I've made Ayam Percik before with chicken breast on plain, boiled rice. I remembered that it was fantastic, and now I decided to make it the second time around I wanted to adapt the flavours slightly. Inspired by a recipe on the Worldfoods website, I trickled in some toasted sesame oil and soy sauce into the marinade before dunking in the chicken. I also toned down the spice again, with natural yoghurt. I wanted everyone to enjoy this dish and get my children used to the different flavours. The first bite they tasted they dismissed it as being 'too spicy' but then shortly afterwards they were grabbing chunks of chicken for themsleves and thoroughly enjoyed it.
The marinade itself is really spicy, which makes the outside of the grilled chicken hum a little with the chilli, but also because the chicken is cooked so quickly, the meat is incredibly juicy on the inside. The thing about this sauce is that it is spicy but the flavours are much more complex; there's a lot more going on in there than just heat. The sesame oil gives it a toasty, nutty flavour and there is a sweetness too, that comes from the coconut. And when you squeeze over a little lime juice, it seems to just refresh all those flavours. It's one of my favourite meals, and judging by the clean plates, everyone else's too. I scattered mine with lots of glossy little coriander leaves, and served it at the table - it looks really pretty like this, too.
Ayam Percik is usually eaten with plain boiled rice or bread, but we decided to enjoy ours with some noodles - cooked in chicken stock, with 2 chopped spring onions, a handful of frozen peas and scooped into serving bowls, with some of the cooking liquid and a dash of soy sauce ladled over.
Malaysian Ayam Percik Chicken with Sesame Oil and Soy
- Half a bottle of Worldfoods Chilli and Coconut Marinade
- 5 tablespoons plain, natural yoghurt
- 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon dark soy sauce
- 8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
- Bunch of fresh coriander, to garnish
- Wedges of lime to serve
- 30-40 minutes before you want to eat, mix the chilli and coconut sauce, the yoghurt, sesame oil and soy sauce in a large, shallow bowl. Gently push in the chicken thighs, making sure that they are coated inside and out. (Because they are boneless, the thighs will open out flat - make sure the underside is coated in the marinade too). Cover with cling film and leave in a cool place.
- When your marinating time is up, preheat your grill to medium. Lay a sheet of foil over your grill tray and lay out each piece of chicken - unravel the thigh fillet to flatten. Slide this tray under the grill and cook for about 10-12 minutes, turning once, until sizzling and cooked through.
- Meanwhile, pour any of the marinade left in the bowl into a small saucepan. Heat gently, stirring, for about 5 minutes until piping hot and bubbling. Pour into a small serving bowl and take to the table.
- Remove the chicken from the grill and cut one thigh in half to make sure it's cooked through. When they're all cooked through, transfer to a chopping board and slice each fillet into chunks for people to help themselves. Arrange on a serving plate, scatter with the coriander and arrange lime wedges around the outside. Serve with noodles, rice or bread and the heated marinade as a spicy sauce.
You can find the Worldfoods range of cooking sauces at Tesco, if you want to try this yourself.
Do you like Malaysian cooking? Have you tried Ayam Percik? What did you think?