Monday, August 13, 2012

Ayam Tempra ( Chicken Tempra )

One of the popular chicken dishes from the state of malacca is this Ayam Tempra ( Chicken Tempra). It is quite like a braised soya sauce chicken dish but what makes it a little unique is the addition of lime juice and comes with lots of onions. The gravy relies heavily on the soya sauce for flavour and also the sweetness from the onions and yet you find this appetising due to the lime juice..yea, that little twist of lime i find it stimulates my appetite, i'm not sure about you. However, I do want to highlight about the use of dark soya sauce here in case if you're cooking this. Just start off with a tbsp of dark soya sauce or a little bit more, i used 2 tbsp here and you can see that it's already quite dark, not sure if there's a misprint on the book or what, it calls for 6 tbsps for half a chicken, so just be careful, never mind if stingy ;)

Recipe ( Truly Nyonya Malacca ) with little changes
1/2 chicken ( mine is about 600gms)
1.5cup of water
2 cloves of garlic, flatten
2 stalks of spring onions
5 slices ginger
4 big onion ( sliced )
1 fresh chilli ( sliced )

6 calamansi limes ( squeeze for juices )
2 tbsp dark soya sauce
80ml lightsoya sauce
2 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt

1. Mix dark soya sauce, light soya sauce, lime juice, sugar , salt with that 1.5cup water. Bring to boil and remove from heat. ( alternatively, you can add the lime juice just before dishing up )
2. Heat up some oil in the wok to  fry onions, garlic, chilli, spring onion and ginger for a minute. Discard spring onion, add chicken pieces and fry for 5 minutes. Add mixed sauce from (1) , cook for 15 minutes on medium fire till gravy is lightly thickened. Remove from heat.

I am submitting this post to Malaysian Food Fest ( Malacca Month ) hosted by yummylittlecooks


  1. lena, i miss my hometown now, during young day, my mum used to cook this for us, yummy dish

  2. Hi lena, I have cooked this dish a couple of times and my sons love it:D I too love the slightly tangy and sweet taste of this nyonya dish!

  3. Looks delicious! Must cook more rice and I love to add in whole chili padi in the dish, so that I can break it up with the rice, somee gravy and chicken pieces, aiyoh...must eat two bowls of rice!

  4. Dear Lena,

    Back to your blog once more
    To see what you have in store
    Onions and lime is what I adore
    So this dish is one I wont ignore
    Sure good to have it for dinner
    Wish that I am your neighbour
    The one living next door
    Warmest regards from Dreamer

  5. The calamansi limes are one of the wonderful foods/drinks I enjoyed Malaysia. Wish I were in Malacca again!

  6. The lime juice brings a perfect balance to this savory(soy sauce)-sweet (caramelized onions) dish ! Must be so good with steamed rice.

  7. My mom always cook this dish and I would finish the plate clean :D

    But we do not add the calamansi lime, perhaps I could suggest to my mom next time to make the dish more authentic.

  8. Lena, your ayam tempra looks very delicious. I like the dark color, makes it look very appetizing. Definitely a dish I want to try.

  9. Lena, this is so salivating to me. I like the sauce especially.

  10. This seems really quite easy, that even I who can't cook much, should be able to do! Looks so delicious, shall try this sometime.

  11. I make tau yew chicken often but never with lime .... this sounds truly interesting. The next time I make some, it'll be this version. I do use quite a lot of dark soy in my tau yew whatevers.

  12. looks like my mum used to cook, yummy.

  13. Eileen, Hundred Eighty DegreesAugust 13, 2012 at 5:17 PM

    This looks appetizing to me: ) quick, serve me a bowl of white rice: )

  14. Hi lena, I loveeee this dish too!!!! Next time you cook this again,I suggest you try to use limau nipis( key lime).

    Thanks for another submission to MFF Melaka Month:)

  15. An interesting twist with the lime. Intriguing!

  16. I actually like this dish because of the dark soy sauce. The darker the better ha ha..I am typical Hokkien like oor oor kind of food and sometime can be a bit heavy handed with the dark soy sauce :)

  17. Oh wow, lime juice? I'm sure it brightens up the whole dish and makes it so special as compared to the normal dark soy chicken ya? Definitely worth trying it out next time when I get a whole chicken and limes. ;) Have a good week Lena!

  18. Me too, ever tried a recipe and ends up my dish like made in Africa. Now i also cut down the use of dark soy sauce, hehehe..
    This is new to me too, but i like limes and onions. Bookmark this again :)

  19. This looks amazing! Thank you for sharing :). Glad I found your awesome blog!!

  20. Hi Lena, Holy Smoke! You have cooked my all time favourite dish. No Nyonya worth her salt unable to cook this.
    A true Nyonya lady can tutup mata cook this, although recipes varies from Penang Nyonyas to Malacca and Singapore, all closely guarded secret.

