove outer layer and bash the base of the lemongrass stalk with flat side of knife to lightly bruise it.
  8. Cut chicken into desired pieces & in a bowl, toss with salt and turmeric powder.
  9. Heat up enough oil to 175C. We want to par-cook the chicken because it will continue cooking in our Masak Merah Sauce later. A perfectly cooked chicken will be overcooked later on and would break apart easily as it is being stirred in the pot.
  10. Once oil touches 175C, fry chicken pieces for 8-9 minutes. Then, reserve par cooked chicken in a bowl on absorbent tissue.
  11. In a wide pot, heat saute/tumis cooking oil on high heat until shimmering. This should take about 2 minutes.
  12. Then, add in blended paste from food processor. Paste needs to be constantly stirred to ensure it is mixed into the cooking oil thoroughly. Stir for about two minutes.
  13. Now, we need to caramelise the paste without scorching until the oil ‘splits’ from the paste (pecah minyak). What is happening here is that moisture from the garlic, ginger, onion and chilli needs to evaporate to concentrate their flavours, while their natural sugars start browning to create that roasty flavour. This is done by maintaining a high heat while stirring often for about 8 minutes.
  14. Once the paste has ‘split’ from the oil, lower the heat to medium. Stir the paste once in a while, as it simmers, for another 4 minutes.
  15. Add tomato paste, tomato ketchup and chilli sauce. Stir for about 1 minute.
  16. Then add about 200ml water to create a saucy consistency. Adjust the amount of water as needed. Stir to emulsify well.
  17. Into the pot, add chicken, sliced yellow onions and lemongrass. Stir to coat all the ingredients with the sauce and allow everything to simmer for 3 more minutes to soften the onions and completely cook the chicken.
  18. Lastly, add the peas and simmer for another minute just to warm them through. Season with some salt & sugar.
  19. Serve with butterkicap rice and enjoy!


Well, how was your Ayam Masak Merah recipe experience? It definitely lives up to the expectation, doesn’t it? It’s a truly evergreen Malaysian dish one will always pass down to the next generation. Make sure this will too!



Nik Michael Imran
Nik Michael Imran

Butterkicap Culinary Brand Director

Chef Nik is known for always managing to push the boundaries of fusion cuisine to bring vibrant and tantalising creations to the table. Perhaps this is in part due to a combination of his passion for Malaysian food and culture, his Australian-Malaysian heritage and the exposure he gained at age 9 picking up cooking skills from his father, an Australian trained chef. Chef Nik was first introduced to the spotlight in 2011, when he was one of 24 finalists drafted out of 500 contestants in the first season of Masterchef Malaysia. By 2012, Chef Nik embarked on a culinary journey with his father opening comfort food restaurant PickNIK in Kuala Lumpur. Fast forward to 2017, Chef Nik and a group of friends decided to work together to spread happiness, and create unity by using the power of Malaysian food. With their sleeves rolled up, they built Butterkicap, a new independent food platform dedicated to branding Malaysian food and culture. With his engaging personality paired with the passion for extreme sports and tech gaming, he always sparks conversations with a smile and some form of witty banter.

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