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Bistik Ayam (Indonesian Chicken Steak)

Posting Date: 03/10/16

Bistik Ayam (Indonesian Chicken Steak)

Bistik Ayam (Indonesian Chicken Steak) can normally be found in Chinese restaurants in Indonesia. The name of this dish is very interesting. The name Bistik came from beef steak. If you pronounce beef steak really fast, it sounds like bistik. That's how the name came from. Even though the original name suggests that it is supposed to be beef, bistik in Indonesia can be made of chicken or beef. If it is chicken, it is called Bistik Ayam since ayam means chicken. If it is beef, it is called Bistik Sapi since sapi means beef.

In Indonesia, Bistik Ayam (Indonesian Chicken Steak) uses bite size chicken pieces, instead of big piece of chicken. The chicken pieces are coated with flour and fried. Bistik Sapi uses big size of beef, though and the meat is not coated with flour. Bistik Sapi is prepared more like steak in US. Both Bistik Ayam and Bistik Sapi are served with fried potatoes which is normally cut into french fries shape, blanched carrots, and sometimes blanched green beans. The sauce is then poured on top of the meat, fries, and the vegetables. The sauce tastes sweet, slightly sour, slightly salty, and savory.

To fry potatoes, I fry them 2 times. I use medium heat the first time. This helps to cook the inside of potatoes without burning the outside. Once they are cooked, I increase the stove temperature to medium high heat. This makes the outside crunchy and not soggy. If you use 1 temperature only, they will be either soggy or burn on the outside but uncooked inside. I learned this trick from the internet on how to cook good crispy french fries.

This recipe serves 4 people. Serve this dish with warm rice.


  • 10 ice cubes to blanch carrots
  • 2 carrots, peeled and cut into 2.5" length, 1/4" wide and 1/4" thick
  • 2 medium size potatoes, peeled and cut lengthwise into 1/4" thick slices and 1/4" wide sticks
  • For chicken batter: 1/3 cup flour
  • For chicken batter: 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • For chicken batter: 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 4 pieces of skinless and boneless chicken thigh
  • vegetable oil
  • For sauce: 1 tablespoon worchestershire sauce
  • For sauce: 3 tablespoons ketchup
  • For sauce: 1 tablespoon sweet soy sauce
  • For sauce: 1 tablespoon salt
  • For sauce: 2 tablespoons sugar
  • For sauce: 1 tablespoon corn starch
  • For sauce: 9 tablespoons water
  • For sauce: 1/3 tablespoon butter
  • For sauce: 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • For sauce: 1/2 teaspoon finely minced fresh ginger (about 1/4" fresh ginger)
  • Cooked rice


  1. Put ice cubes in a bowl and add water so that ice cubes are covered with water. Set it aside. This will be used to cool down cooked carrots and stop the cooking process.
  2. This step is to blanch the carrots. Boil water in a pot. Once the water is boiling, put carrot pieces in the boiling water. Let them cook to your desired doneness. I prefer my carrots to be tender crisp while some people prefer them to be on the softer side. So, cook them to your preference. As soon as they are cooked, take the pot off the stove and drain the carrots on the sieve. Place carrots in the ice water bowl and let them cool down for several minutes. Once they are cooled down, drain them on the sieve and set them aside.
  3. Heat vegetable oil on medium heat. Make sure you have enough oil to cover the potatoes during frying. As mentioned in introduction, the reason of using medium heat to cook potatoes the first time is to cook the inside without burning the outside.
  4. Add potatoes to the oil. Make sure you don't crowd the pan. You may have to cook potatoes in batches depending on the size of your pot. Let potatoes cook until the inside is soft. Take potatoes out and let them drain on a plate lined with paper towel. Repeat this step until all potatoes are cooked.
  5. Once all potatoes have been cooked, increase the temperature of vegetable oil to medium high heat. The reason of using medium high heat is to make sure potatoes are crispy on the outside and not soggy.
  6. Put the potatoes back in the oil and cook them until they are crispy. Depending on the size of your pot, you may have to cook them in batches. Don't crowd the pot since we don't want the temperature to cool down causing potatoes to become soggy. Let them drain on a plate lined with paper towel. Repeat this step until all potatoes have been cooked. Do not turn off the stove. The oil will be used to fry the chicken.
  7. To keep the potatoes warm while you finish cooking chicken, turn on the oven to 275 deg. Put cooling rack on top of baking sheet. Place fried potatoes on top of cooling rack. Put potatoes on the baking sheet inside the oven.
  8. Combine flour, salt, and pepper in a bowl and mix them well.
  9. Cover chicken pieces with flour mixture. Remove excess flour from the chicken before dropping them in the hot oil. Do not overcrowd during cooking to make sure chicken will not be soggy, so you may have to cook in batches. Let the chicken pieces cook until golden brown. Take them out from the oil and drain them on a plate lined with paper towel. Repeat this step until all chicken pieces are cooked. To keep cooked chicken warm, you could use the same method used to keep potatoes warm.
  10. While chicken pieces are being cooked, combine worchestershire sauce, ketchup, sweet soy sauce, salt, sugar, corn starch, and water. Whisk the sauce well.
  11. Melt butter in a sauce pan. Saute garlic and ginger until they become fragrant. Pour the sauce mixture into the sauce pan and let it cook until the sauce is slightly thickened. Taste it and add more salt and pepper if needed and mix it well. Take the sauce off the heat.
  12. Assemble chicken, potatoes, and carrots on a plate. Spoon the sauce over the chicken, potatoes, and carrots. You don't need to pour all the sauce on them. You can spoon it a little bit and pour the extra in a small individual bowl. That way, the chicken and fried potatoes will not be soft and soggy and everyone can decide how much sauce they want to use. They can also use it as a dipping sauce for the potatoes and chicken.
  13. Serve it with warm rice.

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