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Hari Raya recipe: JW Mariott Hotel Jakarta’s ‘ayam woku-woku’

Masajeng Rahmiasri
Masajeng Rahmiasri

The Jakarta Post

Jakarta  /  Fri, June 30, 2017  /  03:05 pm

Woku-woku chicken (ayam woku-woku), a dish from Manado, North Sulawesi, is another example of Indonesian food that may suit those with a palate for spicy dishes.

Herman Faisal, sous chef at the JW Mariott Hotel Jakarta, said that the dish, which is part of the hotel’s rotating menu at Sailendra restaurant, was created to spotlight its ingredients.

“Spices [used for woku-woku chicken] create a taste that can compete with other renowned dishes, such as gulai and opor,” he said, adding that it is also still hard to find woku-woku chicken in Jakarta.

The hotel's version of woku-woku chicken uses ayam kampung (free-range chicken).

“It is harder [in texture], but it allows the flavors to permeate better because it needs to be cooked for a longer time. It also doesn’t get destroyed [when being cooked for a long time],” Herman said, advising to boil the chicken for at least 30 minutes.

To choose ayam kampung that is fresh, make sure to pay attention to its color and texture, he said.

Do not buy chicken that has turned bluish in color. Meanwhile, to add fragrance, Herman suggested to ground the spices.

Home cooks who want their woku-woku chicken dish to be extra spicy may add more chili as they cook, he added. (kes)

Read also: Ramadhan recipe: Four Seasons Hotel Jakarta’s hummus


  • 1 whole free-range chicken
  • 2 bundles of kemangi (lemon basil) leaves
  • 6 orange leaves
  • 2 turmeric leaves
  • 2 lemongrass stems; use the white-colored part, smashed
  • 4 tomatoes
  • 2 leeks
  • 2 tbsp. salt
  • 1 tbsp. sugar
  • 750 ml water
  • 1 pandan leaf, 20-30 cm in length
  • 2 tbsp. oil to stir-fry

Ground spices

  • 10 shallots
  • 6 large red chilies
  • 5 cabai rawit (bird’s eye chilies)
  • 5 candlenut
  • 3-cm turmeric
  • 3-cm ginger


  • Finely grind the spices using a blender.
  • Stir-fry the ground spices until it becomes aromatic. Add orange leaves, a pandan leaf, turmeric leaves and lemongrass. Stir evenly.
  • Pour water into a pan and add the chicken. Cook until the water decreases in approximately 30 minutes.
  • Add kemangi leaves, leeks and tomatoes. Add sugar and salt, stir for about 1 minute.

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