Ayam Percik (Malaysian-style Spicy BBQ Chicken)

The only ayam percik I remember having was from Ayamas, which is a chain selling various poultry products. Although it’s been more than 10 years (?) since I last had a percik roaster, I can still remember the taste – it’s super juicy and so flavourful. They also served really good honey chicken (not sure if the chicken still taste as good though). There’s an outlet near where we lived, so we used to buy a whole bird at least once a week.


Ayam percik 2

Ayam percik, which translates into “splash chicken” is believed to originate from Kelantan, a state in the northeast region of Peninsular Malaysia. It is chicken pieces marinated in a spicy coconut marinade made up of various spices like chillies, lemongrass, galangal, ginger and coconut milk. The chicken pieces are then cooked traditionally over a charcoal fire. When the chicken is grilling over fire, percik sauce is sprinkled or splashed (hence the name) on the chicken, such that the chicken gets coated with a pasty layer of smokey delicious sauce. It is slightly sweet with strong spicy coconuty flavours. I like mine on the sweeter side, so I added more sugar to taste. It is really simple to prepare, and so good with rice!

Ayam percik 1


  • 1 kg chicken legs (about 4 chicken legs)

For marinade:

  • 2 stalks lemongrass
  • 4 shallots
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 1 inch galangal
  • 3 fresh red chili – seeds removed
  • 6 dried red chili – seeds removed
  • 1 tsp tamarind paste – seeds removed
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 cup coconut milk (I used canned, not low fat)
  • 1/4 cup water


  • 2 tbs brown sugar
  • 1 spoon Knorr chicken powder
  • Salt (to taste)


  • Blend all ingredients for marinade in a food processor.
  • Add seasonings to taste.
  • Mix together blended mixture and chicken pieces and leave to marinade overnight.
  • Preheat oven to 200ÂșC.
  • Place chicken together with all the marinade in a baking dish. Cover baking dish with foil, roast for 30 mins.
  • Remove foil, roast for a further 30 mins. Turn chicken over every now and then to ensure even browning.
  • Broil for a few mins after that to thicken the gravy further and to get some charred bits.
Ayam percik 3