Chicken from Menado

This menadonese chicken is a buttery tender dish, in which chicken is cooked in a simple broth of chili peppers and a little bit of ginger powder. This chicken from Menado is topped with a sauce of a raw egg with leek, chives and basil. It sounds a bit bizarre, but it is very tasty. Manado is now a city of half a million people on northern Celebes. During Dutch colonial times this city was called Menado.

Menadonese chicken (Ayam bumbu Menado) #281 translated from Beb Vuyk’s Groot Indonesisch kookboek, page 241.


  • 1 chicken of 1000 to 1200 grams
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 1 water


  • 5 tablespoons chopped onions
  • 2 red lomboks
  • 5 green lomboks
  • 1 teaspoon ginger powder
  • 2 tablespoons chopped leek
  • 2 tablespoons chopped chives
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil or 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
  • salt
  1. Finely rub the onions with the ginger powder.
  2. Cut the chicken into large pieces and place them in 1/2 liter of boiling water, salt and the herb paste and cook until done.
  3. Then add the deseeded lomboks cut into strips (the red ones may have been boiled first).
  4. Beat the egg with the leek, chives and basil.
  5. Add to the eggs the boiling stock, approximately 2 1/2 dl, while stirring well. The sauce should thicken slightly.
  6. Cover the chicken pieces with the sauce.

The ingredients are pretty regular, don’t you think? The only slightly exotic onea are perhaps the ginger powder and the peppers. At first I doubted whether this recipe would be anything close to delicious, but trust me, it is a top dish! By the way, I just buy chicken legs. Then I don’t have to, as Beb says, cut the chicken into ‘large pieces’.

I cook the chicken with 1/2 liter of boiling water, salt and the bumbu (spice paste) of onion and ginger. I then add the pitted lomboks cut into strips. I don’t think this dish is meant to be very hot. Beb suggests that the red deseeded peppers can be boiled longer. That means most of the spiciness in this recipe comes from the pepper. I don’t cook them first but add the deseeded peppers to the stock.

Beb never mentions that you have to chop the herbs finely. But it is also logical that this is necessary. I cut everything into small edible pieces, because I have to add it raw to an egg sauce.

I let the chicken legs simmer gently for at least 35 minutes. The meat falls right off the bone. Now I break a raw egg onto the herbs and stir it well.

Now I pour 250 ml of the boiling chicken leg stock over the egg and herbs. I make a mistake by heating up the pan. That is not necessary at all. I turn this off immediately. The idea is for the sauce to thicken and not for it to become an omelet.

Now that the sauce is ready, the chicken can be placed in a bowl and I pour the sauce over the legs. That immediately looks nice. I garnish some with basil, parsley and chives.

It tastes much better than I thought. This Menadonese chicken is buttery tender and falls off the bone and the crispy herbs of the sauce make everything very fresh and crisp.

I have leftover stock and use it to make chicken soup the next day. Want to see more Indonesian soups? Then look here.

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