Recipe Woku Chicken

Indonesian cuisine is renowned for its rich blend of spices and vibrant flavors, and one dish that perfectly encapsulates this culinary tradition is Ayam Woku. Hailing from the North Sulawesi region of Indonesia, Ayam Woku is a tantalizing dish featuring tender chicken infused with a medley of aromatic spices. Let's explore how to prepare this delectable dish, along with serving suggestions, tips, variations, and nutritional insights.


  • 1 whole chicken, cut into pieces
  • 4 shallots, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tomatoes, diced
  • 3 kemiri (candlenuts), ground
  • 2 lemongrass stalks, smashed
  • 5 kaffir lime leaves
  • 3 green chilies, sliced
  • 2 red chilies, sliced
  • 1 turmeric leaf, thinly sliced (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon tamarind paste
  • 1 tablespoon palm sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cooking oil
  • Salt to taste


  1. Heat cooking oil in a pan over medium heat. Add shallots, garlic, and ground candlenuts. Sauté until fragrant.
  2. Add chicken pieces to the pan and cook until they start to brown.
  3. Stir in diced tomatoes, lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, green chilies, red chilies, and turmeric leaves (if using). Mix well.
  4. Dilute tamarind paste in a little water and add it to the pan along with palm sugar. Stir until sugar dissolves.
  5. Cover the pan and let the chicken simmer until it's tender and cooked, stirring occasionally. Add salt to taste.
  6. Once the chicken is cooked, remove from heat and serve hot.

Serving Suggestions:

  • Ayam Woku is traditionally served with steamed rice, but you can enjoy it with noodles or bread.
  • Garnish with fresh cilantro leaves and a squeeze of lime juice for extra flavor.


  • To enhance the aroma of Ayam Woku, you can dry roast the spices before grinding them.
  • Adjust the amount of chilies according to your preferred level of spiciness.
  • Marinating the chicken in the spice mixture for a few hours or overnight can intensify the flavors.


  • Substitute chicken with fish or prawns for a seafood twist on this dish.
  • Experiment with different combinations of spices such as galangal, ginger, and bay leaves to create your unique flavor profile.

Nutritional Information:

The calorie content of Ayam Woku can vary depending on factors such as the cut of chicken used and the amount of oil added during cooking. On average, one serving of Ayam Woku (approximately 200 grams) contains around 250-300 calories.


Ayam Woku is more than just a dish; it celebrates Indonesia's diverse culinary heritage. With its tantalizing blend of spices and aromatic flavors, it promises to delight your taste buds and transport you to the enchanting landscapes of North Sulawesi. Whether enjoyed as a comforting family meal or showcased at a festive gathering, Ayam Woku will leave a lasting impression with its irresistible taste and undeniable charm. Try your hand at preparing this Indonesian classic, and savor the magic of Ayam Woku!


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