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Malaysian Spiced Fried Chicken (Ayam Goreng Berempah)

by Kelly
Malaysian Spiced Fried Chicken or Ayam Goreng Berempah

Malaysian Spiced Fried Chicken, or Ayam Goreng Berempah in Malay, is one of my favorite fried chickens of all time, usually eaten together with nasi lemak with delicious sambal at the side. This version comes close to one of the best ‘ayam goreng berempah’ that I’ve ever had at the legendary Village Park restaurant in Kuala Lumpur. This dish’s charm lies in the meticulous combination of wet and dry marinades, presenting a perfect blend of spices that elevate it beyond a typical fried chicken experience.

The wet marinade is a fragrant amalgamation of dried chili, garlic, red onion, ginger, candlenut, galangal, and lemongrass. This forms the flavorful base, while the dry marinade introduces a layer of complexity with ingredients such as curry leaves, coriander powder, fennel seed, curry powder, turmeric powder, salt, and cornflour. The marriage of these components creates a symphony of tastes, each contributing its unique note.

The marination process is a crucial step in achieving Malaysian Spiced Fried Chicken’s succulence. Boneless chicken legs, acting as a canvas, absorb the aromatic blend of spices during a 30-minute soak. This allows the flavors to penetrate deep, resulting in a harmonious marriage of taste and texture.

As the marinated chicken meets the hot embrace of the cooking oil, a magical transformation occurs. The exterior crisps up to a golden brown, creating a satisfying crunch that complements the tender, spice-infused interior. And the best part is, all the remaining marinade can be used to create golden crunchy toppings that can be sprinkled all over your rice!

Ayam Goreng Berempah is (in my humble opinion) one of the best chicken dishes in Southeast Asia, which many Malaysians eat on a weekly basis (if not daily! 😂). I love sprinkling all the crunchy bits all over, and even my young kids love it too! This Malaysian Spiced Fried Chicken is the perfect dish to impress all your friends and family, and when paired with my homemade sambal, it will absolutely blow their minds! So let’s get to it!

Watch How To Make It

Malaysian Spiced Fried Chicken (Ayam Goreng Berempah)

Malaysian Spiced Fried Chicken or Ayam Goreng Berempah is one of my favorite fried chickens, usually eaten with nasi lemak and sambal!
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time20 minutes
Marinating Time30 minutes
Total Time1 hour
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Asian, Malaysian
Keyword: crispy, dinner, lunch
Servings: 3


  • blender


  • 3 pieces boneless chicken legs

Marinade (wet)

  • 4 pieces dried chili
  • 30 g garlic
  • 45 g red onion
  • 25 g ginger
  • 10 g candlenut
  • 10 g galangal
  • 2 sticks lemongrass

Marinade (dry)

  • 2 stalks curry leaves
  • 1/2 tsp coriander powder
  • 1/2 tsp fennel seeds
  • 15 g curry powder
  • 8 g turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tbsp salt
  • 1/2 cup cornflour


  • Blend the wet marinade ingredients into a smooth paste. Add some water if it’s too dry.
  • Pour the paste into a big bowl, then add the dry marinade ingredients. Give it a good mix.
  • Add the boneless chicken legs into the big bowl and slather the marinade all around. Let it sit for 30 minutes to absorb the flavor.
  • Add oil into a pot and turn the heat to high. When the oil is hot enough (test it with chopsticks, there should be bubbles around it), add the chicken piece by piece. Let the chicken cook until it turns golden brown, this should take about 12 – 15 minutes. Scoop up the chicken and set it aside.
  • Add an egg and some water into the bowl that has excess marinade to turn it into a batter. Mix well and gradually scoop it into the hot oil. Loosen up the batter to break it up, and let it cook until it turns into golden crispy toppings for the chicken.
  • Serve with some cucumber, sambal and rice!

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Meriana 31 December 2023 - 1:06 pm

I’m gonna try cooking this tomorrow!

Kelly 02 January 2024 - 11:20 am

Let me know how it goes!

George 08 February 2024 - 12:52 am

Quick possibly silly question. Are boneless chicken legs the same as chicken thighs (or do you actually debone the chicken leg)? Thanks

Kelly 22 February 2024 - 12:22 pm

Chicken leg = thigh + drumstick. So a boneless chicken leg will have more meat than just the thigh (which still has the bone inside).


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