My “Ayam Rambut Setan”

It’s been a while since i eat at one of my favourite restaurant in Jakarta, Mbah Jingkrak. Boy who knows how many time i’ve been there since I used to live just minutes away from it. My family, just like me, always find special reason to stop by and having a meal in this green and cozy restaurant located in Setiabudi, Jakarta. 

I always order Ayam Rambut Setan. It is definitely my all time favourite dish from MJ. Sometime I use gojek so I can have it at home. But as time passes, I wonder if i can make one at home. It took us (mom and i) quite a while to discuss what the ingredients are and we just impulsively started to design “our” version of the dish.


So, here it is, a dish inspired by Mbah Jingkrak’s Ayam Rambut Setan. The spiciness level that will drench your face with sweat and lit your mouth on fire!! (of course, figuratively)




I usually ask my butcher to cut the chicken into 10 pieces. So for my family, this recipe can serve 5 hungry people easily (2 pieces of the spicy chicken each. Yes! one is not enough!). Best to eat this with rice and a glass of young coconut water.


  • 1 whole chicken (cut them to your preference)
  • juice of 2 limes or 2 tablespoons or regular vinegar
  • 3 teaspoon of salt
  • 20 red chilis
  • 5 red bird’s eye chili (main source of the spiciness, use less to reduce the heat)
  • 10 bird’s eye chilis
  • 5 shallots
  • 10 garlic
  • 6 lime leaf (slice thin)
  • 4 lemongrass (slice white parts only, discard the rest)
  • 1 spring onion (slice)
  • a handfull of basil
  • half cup of oil


The first thing to do is to marinate your chicken white acid and salt. Between lime juice or vinegar, just use either one depending what you have at home. In the heat of Pekanbaru i’d rather do everything instant and quick. So, rather than leaving my chicken marinating, i boil them with the vinegar, salt  and one cup of water until all the liquid has evaporated.

Then i brown the chicken a bit by frying them in a very hot oil and let it rest. It is important not to let the chicken fry for long as it will dry out the inside part.

Now for the chili, roughly pulse all chili, shallots, and garlic together. Dump chili mix to the pan along with half cup of oil and turn up the heat. After a few minutes, pour in a cup of water and season it with 2 teaspoon of salt. Put in lime leaf, lemongrass and spring onion. After you can smell the aroma of lime and lemongrass (among all of the chili tear-inducing smell), dump in your chicken along side fresh basil. Turn off the heat and mix it well.


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