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Ayam Masak Kicap Pedas: Malaysian Spicy Soy Sauce Chicken


The author is an engineer by profession and a lover of food. In his free time, he likes to tinker around in the kitchen.

Spicy soy sauce chicken is a delicious and nutritious treat.

Spicy soy sauce chicken is a delicious and nutritious treat.

Chicken Cooked in Soy Sauce Gravy

Don't be put off by the color of soy sauce chicken—or as it's known in Malay, ayam masak kicap.

The black color of soy sauce and oyster sauce, combined with tomato sauce, chili paste, and other spices will turn into a delicious meal. Although there's chili paste, it is not that spicy hot. It's best served with steamed rice.

Easy to Prepare and Cook

The long list of ingredients for chicken cooked in soy sauce may also scare you off. Don't let this deter you from trying this recipe. It is easy to prepare and you will be rewarded with a sumptuous meal.

In this recipe, the gravy is thicker and you need to marinate the chicken for at least an hour. If you are short on time, you can still get a decent meal if you shorten or forgo the marinating time.

I have also included photos to show the various steps in the preparation of this recipe for your easy reference. Enjoy!

Ayam masak kicap pedas (spicy soy sauce chicken) ready to be served with steamed rice. Looks can be deceiving and this dish actually taste great!

Ayam masak kicap pedas (spicy soy sauce chicken) ready to be served with steamed rice. Looks can be deceiving and this dish actually taste great!

Preparation Time

Prep timeCook timeReady inYields

15 min

20 min

35 min

4 servings (serve with steamed rice)


  • 6 pieces chicken, skinned, marinated in turmeric and salt (leave it aside for an hour)
  • 1 stick about 2 inch long cinnamon (kayu manis)
  • 1 star anise (bunga lawang)
  • 2 cardamon (buah pelaga)
  • 1 stick lemon grass
  • 1 tbsp. chili paste, (add more if you prefer extra chilli-hot)
  • 1 piece potato, thinly sliced and fried
  • 2 tbsp. dark soy sauce (kicap pekat)
  • 2 tbsp. sweet soy sauce (kicap manis)
  • 1 tbsp. oyster sauce (sos tiram)
  • 1 tbsp. tomato sauce
  • 1 red chili
  • salt and sugar, to taste

For the onion mix:

  • 1 medium onion
  • 5 shallots (bawang merah)
  • 2 cloves garlic (bawang putih)
  • 1/2 inch ginger (halia)


  1. Marinate the chicken pieces with salt and turmeric and set it aside for 1 hour. As mentioned earlier, if you are pressed for time, just rub the chicken pieces with turmeric and salt. This will still give you a decent taste without the ‘full flavor’ of the mix.
  2. Fry the chicken pieces that were marinated earlier, but only up to half-cooked. Remove from fryer and put aside for use later.
  3. Fry the potato that was finely sliced until golden brown. Set aside for use later. (You can use the same oil that was used to fry the chicken.)
  4. Prepare the onion mix: Blend the onion, shallots, garlic and ginger with either a blender or the traditional mortar and pestle. Set aside.
  5. Using the same oil that was used earlier, fry the cinnamon, star anise and lemon grass until you get a nice fragrance.
  6. Add the coarsely blended or pounded onion, ginger, garlic, and shallots. Fry until it just turns brown.
  7. Add the chili paste and fry until oil separates. Then mix in the four sauces: dark soy sauce, sweet soy sauce, oyster sauce and tomato sauce. Add salt and sugar.
  8. Add the chicken pieces to complete the main ingredients for this dish. Fry for 1 minute.
  9. Mix thoroughly and let the gravy simmer before you add in 2 tbsp. of water. Stir and let the chicken cook in the gravy for about 10 minutes.
  10. Continue to stir before adding the potato pieces that were fried earlier. Let it simmer for another 2 minutes.
  11. Add in the cut chili and stir for 1 minute. Serve and enjoy.


After you have tried this recipe, you may want to try other versions. Here are two of my favorite versions for you to choose from.

  • For extra chili hot, add 20 (yes, twenty) stalks of chili padi (bird's eye chili pepper). Add this to the items that you need to blend and follow the same instruction. Be warned, this is a very very hot version!
  • For ayam masak kicap lada hitam (soy sauce chicken with black pepper), replace chili paste as in the original recipe with one tablespoon of black pepper. The rest of the other ingredients remain unchanged.
Adding these cili padi (bird's eye chilli peppers), will give you an extremely chili hot version of the ayam masak kicap dish

Adding these cili padi (bird's eye chilli peppers), will give you an extremely chili hot version of the ayam masak kicap dish

Questions & Answers

Question: I have garlic paste. So what do I add my garlic paste to in this Malaysian Chicken recipe?

Answer: You can use the garlic paste and add it on to the onion, shallots, and ginger mix.

Question: I don't have chili paste, can I use the shrimp chili paste to make Ayam Masak Kicap Pedas?

Answer: It will taste odd and I suggest you skip the chilli paste instead. It will not be 'hot' but better than using shrimp chilli paste.

© 2014 MazlanA


MazlanA (author) from Malaysia on May 06, 2018:

Random, I am glad it is of use to you. Thanks for sharing.

RANDOM_PERSON on May 04, 2018:

Hi.Encik Mazlan, Your recipe helped me... Thank you!! I am a student and thank you

MazlanA (author) from Malaysia on January 11, 2018:

Peter, you can use any of the chicken parts that you prefer.

peter on December 28, 2017:

Hi Mazlan

What chicken parts do you use, thighs, legs etc?

Mai on December 09, 2017:

Thabk you so much for the recipie! It was such a big hit friends and family were fighting over it! It was really great!!

MazlanA (author) from Malaysia on July 15, 2015:

Thanks Melissa. Do give it a try as this recipe is quite simple.

Melissa on July 15, 2015:

It's perfect ! I love it - been having cravings and ethos ingredients were all just right . Thank you

MazlanA (author) from Malaysia on October 24, 2014:

Hi peachpurple. I hope you like this recipe. It actually taste better if it is spicy hot. Give it a try.

peachy from Home Sweet Home on October 21, 2014:

I finally found the right recipe here, all the while i mixed light soy sauce, oyster sauce andsweet black sauce. Tq

MazlanA (author) from Malaysia on October 06, 2014:

@FunScavengerHunts, it actually tastes better when it is hot. Thanks for reading and commenting on this Spicy Soy Sauce Chicken Recipe.

@Nell, Thanks so much for taking the time to read my hub and post a comment. You must try the hot version as it tastes nicer with the rice, then you can write on your experience!

Nell Rose from England on October 04, 2014:

This sounds just my kind of food, but please not too many chilli's my mouth will fall off! lol! I can't even eat a strong curry without drinking a gallon of milk! love the recipe though!

Brett from Asia on August 24, 2014:

Sounds delicious and actually not that hard to cook. Think I'd make it spicy though ... I like HOT food lol

MazlanA (author) from Malaysia on August 06, 2014:

teaches12345 , Good to see you here again. Now that I am retired, but my wife still works, so yours truly is doing most of the cooking now!

This dish is simple and tasty and is often in the menu!

Dianna Mendez on August 05, 2014:

Just reading the ingredients made me quite hungry. My hubby would really go for the chili and gravy.

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