ayam sioh

Ayam Sioh (Chicken in Spicy Tamarind Sauce) is a variant of Duck Sioh (Itik Sioh). This dish is essentially a sour and sweet based stew with a strong hint of tamarind juice (asam jawa) and ketumbar (coriander) spice. I have a feeling that this dish is a Baba-Nyonya Peranakan dish but I stand corrected. Anyway, I was introduced to this dish by my mother-in-law a couple of years back and took a liking to it due to its appetizing taste.

Thankfully, my lovely wife has inherited her mother’s recipe and over the weekend, decided to cook up this dish for Father’s Day lunch. We could not finish the dish as we used 1 whole chicken but we are not complaining because the longer this dish keeps, the tastier it gets. For better results, duck is preferred as the meat is “tougher” to withstand the marinate using tamarind juice. If you can’t find duck, try using “village / kampong” chicken or free-range chicken.

This is my mother-in-law / wife’s recipe for Ayam Sioh (Chicken in Spicy Tamarind Sauce)


1 whole chicken (approximately 1.5 to 2kgs, chopped into large pieces)


Marinade (blend together)

  • 200 grammes shallots
  • 3 tablespoons ketumbar (coriander) powder
  • 225 grammes tamarind (asam jawa) mixed with 350 ml water (squeeze the juice and remove tamarind seeds)
  • 10 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons dark soya sauce
  • 1 heaped teaspoon white pepper powder




Wash chicken pieces thoroughly. Marinade chicken overnight or for at least 10 hours.

Transfer chicken and marinate to heavy bottomed aluminium saucepan and boil for 20 minutes over a moderate heat.

Turn the chicken pieces, reduce heat to low and boil for another 20 to 30 minutes or until chicken is very tender.



technorati tags: ayam sioh chicken tamarind recipe sauce malaysia baba nyonya
del.icio.us tags: malaysia

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  1. 1
    June 19th, 2007 at 2:49 pm

    wow sounds easy and yummy, very “hoi wai”!!!

    err not stainless steel pan ka? cooking sour stuff in aluminium pan will cause some kind of seepage if i’m not mistaken.

  2. 2
    June 19th, 2007 at 3:23 pm

    this must be very tasty by attempting few bow of rice. yummy yummy!!! ^_^

  3. 3
    June 19th, 2007 at 6:18 pm

    I have heard about it but never tasted it before. OK, duck hunting soon.

  4. 4
    The Cooking Ninja
    June 19th, 2007 at 11:02 pm

    hmm…this looks simple to do. Think I will try it out.

  5. 5
    June 20th, 2007 at 12:12 am

    I love coriander and pepper with chicken. Will like this too. So easy somemore 🙂

  6. 6
    sweet jasmine
    June 20th, 2007 at 1:00 am

    Yes, this is a baba nyonya dish. I have cooked this dish with chicken sometime ago and it was really delicious. Will try with duck next time..

  7. 7
    June 20th, 2007 at 3:44 am

    What would be good with this is a nicely steamed bun. Yummy. We have a restaurant here in Vancouver called Vogue that is very similar to this and it is delicious!

  8. 8
    June 20th, 2007 at 1:54 pm

    babe_kl : Well, the hand-me-down recipe states aluminium wor…But we used stainless steel instead. LOL! Just make sure it is not iron or the acidity of the tamarind juice might do some fierce corrosion.

    fattien : It is yummy indeed!

    lilian : Give me your verdict once you’ve tried it, ya?

    Cooking Ninja : It is pretty simple really. As long as you can get your hands on the ingredients.

    tigerfish : Better try it wor! Since it has coriander and pepper with chicken 🙂

    sweet jasmine : Thanks for the confirmation! It’s OFFICIAL! 🙂

    jenkins : I think buns would be great with this but it might be a tad too sour and acidic for some. Glad to hear that you’ve a restaurant there selling something similar. Now you can cook it on your own 🙂

  9. 9
    June 22nd, 2007 at 11:31 am

    hey Pablo,

    That looks good. I will try yo make that for bf this weekend. I’ll do the duck version though cos I have had itik sioh before and I like that a lot. Will keep you posted-reese

  10. 10
    June 22nd, 2007 at 4:50 pm

    reeseboston : This recipe is for you 😉 Hope your bf will be impressed!

  11. 11
    June 23rd, 2007 at 12:43 pm

    Hey Pablo, Thanks a million for the recipe. I have the duck marinating in the fridge right now. Will cook it tomorrow and keep you posted. Thanks from Reese and Mike’s tummy.

  12. 12
    June 23rd, 2007 at 12:44 pm

    Pablo, thanks a million for the recipe/ The duck is swimming in its marinade in the fridge right now. Will prep it for dinner later. Thanks again from Reese & Mike’s tummies.

  13. 13
    June 26th, 2007 at 3:50 am

    Pablo, the dish was a hit and it turned out so yummmmmy! Kudos to the master chef.

  14. 14
    June 28th, 2007 at 10:34 am

    reeseboston : Glad you are now an Ayam Sioh chef yourself 🙂

  15. 15
    July 13th, 2007 at 1:12 pm

    One itek sioh in the pressure cooker, coming up in few more minutes. Watch out for the trackback when I am done, eating. 🙂


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