    Wow! I am impressed! Outstanding.
    If not for this dish I would have remained a bachelor longer, ha ha ha.
    A lady discovered my weakness for this particular dish, as well added a hit below the belt sambal belachan, habis cherita!

    Lena, once again, I am impressed! Any chance you invite home for lunch, you cook this? I bring chimpedaks, ha ha.
    Love your dish colour, and I can practically get the to die for scent.
    Have a nice day.

  21. Lena, I forgot, see! Look at your dish lupa.....
    May I have your kind consent copy the first pic? Will display it in my pondok when I blog about food instead of sex.
    Will credt you of course.
    Ok, outang you a double Southern Comfort, shaken and not stirred....
    Best drink this when wearing bikini.

  22. This Malacca dish looks beautiful. I'm clueless with traditional Malaysian cuisine and I got a lot to learn from you.

  23. I just love the way you present a meal Lena. Since it is quite possible I will never get to prepare one of your fabulous meals, can I just come over for dinner??? I promise I will mind my manners:)

    Okay so this dish goes into the someday file but I'm telling you, it would just be easier for me to fly all the way there to really enjoy it, lol, lol, ...

    Thank you so much for sharing...

  24. Really looks like the braised soya sauce chicken that my mum always make ! But your gravy looks much richer and thicker... This dish will go very well with just plain rice...

  25. I'm all for calamansi and loads onions in my braised chicken ! Your chicken tempra looks delectable ! More rice , everyone ?! lol

  26. Hi Lena, knock, knock.... today I can come in to your blog to eat this chicken dish? Guess finish by now?

    Look good, very nice colour. Can have extra rice too. LOL

    Have a nice day, regards

  27. Lena,I may be wrong but I'm thinking may be the high usage of dark soy sauce is to give this dish a rich flavour,not just for colouring the dish! I used the premium dark soy sauce from Lee Kam Kee & I love to use it a lot in making braised pork with poach egg.By the way I never try cooking braised chicken with lime juice b4 & love the idea Of using lots Of onions!I have 1 kg of brown onions here,got them for only like $1 or $2,Bookmark your dish now,love non spicy dishes & this is a big tick for me, thanks for giving me s new idea as to what too cook for my family as I don't eat & cook beef & lamb,every week only cooks chicken & pork!

  28. Lena, what I love about this is that caramelised flavour of the sauce and chicken!

  29. eileen: oh, you're from malacca? i thought you're a penang girl.

    Jeannie: you must have cooked it very delicious, i like the little tanginess also, next time i might put in more lime and as cindy suggested, use normal lime instead of calamansi.

    joyce: i read the way you write, also makes me hungry oredi!

  30. Dreamer:

    ok, let you know when my neighbour moves
    right or left one, up to you to choose
    dont forget some $$ to the agent, that's me
    I assure you, good bargain it shall be
    No jam or mat rempits, just a few dog flea
    so you agree or not agree?

  31. Maureen: me too, wish to go malacca again!

    tigerfish: tho there seems to be quite a lot of dark and light soya sauce here, it is not salty, the tanginess from the lime giving it a nice touch.

    yvonne: yeah, can try. Hope she doesnt think it's weird :)

    phong hong: oh, you think the colour looks appetising? thank you!! hope you will like eating it too.

    yan: thank you! The sauce is nice, not salty and a little tangy, you can even adjust the tanginess to your liking.

    Mich: oh, i'm sure you can, hope you will like it.

    Ping: i heard about chicken tempra but never realised the lime in it until i read the recipe.

    Jess: also with lime? is she a nyonya?

    eileen: haha! ok..ok!

    cindy: thank you, i shall use key lime the next time, you can never be wrong!

    emily: yes, it is!

    gert: hokkiens like Orr orr meh? haha! now i know!

    bee2: yeah, do try it. It's my first time cooking this and i quite like it!

    cass: haha! now you see mine! so your pork is nothing black compared to this one! LOL!

    Ashlee: hi, nice of you to drop by, will visit you soon.

    Lee: oh yes, you're from malacca. Hey, are you a baba? Thanks for you compliments. wow, so this is a killer dish? i wonder how many women have wanted to cook this dish for you, huh? haha! ou and your chempedak, pls dont mistaken and get me papayas!ok, go copy the picture, you outang me lots of drinks oredi!!here counting....

  32. zoe: i know, even myself are not too familiar except for those really famous nyonya dishes like chicken pongteh or nyonya kuihs.

    Louise: thank you! you make me smile with your comments, come and visit Malaysia!!

