Ease into Eastern Flavors with Maya


How to Make Opor Ayam? [Chicken in coconut milk]

Opor Ayam Recipe

Hello fellow foodies! I’m excited to share my recipe for making opor ayam. This Indonesian dish is one of my all-time favorites, and I’ve spent years perfecting my recipe to make it as delicious and authentic as possible.

Opor Ayam
Creamy Opor Ayam

Something about the creamy coconut milk sauce and aromatic spices makes opor ayam so comforting and satisfying.

It’s the perfect dish to enjoy on a chilly evening or when you’re feeling under the weather.

I’ve made this dish countless times for my family and friends, which always impresses me.

And the best part?

It’s easy to make! So put on your apron, fire up the stove, and get ready to make the best opor ayam you’ve ever tasted.

Trust me, your taste buds will thank you!

Learn more about my delicious fried tumeric chicken recipe here.

Opor Ayam is a Child-Friendly Dish

Perhaps you’re a parent struggling to find a less spicy dish your kids can eat; opor ayam is the answer. This delicious dish is not only easy to prepare, but it’s also perfect for picky eaters.

It is so easy that you can even make it in a slow or pressure cooker, making it an excellent option for busy parents.

This flavor is mild and not too spicy, making it a great introduction to Indonesian cuisine for kids.

Opor ayam is a dish that the whole family can also enjoy together. It’s a great way to introduce your kids to new flavours and cultures and one that everyone can bond over.

Trendy Dish for Celebration and Comfort

Opor ayam, originally from the Central Java region, is often enjoyed during special occasions and celebrations.

Its rich, creamy sauce and aromatic spices make it a comfort food that brings people together. The blend of its ingredients creates a unique and flavorful taste that is comforting and indulgent.

In Indonesia, opor ayam is often served during Eid al-Fitr, a Muslim holiday that marks the end of Ramadan.

It is also commonly served during weddings, birthdays, and other special occasions. The dish is a symbol of togetherness, family, and love.

Not only does it bring people together, but it can also lift your spirits and warm your soul.

It is a perfect dish to enjoy on a chilly day or when you’re feeling under the weather.

So, whether you’re celebrating a special occasion or just looking for a comforting meal, opor ayam is the perfect choice.

Dishes to Pair with Opor Ayam 

Are you looking for the perfect dish to enjoy with opor ayam? I have some delicious suggestions to take your opor ayam game to the next level.

Chicken Drum Stick
Ingredients of opor ayam

1. Rice

First up, rice! Opor ayam is traditionally served with steamed white rice, the perfect accompaniment to the creamy and flavorful sauce.

The rice soaks up all the delicious flavours, making each bite a heavenly experience.

2. Lontong Sayur 

Lontong sayur and opor ayam is a classic Indonesian combination.

When served with opor ayam, combining the creamy and mild opor ayam and the flavorful and savoury lontong sayur creates a perfect balance of flavours.

The sweetness and crunchiness of the vegetables in the lontong sayur can complement the creaminess of the opor ayam sauce, while the rice cake can provide a nice contrast in texture.

3. Perkedel Jagung

Perkedel jagung and opor ayam can be a great pair!

Perkedel jagung is an Indonesian corn fritter made with corn kernels, flour, and spices.

The sweetness of the corn fritter can add a nice contrast to the creaminess of the opor ayam sauce.

The spices in the perkedel jagung can also complement the spices in the opor ayam, creating a harmony of flavours.

4. Tofu or Tempeh

If you want something more substantial, you can’t go wrong with fried tofu or tempeh. These protein-packed dishes are a great way to add texture and variety to your meal.

The possibilities are endless! Next time you enjoy a plate of opor ayam, don’t hesitate to get creative with your side dishes.

Let your taste buds guide you, and experiment with different flavours and textures. Who knows, you might just discover your new favourite dish!

