271 Steamed Chicken (Manuk Dang – Lombok)
A juicy and tender chicken dish is truly delicious. Beb Vuyk knows how to accomplish this dish: just steam it! This chicken recipe from the Indonesian island Lombok is marvelous; you will always succeed. The chicken retains all her juices, because she is entirely wrapped in aluminum foil.
This recipe is definitely a healthy version of chicken roast: no extra fat is added. Only herbs and spices.
I buy a free range chicken of nearly 1200 grams. I opt for a French free-range chicken. This is a slightly slimmer chicken than the regular free-range chickens and therefore looks more like ‘ayam’ from Indonesia ;-).
This recipe is enough for three people and takes one hour and 50 minutes to make.
Steamed Chicken (Manuk Dang – Lombok) translated from Beb Vuyk’s Groot Indonesisch kookboek, page 235.
1 chicken of about 1000 to 1200 grams
2 teaspoons of sambal terasi (trassi/ chili sauce with shrimp paste)
1 1/2 tsp of laos/galangal
1 tsp of ground ginger
1 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp Kaempferia galanga/kencur
asem the size of a walnut
Use the chicken like this – do not chop in smaller pieces. Make a tamarind paste by kneading the tamarind with 2 tablespoons of water. Rub it through a sieve and mix the liquid with the sambal terasi, galangal, ginger, turmeric, salt and kencur.
Rub or better grease the chicken well on the outside and on the inside with this mixture and let the chicken marinate for at least an hour.
Wrap the chicken in aluminum foil and bake her in a hot oven (300 degrees Celsius), or steam it in the rice steamer.
This chicken dish needs quite some ingredients. I adore kencur (Kaempferia galanga). Just a little amount will give this dish it’s distinctive flavor. The turmeric gives the chicken a lovely yellow shine when it is done. The asem (tamarind) keeps the chicken tender and juicy.
I use tamarind paste from a jar (already sifted), about half a tablespoon. Then just mix the herbs through the tamarind paste and add about 2 tablespoons of water. I use a teaspoon of salt.
Because I still have some chili peppers left (and it’s about time I use them), I decide to make sambal trassi myself. It’s very easy, you just need some shrimp paste and salt. Check the recipe here. Chili peppers that do not look much anymore are still great in a sambal sauce. They will not taste less yummy.
The mix turns into a beautiful brown sauce. I pour it over my chicken and coat it well with my hands. I wrap the chicken in aluminum foil and let it marinade for one hour (refrigerated). In Beb’s recipe the chicken is wrapped after marinating. But I want to have my chicken ‘ready to steam’. After one hour I place my colander on top of a pan with boiling water (I use my rice cooker). I let the chicken steam exactely 50 minutes and I do not open the package. This way all the juices stay in, so you make a light gravy at the same time.
You can make this in the oven like Beb suggests. I would bake the chicken for an hour at 180 degrees.
I cut open the top and serve the chicken in a big oven dish. We eat this Manuk Dang with white rice and a salad of pickled cucumber. The chicken is juicy, tender and has that beautiful yellow color. All the spices are well absorbed in the meat and you pull off a bone easily, check! 😉