It has been a while since my last post ……
Yeah, I have been very busy and at the same time been very lazy to cook and blog as I used to.
But today, while I was thinking on what to eat for lunch, suddenly an idea popped into my head…..
The same thing that I should have for my lunch is also the thing I should write and post in my blog
It’s the “A_ Pop”
What is A-Pop?
A-Pop is NOT a copy cat of the famous J-Pop or K-Pop or even King of Pop. In-fact it has nothing to do with music …as A_Pop is the abbreviation of “Ayam Pop”.
“Ayam Pop” is a ridiculously simple and pale looking, skinless fried chicken that we find in Padang Restaurants across Indonesia.
What’s so special about A-Pop?
A-Pop is free range organic chicken (locally known as ‘ayam kampung”), marinated in spice paste and then boiled in coconut water until perfectly tender. The chicken cutlets are then deep-fried for a very short time. The locals would say, “Lift the chicken when they start making loud “POP sound!”
The chicken looks glossy and pale. But don’t let the look deceives you. It tastes so tasty, with so tender meat and soft texture. Sauce served with “Ayam Pop” is made from chili, tomato and red onion finely ground and then cooked with flavor that is not too spicy.
A_Pop is very tasty and the sauce adds pleasure to the experience of eating the “A_Pop” that some people can even finish four pieces of “A-Pop” and that’s actually one whole chicken!
A small humble Padang restaurant “Family Benteng” located in Bukit Tinggi West Sumatra is considered as the birth place of “Ayam Pop”.
Back in the 1940s, the owner of “Family Benteng” opened a humble “Nasi Padang” stall by the roadside, in front of Padang’s train station. They offer traditional Padang dishes, such as Rendang (beef stew in coconut milk and lemongrass), Ayam Bakar (grilled chicken) and Sambal Lado (green chilli paste).
How they came up with the idea of “Ayam Pop” is not clear. They invented a simple fried chicken recipe and boom ….it was a hit. Customers kept coming back for this simple fried chicken. They even didn’t have a name for it. It was during the Pop (music) era so when their customers asked for the dish’s name, the word ‘Pop’ came naturally to mind, said the owner. And the rest is A-Pop history.
Today, A_Pop (“Ayam Pop”) is one of the most Popular chicken dishes in Padang restaurants across Indonesia so I guess it’s worth to name it as the King of Pop …Chicken.
And here’s the recipe of King of Pop Chicken:
- 4 pieces of breast and 4 pieces of thigh of organic free range chicken (“ayam kampung’) + 2 teaspoon salt + 2 teaspoons of lime juice
- 500 ml coconut water
- 3 shallots
- 4 cloves of garlic
- 2 pieces of roasted candle nut
- 1 lemongrass. crushed
- 2 cm of ginger, crushed
- 3 cm of galangal, crushed
- 4 kaffir lime leaves
- 3 salam leaves
- 1 tea spoon salt
- cooking oil
Ingredients for the sauce:
- 1 tomato cut into 2 parts
- 6 red chilies
- 5 red bird’s eye chilies
- 4 shallots
- 3 cloves of garlic
- 200 ml water
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon lime juice
- 50 ml coconut water
Prepare the chicken:
- Squeeze the chicken with salt and lime juice, leave them for 15 minutes then wash and let it dry
- Put a wok on low heat
- Add in the chicken, coconut water, the ground spices and other spices
- Cook the chicken on low heat until well cooked
- Drain the chicken, take out the skin and put aside the remaining coconut water
- Heat up a pan, add in the cooking oil and heat until it’s really hot
- Deep fry the chicken for a few seconds only – don’t over fry it – the chicken should not becomes crispy and the color should remain white and pale.
Prepare the sauce
- add in all sauce ingredients except salt and lime juice into a pan
- boil them until the chilies are soft and cooked
- blend the cooked ingredients using blender or food processor
- add in 50 ml of the remaining coconut water that has been used for boiling the chicken
- add in salt & lime juice
- stir until well blended
Served the A-POP warm with the sauce. Super yummy!