How to make Ayam Sambal Ijo, or Indonesian-style easy, crispy air fryer fried chicken with a mildly spicy green chilli sambal.
Ayam Sambal Ijo is a delicious Indonesian street dish of fried chicken, deep fried tofu and tempeh, raw vegetables and dolloped with a slightly spicy green chilli sambal. It’s mandatory to serve with rice to temper the heat!
Sambal Ijo (sambal cabe ijo/sambal hijau/sambal chilli hijau) or Green Sambal is an Indonesian condiment that is only mildly spicy, but addictive nonetheless. This Padang staple is made from green chillies, instead of the usual spicier red chillies.
A quick language lesson:
Ayam = Chicken
Sambal = Spicy Paste
Ijo = Green
This dish can also be known as Ayam Cabe Ijo, with cabe = chillies. This variation serves up the sambal ijo with fried chicken, but there are also versions of this which stir fries the chicken with the green chillies. Something like my Ayam Rica Rica, but with green chillies instead of red.
Why you will LOVE this Ayam Sambal Ijo Recipe?
- Effortlessly CRISPY fried chicken without deep frying – this recipe guarantees you crispy fried chicken without all the pains and mess of traditional deep frying.
- It’s so QUICK and EASY – It come together very quickly. While the chicken is cooking, make the sambal!
- It’s ADDICTIVE – the sambal is not as punchy as other sambals out there (like my Sambal Geprek), but equally flavourful.
How to make Crispy Air Fryer Ayam Goreng
This has been my FAVOURITE hack ever. If you’re wondering if you really get that delicious crispy skin… YES! There are a couple of tips in order to get that flavourful chicken with the crispy exterior.
1. Use dry spices.
You would notice that the spices I used to marinade the chicken thighs are all dried spices. The less moisture there is on the chicken, the easier and quicker it would be to crisp up in the oven. Leave it to marinade for 30 minutes, overnight would be best.
This is optional, but you can cut slits in the chicken so the spices really get to the mid-portion of the chicken.
2. Use Flour
After marinating the chicken, liberally sprinkle on rice or cornflour. You can also press the chicken pieces in a tray of flour. Basically make sure the flour coats the chicken. This of course, creates that crispiness on the chicken later, while also absorbing any excess moisture on the surface of the chicken.
3. Spray on oil!
This is the key secret: to spray on oil! Spray on the oil liberally, until the floured chicken pieces looks moist. No need to drench it; as long as you don’t see white, powdered surface of the chicken – it’s good to go.
If you’re wondering why your air-fried stuff just isn’t crisping up, or browning, most likely it’s because you didn’t add oil to it.
4. Air fry the chicken!
Allow to cook in a preheated air-fryer for 10 minutes, before flipping it over to the other side. Spray on more oil if needed. Cook for another 10 minutes or until he chicken is cooked through.
I promise you, this gets you deliciously crispy chicken with ZERO effort and minimal oil.
5. SMASH the fried chicken
This is another optional step, but it most certainly adds to the Indonesian chicken experience. Place your fried chicken in mortar, or a heavy-based cutting board. With a pestle, or back of the knife, go ahead and smash the chicken!
It shouldn’t be much effort at all. This ‘breaks’ the chicken for easier peeling afterwards. Smashing the chicken also lets the sambal really flavour the inside of the chicken – yum!
Tofu and Tempeh
Tofu and tempeh completes the meal! There are often deep fried in the same batter as the fried chicken. Since we are skipping that, you can also just air fry them. I kept mine uncoated with flour for a slightly healthier alternative, but you can lightly coat with the rice or corn flour, and do the same sprays of oil before popping it in the air fryer for a crispier coating.
How to make Sambal Ijo?
Sambal Ijo is unique because it uses green chillies instead of the usual red! The method to make this is the same as if you used red chillies to make sambal.
Why Green Chillies? Green chillies offer up a different flavour than regular red chillies. While red chillies are a sweet, sharp spice, green chillies are milder in heat, but no doubt still full of flavour. When eaten raw, it is a fresh, mild heat.
To make Sambal Ijo, pound the ingredients in a pestle and mortar… or blitz in a food processor!
Add some oil in a pan, and add all of the green chilli paste. Continuously stir, until the chillies wilt in colour. It should turn a faded green. Sambal Ijo is ready to eat!
I recommend making a big batch of this, and storing it in the fridge. Sambal Ijo lasts long! Besides on Ayam Goreng, I love serving this as a condiment to rice.
What to Serve Ayam Sambal Ijo with?
Of course, you have to serve this with some rice! It’s also traditionally served with raw vegetable salad (known as lalapan) which can typically be cucumbers, tomatoes, cabbages and herbs.
Personally I prefer blanching my vegetables; so I would simply blanch sliced cabbages and spinach for added nutrients.
More Recipes Like This
Crispy Ayam Sambal Ijo (Easy Air Fryer Recipe!) | Air Fried Chicken with Green SambalCourse: Recipes
- Crispy ‘Fried’ Chicken Thighs
400g Skin-on Chicken Thighs
1/2 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Pepper
1/2 tsp Turmeric Powder
1/2 tsp Onion Powder
1/2 tsp Garlic Powder
1 tbsp Rice Flour (or Cornflour), or enough to coat
- Tofu and Tempeh
1 block firm Tofu
1 block of Tempeh
- Sambal Cabe Ijo
5 Green Chillies
2-3 Green Thai Bird’s Eye Chillies
1-2 Green Tomatoes (optional, I did not use this)
1 clove Garlic
1/2 tsp Salt, or to taste
1 tsp Sugar
1/4 tsp Chicken Powder (optional)
3-4 tbsps Oil
1 tsp Lime Juice
- Served With
- Crispy Air Fried Chicken
- Combine ingredients together and coat chicken. Marinate for 30 minutes, overnight is best.
- When you’re ready to cook, preheat air fryer to 200°C or 400°F for about 5 minutes. If chicken has been in the fridge, take it out and allow to warm to room temperature.
Sprinkle on rice flour or corn flour on chicken to coat.
- Place in air fryer rack, skin side down first, and spray on oil. Spray until the floury surface is wet. Cook in the air fryer for 10 minutes at 200°C/400°F.
- Flip it to the other side so skin side up, and spray with oil. Continue to cook at the same settings for another 10 minutes, or until chicken cooks through. Once chicken cooks, allow to rest for 10 minutes before serving.
- For the best experience, get the chicken smashed! Simply use a pestle or the back of the knife and smash the chicken a couple of times to loosen the meat. Serve immediately!
- Tofu and Tempe
- Place tofu and tempeh on the air fryer rack. Option to toss through oil first, or spray on the oil.
- Air fry the tofu and tempe at 200°C or 400°F for about 10 minutes. Halfway through, remove the air fryer basket and shake it, before continuing to cook.
- Sambal Cabe Ijo
- Add all of the ingredients in a food processor or pestle and mortar. Blitz to a rough paste.
- Add oil to a pan, and add the paste. Stir fry in the oil, until the chillies soften and slightly fade in colour. Once chillies soften, Sambal Ijo is done!
- Plate rice, top with the chicken, tofu and tempeh, and cucumbers and cabbages. Slather chicken with the Sambal Ijo. Serve!