Manado style chicken that is known for its super hot spicy taste. Learn how to make tasty ayam rica rica with a pressure cooker or on the stove.
I really don’t know how it was started but if you take away chili peppers from my life… I’m gone! I’m seriously gone! I cannot live without chili peppers. There is always some kind of chili to go with our meals every single day. Both my husband and I literally can’t eat without chili lol. We love hot spicy food. I remember there’s one time when we went to eat out and we thought “okay…let’s tone down a little bit and ordered something not too spicy” So we did and both of us felt like we were left hanging!! something was missing and the hollow feeling left inside of us! I know I said it in an exaggerated way probably, but that’s really how we feel each time we are deprived of chili.
AYAM RICA RICA (SPICY MANADO CHICKEN)
Ayam means chicken and rica means hot spicy. Ayam rica rica is originated in the city of Manado in the island of Sulawesi. The chicken is simmered in spices, herbs, and lots of hot chili peppers. Majority of Indonesian can eat hot spicy food and so it’s no surprising that chili is almost a way of life there. Ayam rica rica is getting very popular that it has spread outside of Sulawesi to the other island of Indonesia.
HOW TO MAKE AYAM RICA RICA WITH PRESSURE COOKER OR ON THE STOVE
1. STIR FRY THE GROUND PASTE: If you are cooking on the stove, use a large pot. If you are using Instant Pot pressure cooker, turn on “saute” mode. Add in the ground ingredients and stir fry for about 3 minutes.
2. ADD HERBS: Add lemongrass and kaffir lime leaves. Stir fry for about 5 minutes. It should be aromatic. Keep the lemon basil for last if using
3. ADD CHICKEN AND SEASONINGS: Add chicken and seasonings stir to mix everything. Turn off the saute mode if using Instant Pot. Add in 1/2 cup of water if cooking on the stove and 1/4 cup of water if cooking with pressure cooker. Bring it to a boil and then lower the heat to let it simmer until the chicken is cooked through and no longer pink, about 20-30 minutes, depending on the cut of the chicken you use. For pressure cooker, Close the lid and turn the steam release valve to “sealing”. Set the timer to 12 minutes for drumsticks and 15 minutes for chicken thighs
4. ADD TOMATO, LIME JUICE, LIME LEAVES, ADJUST TASTE
Add the tomatoes and cook for another minute. Squeeze in the juice of one lime and have a taste and adjust to your taste. Turn off the heat. Stir in the lemon basil (if using) and thin strips of kaffir lime leaves.
ADJUST THE LEVEL OF SPICYNESS
You can definitely tone down on the level of spicyness. I have to do that for my kids or the dish will end up being too spicy. I love the sourness and the fragrance from lemongrass and kaffir lime leaves. It’s addicting !! It’s an easy one-pot meal in our house that I made pretty often.
VARIATIONS FOR RICA RICA
Due to its popularity across Indonesia, people have come up with many varieties with rica rica.
OTHER MEATS: You can use beef, duck
SEAFOOD: You can use fish, squid
MEATLESS: Firm tofu, eggplant
DID YOU MAKE THIS AYAM RICA RICA RECIPE?
I love it when you guys snap a photo and tag to show me what you’ve made 🙂 Simply tag me @WhatToCookToday #WhatToCookToday on Instagram and I’ll be sure to stop by and take a peek for real!
Ayam Rica Rica (Spicy Manado Chicken)
- 1 kg boned-in skin-on chicken thighs or drumsticks or chicken wings
- 2 Tbsp cooking oil
- ½ cup water or more as needed if cooking on the stove
- 2 large tomatoes diced
- Juice of 1 lime
- Salt to taste
- ½ tsp sugar
- 8 Kaffir lime leaves
- 2 lemongrass stalks trim off the woody ends and cut into 3-4 inch pieces and bruise with heavy object to release flavor
- 2 Pandan leaves knotted
- 1 cup lemon basil (kemangi) - optional
- 10 shallots peeled
- 8 cloves garlic
- 2 inch fresh ginger
- 20 Cayenne peppers
- 5 Thai chili optional
- 2 kaffir lime leaves cut into thin strips and remove the tough core
- Place all the ground ingredients in food processor and process into a coarse paste
Cooking on the stove:
- Preheat a large skillet or wok with cooking oil. Add in the ground ingredients and stir fry for about 3 minutes. Add lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, pandan leaves. Stir fry for about 5 minutes. It should be aromatic
- Add chicken and seasonings stir to mix everything. Add in 1/2 cup of water. Bring it to a boil and then lower the heat to let it simmer until the chicken is cooked through and no longer pink, about 20-30 minutes, depending on the cut of the chicken you use. Once the chicken is cooked through, add the tomatoes and cook for another minute. Squeeze in the juice of one lime and have a taste and adjust to your taste. Turn off the heat. Stir in the lemon basil (if using) and thin strips of kaffir lime leaves
- Serve immediately with plenty of white rice 😉 because you gonna need it to eat that with the sauce
Cooking with Instant Pot pressure cooker:
- Turn the saute mode on. When it says "hot", add cooking oil. Add in the ground ingredients and stir fry for about 3 minutes. Add lemongrass, pandan leaves, kaffir lime leaves. Stir fry for about 5 minutes. It should be aromatic. Turn off the saute mode
- Add chicken and seasonings and stir to mix everything. Add about 1/4 cup of water. I know it's not a lot of water, but you don't lose much liquid when cooking with pressure cooker and the chicken will ooze out some juices too. Stir to mix everything
- Close the lid and turn the steam release valve to "sealing". Set the timer to 12 minutes for drumsticks and 15 minutes for chicken thighs
- When the timer is up, release the pressure immediately and add the tomatoes, kaffir lime leaves strips, squeeze of lime juice and close the lid back to let the residual heat soften the tomatoes. Uncover the lid and stir in lemon basil if using. Have a taste and adjust seasonings to your taste.