    Joyce@cc: i dont mind cooking this again and again, it's nice to with rice with that little tanginess from the gravy

    anne: haha! you cook the rice then!!

    amelia: halo!! of course habis oredi! next round reserve for you..LOL!

    jessie : not too sure but putting so much doesnt look that appealing, like so black!! it could add a little flavour but still i think i will go easier on the dark soya sauce the next time. Hope you will like this too!

    daphne: :))

  33. I soo gonna cook this ayam Tempra! Looks so mouthwatering! Thanks for sharing your sedaplicious recipes. Tried few & all are very delicious! Can I use green lime for this recipe? Love all Nyonya food & looking forward to see more Nyonya dishes at MFF! YUMMY! :)

  34. Dear Lena,

    Dreamer says,
    Aiyah, no need broker fee lah
    You are my good friend mah
    Give you a nice treat will do
    Agree or not, what say you

    My reply to your amusing poem before
    Another funny story, hope you adore
    There is a knocking on my door
    I quickly look out my window
    There is no broom and no michelin
    Open the door and there stood Mr.Bean
    Smiling and looking happy as can be
    You witch, and give her punches actually three
    And another flying kick breaking her left knee
    I am really good in kungfu like Bruce Lee
    She falls lying there like a dead body
    Check her IC and is in for a shock
    It isn't the witch but my friend 'Cheng Lock'
    A guy looking like Bean living down the block
    Ah Lock to see the doctor for his injury
    I have to settle the doctor's hefty fee
    Burning a hole in my pocket unfortunately

    All the best to you

  35. Hi Lena,
    This looks really delicious. My mum used to cook soya sauce chicken similar to this only without the onion and lime. Next ime I cook I will follow your recipe, see what is the different. Can I try some now?

  36. This reminds me of braised pork belly. Gosh, look at how beautifully caramelized and drooling this looks!

  37. kit: yes, you can. As yummylittlecooks suggested, it's even better to use green lime. Hope you will enjoy this sedaplicious dish..haha! This month will be all Nyonya, next month will be featuring Sarawak food!

  38. Dreamer :

    How could you do that to Ah Lock?
    It's obviously all your fault
    Thank god he's still alive
    If not, the wife will come with a butcher knife!

    Told the witch about your kungfu
    She laughed at me like i'm a fool
    Lift up her hat and showed me a gun
    Shooting down all the cicaks one by one

    I stood there stunned at what she had done
    "hee hee hee hee" she still think it's fun
    I pulled her nose and both her ears
    She's still weeping and wiping her tears

    Dun worry, i'll psycho her tonight
    That a gun is no faster than Bruce Lee
    I'm sure that will give her a fright
    She's just like a little girl, trust me!

  39. angie: quite like it but this is a little sweet tangy and minus the belly fat :D

  40. doreen: this is rather quickly to make, try it!

  41. How flavorful and delicious does this look??! Perfect!


  42. Wow Lena, this chicken dish looks delicious, love the color and the flavor...I happen to have a calamansi this is a perfect recipe to try...I will need a lot of rice to go with it :)
    Thanks for the recipe and hope you are having a wonderful week!

  43. look at that sauce coating each piece of perfectly fried chicken! This is my kind of meal- just amazing and so satisfying!

  44. I'm pinning your yummy droolworth chicken...but do you think that 20 minutes total is enough time to cook the chicken through with the bones in it? Even if you cook it in the wok, it should require another 20 minutes to cook through, unless the chicken is boneless...then I could understand the short cooking time. I will certainly want to make this soon in my wok even though I don't have light soya sauce, I will probably add chicken broth to replace the light soya!

  45. Oh wow...this dish looks VERY delicious. I think it would be really good to use belly pork...the fatter the better :D It would be so good to eat with bread.....mmmm. What about ayam tempura burger? :P

    By the way, I love your pizza so much that I tried making it the other day. I also used the Jamie Oliver's dough but used salmon and avocado as topping. It was very delicious. I made again the next day and used spicy bbq chicken. That was really delicious. Now I think I want to make every time I have friends over for food :D Thanks very much for your pizza post which inspired me to make pizza. I just love all your recipes!

  46. Sues: thank you!

    Juliana: hope you will give it a try too someday!

    Jessica: Thank a lot for your nice compliments!

    Elisabeth: thanks! yeah, 20 mins is definately enough cos it is cooked with quite a lot of sauce here and the boiling sauce can cook the chicken in 10 minutes but because we want the flavour to go thru and the sauce to get a litte thicker, we cook them longer :)

    Marymoh: not tempura, it's tempra la..haha! Thanks for telling me that you like the jo pizza, i havent tried salmon in pizzas but i know i will also like them. Thanks very much for your kind compliments always!!

  47. I am not good in cooking nyonya, the only dish I could do well is otak otak hehe. I learn more dishes now from you and Alan. KiV all the recipes and try them out one by one.

  48. Lena, I've not cooked this for a very long time. thanks for reminding me of this wonderful yummy dish. Used to eat this while growing up and my late mom made the best Ayam Tempra ever...yours looks yummi-li-ciously good.

  49. This is another simple dish that I think I can handle:D You're right about the lime juice, its very appetizing.

  50. Hi Lena, this is my favorite chicken dish. Can have extra rice too, yours look good.

    Have a nice day.