How to make Ayam Paprik, the ultimate quick and easy chicken stir fry. An aromatic, savoury, sweet, spicy dish that will keep you coming back for more!
Ayam Paprik, or paprik chicken, is one of my FAVOURITE dishes ever. I realised I never posted a recipe for Ayam Paprik! This was in fact, one of the first recipes I ever posted on YouTube.
Ayam Paprik (Ayam Pad Prik/Ayam Padprik) is a Thai-Malaysian dish of chicken stir fried with vegetables in a sweet, spicy, savoury sauce. This dish was inspired by Thailand’s Pad Prik Gaeng (stir-fried chilli paste) I say Thai-Malaysian, but you can’t quite find this dish in Thailand. The way this dish is prepared in Thailand is slightly different.
Ayam Paprik vs Pad Prik Gaeng
The two dishes are very similar. Both are chicken stir fries, and use the same combination of aromatics: chillies, shallots, garlic, lemongrass and makrut lime leaves.
The difference lies in the sauce base:
- Sauce Base: Ayam Paprik a combination of oyster sauce, dark soy sauce (kicap manis) and chilli sauce as a base. Sometimes sambal is also added for a richer and spicier dish. Meanwhile, Pad Prik Gaeng uses red curry paste and fish sauce.
- Ayam paprik typically has a sweeter flavor than pad prik gaeng. Ayam Paprik incorporates dark sweet soy sauce or kicap manis, which add a sweetness to the dish.
- Ayam paprik is often spicier than pad prik gaeng. This is because ayam paprik typically includes more chili peppers than pad prik gaeng.
Why People Will Love This Ayam Paprik Recipe:
- Quick and Easy: Ayam paprik is a stir-fry dish, which means it can be cooked quickly in a wok or large skillet. This makes it a great option for a weeknight meal. With simple ingredients and straightforward techniques, this dish can be prepared and enjoyed within a short span of time.
- Bursting with Flavors: Ayam Paprik offers a delightful explosion of flavours. The combination of aromatic spices, savoury, sweet, tangy sauces, and vegetables creates a harmonious textural and flavour balance that will leave you craving more.
- Versatile and Adaptable: This chicken stir fry is incredibly versatile, allowing you to customise the dish to suit your preferences. You can experiment with different vegetables, adjust the spice level, or even substitute the protein with tofu or seafood.
- Crowd pleaser: Ayam Paprik is a crowd-pleasing dish that appeals to all ages! It has an amazing aroma but a flavour that is not too strong and overwhelming, making this an excellent choice for any meal.
- Chicken: Tender and boneless chicken pieces are the star of Ayam Paprik. Chicken breast would be the best option for this, sliced thin, or in bite-sized cubes. This is going to help to absorb the flavours of the sauce. No marinade is required for this recipe, but if you want to marinade the chicken, give it 1/2 a teaspoon of turmeric powder and salt.
- Vegetables: Vibrant vegetables like bell peppers and carrots not only enhance the visual appeal of the dish but also add a delightful crunch and texture! Other typical vegetables used in this dish are cauliflower and broccoli. The ‘harder’ vegetables will work best with the strong flavours of the sauce.
- Aromatics: The dish showcases an array of aromatics such as lemongrass and makrut lime leaves, even though you can most definitely get by with simply onions and garlic. Personally I think the makrut lime leaves are an absolute must – its fragrance truly amp up the dish!
- Sauces: The sauce is the highlight of the dish! It’s savoury, sweet, spicy and a little tangy. The main seasonings would be:
- Oyster Sauce: This is the salt and the umami.
- Kicap Manis or dark sweet soy sauce: Sweet and umami.
- Tomato Ketchup: A little bit of tang.
- Chilli Sauce: Chilli sauce for a bit of heat and sweetness! The sweet variation of chilli sauce is used (you can also look out for Thai chilli sauce), but if you want more punch in your dish, feel free to use spicier srirachas or hot sauce.
- Sambal (optional but highly recommended!): A dollop of rich and spicy sambal in the dish will elevate this dish! If you have dried chilli paste, this will be cooked down in the beginning steps of this dish. Sambal is rich and spicy.
How to Make Ayam Paprik
Step 1: Saute Aromatics
Stir fry onions, garlic and bruised lemongrass until fragrant. If you want an even spicier kick, add Thai bird’s eye chillies.
Step 2: Stir Fry the Chicken
Add the sliced chicken, and stir fry to cook. You can spread the chicken in the pan to cook on one side, and stir fry to complete the cooking process.
Step 3: Add Vegetables
Add vegetables next, and stir fry to cook until the vegetables are tender to preference. If using mushrooms like I am, stir fry until the mushrooms are soft.
Step 4: Add the Sauces
Add the seasoning sauces and water to create more sauce. You can premix this sauce before cooking for efficiency. Stir fry to combine with the pan contents.
Step 5: Simmer to Cook
Tear in makrut lime leaves, if using, and stir in with the dish. Allow the sauce to come up to a simmer, ensuring that the ingredients are coated evenly. Once everything is well combined, remove from the heat and serve the aromatic Ayam Paprik over rice!
More Recipes Like This:
- Ayam Masak Kicap Pedas | Spicy Soy Sauce Chicken
- Turmeric Chicken Stir Fry | Ayam Masak Kunyit
- Soy Sauce Eggs | Telur Masak Kicap
Ayam Paprik | Thai-Malaysian Chicken Stir FryCourse: Recipes
300g chicken breast or thigh, cut into slices or bite-sized pieces
1 small onion, thinly sliced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 lemongrass, bruised (optional) (See: how to prepare lemongrass for cooking)
1/2 red bell pepper, sliced
100g baby corn, cut into halves
100g long beans, cut into 2-inch pieces
2 tablespoons oil for frying
4-5 makrut lime leaves (optional)
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
1 tablespoon dark soy sauce (kicap manis)
1 tablespoon tomato ketchup
1 tablespoon chili sauce (adjust to your preferred level of spiciness) or Sambal
1 cup water
- In a small bowl, mix together the tomato ketchup, soy sauce, oyster sauce, chili sauce, sugar, and water (or chicken broth). Set aside.
- Heat the oil in a large pan or wok over medium-high heat. Add the sliced onion, minced garlic and bruised lemongrass. Stir-fry for about 1 minute until fragrant and lightly golden.
- Add the chicken pieces to the pan and cook until they are lightly browned and cooked through, about 5-7 minutes.
- Once the chicken is cooked, add the bell pepper, baby corn, and long beans to the pan.
- Stir-fry for another 2-3 minutes until the vegetables are slightly tender but still crisp.
- Pour the sauce mixture over the chicken and vegetables. Tear in the makrut lime leaves if using. Stir well to combine everything. Allow the sauce to simmer for another 2-3 minutes, or until it thickens slightly.
- Once the sauce has thickened and the vegetables are cooked to your liking, remove the pan from the heat.
- Serve the Ayam Paprik hot with steamed rice.