Lembaran of Chicken

Lembaran of Chicken
Lembaran of Chicken

This dish resembles the chicken kalio in terms of spices. Yet this lembaran with chicken is a bit richer in flavor. Due to sambal trassi and the asemwater (tamarind) this chicken dish is full of umami flavor and is fresh because of the tamarind. Delicious!

This chicken lembaran is enough for 3-4 people and is ready in 45 minutes.

Lembaran from Kip # 289 translated from Beb Vuyk’s Groot Indonesisch kookboek, page 247.


  • 1 chicken of 1000 to 1200 grams
  • 1/6 block of santen (coconut cream)
  • 1/2 liter of water


  • 5 tablespoons of chopped onions
  • 2 chopped garlic cloves
  • 1 teaspoon of sambal terasi (trassi-fermented shrimp paste)
  • 1 teaspoon kunjit
  •  1 teaspoon of laos (galangal)
  • 3 tablespoons of asem (tamarind) water, made from a piece of asem the size of one walnut
  • 1 salam leaf (Asian bay leaf)
  • 1 jeruk purut leaf (kaffir lime)
  • salt
  1. Cut the chicken into large pieces.
  2. Rub onions, garlic, sambal, laos and kunjit together into a paste.
  3. Add the chicken to water and salt and heat this up on the stove.
  4. After 10 minutes, add the rubbed herbs and spices, the piece of santen and the leaves.
  5. Let the chicken cook until done.
  6. Add 3 tablespoons of asem water and simmer for a few minutes.

Today I make dinner for two people so I halve the ingredients. Trassi is fermented shrimp paste. I buy it at the supermarket, just like the santen (thick coconut cream) by the way.

For kaffir lime leaves, salam leave and the asem (tamarind) I go to a Asian food shop. They sell tamarind that is already filtered; easy to use.

This Beb Vuyk recipe is very clear and easy.

Spice mix or bumbu

To make the spice mix or bumbu I rub the onions, garlic and the spices with the trassi. I don’t have sambal trassi left, so I add half a chili pepper. While rubbing I add the salt. The salt grinds the herbs into a creamy paste.

I also add a pinch of salt to the water in the pan with the chicken and let it come slowly to the boil with the lid on the pan.

After 10 minutes I add the spice mix (bumbu) and the santen. Chicken always needs some time to cook. So I let the dish simmer for at least another 25 minutes.

Lembaran of Chicken

I love this Lembaran of chicken because it is the perfect recipe to make a day before. When i make this a day earlier I let the chicken simmer for about 10-15 minutes and then I turn off the gas. I place the lid on and let this be for the next 24 hours. The next day the chicken will be super tender and delicious.

We eat our lembaran with chicken with white rice and sambal goreng tomato. I love the tenderness of this dish. Delicious.

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