Tips and Tricks for Making the Best Opor Ayam

Image Source: Flickr

My best tips for opor ayam

  • 1. Use free-range chicken for more flavour. Opor Ayam will be tastier if you use free-range chicken
  • 2. Marinate the chicken beforehand. Doing this in a blend of spices and coconut milk for a few hours before cooking will infuse it with even more flavour.
  • 3. Brown the chicken before adding it to the sauce. This will create crispy skin and seal in the juices, making the chicken even more succulent and delicious.
  • 4. Don’t skimp on the spices. Opor ayam is all about the spices, so ensure you use the right blend of coriander, cumin, turmeric, and other aromatic spices for maximum flavour.
  • 5. Use fresh coconut milk if possible. Fresh coconut milk adds a creaminess and richness to the dish that canned coconut milk just can’t match.
  • 6. Add some sambal by the side if you like spicy food. Sambal is a spicy chilli paste that is commonly used in Indonesian cuisine. 
  • 7. Don’t overcook the chicken. Overcooking the chicken will make it tough and dry, so make sure to cook it just until it’s done.
  • 8. Use a slow cooker or pressure cooker for convenience. These appliances make it easy to cook opor ayam without constantly watching over it.
  • 9. Add vegetables for extra nutrition. Carrots, potatoes, and green beans are great additions to the dish, making it even more wholesome and nutritious.
  • 10. Enjoy it with friends and family. Opor ayam is a dish that brings people together, so invite your loved ones to enjoy it together!

Several Versions

You most probably have come across various recipes for this incredibly delicious dish.

While they might all offer excellent tastes, I am confident that my recipe, which I will share shortly, is the one for you.

It does not only provide the best opor ayam you’ve had but is also super easy.

With my recipe, you do not need too many ingredients, and you will get a delicate taste of each herb and spice.

You will be awed by the depth of smiles you’d put on the faces of your family or friends that will try the dish you are about to make using my recipe.

It is essential to mention that there are two types of Opor Ayam, one with turmeric and one without turmeric.

The one with turmeric is called Opor Kuning, meaning yellow Opor. In my recipe, I use turmeric.

However, you can decide to take it out. But if you choose to add it, be sure to follow the exact measurement I use in my recipe.

Regardless of your choice, your dish will come out just right!

Storage of Opor Ayam 

So, you’ve made a big batch of opor ayam, and now you’re wondering how to store it.

First, let the opor ayam cool to room temperature before storing it in the fridge or freezer. This will prevent it from spoiling and keep it fresh for longer.

If you’re storing it in the fridge, place it in an airtight container and make sure it’s fully covered.

This will prevent air from getting in and keep the opor ayam from drying out. It should last in the fridge for up to 3-4 days. 

If you’re storing it in the freezer, use a freezer-safe container or freezer bag. You can keep it in small portions for easy meal prep.

When ready to eat, thaw it in the fridge overnight or reheat it in the microwave or stove.

It should last in the freezer for up to 3 months. But let’s be real, who can wait that long to eat opor ayam?

It’s so delicious, and it’s hard to resist! But if you do have leftovers, make sure to store them properly to prevent any food waste.

Opor Ayam Recipe

Opor Ayam

Opor ayam is a dish that the whole family can also enjoy together.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Indonesian
Servings 4
Calories 567 kcal


  • 1 chicken, cut into small pieces ( or use 1 kg of chicken drumstick )
  • 2 lemongrass, cut and bruised
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 sliced ginger
  • 2 inch galangal
  • 3 kaffir lime leaves
  • 500 ml water
  • 200 ml coconut milk
  • 1 tsp salt, or to taste
  • 1 tsp sugar, or to taste
  • 3 tablespoons of oil for frying

Grind the following spice paste ( Ground Spices )

  • 2 shallot
  • 5 garlic
  • 3 cundlenuts
  • 1 tbsp corriender seed
  • 1 inch turmeric, or turmeric powder.
  • 1 tsp white paper


  • Heat the oil in a pan, then sauté the grand spices, lemongrass, galangal, bay leaves and lime leaves until fragrant.
    Stir all the spices
  • Add the water, chopped chicken or chicken drumstick, and cook until boiling.
  • Add salt and sugar, mix well, cover the pot, and cook the chicken until tender and the spices are absorbed.
  • Add thick coconut milk, and cook until boiling.
    Boil opor ayam
  • Correct the taste; if it's right, turn off the stove.
  • Serve the Opor Ayam with a sprinkling of fried shallots, and enjoy it with steam white rice.
    Opor Ayam Recipe
  • Bon Appetit!
Keyword Opor Ayam

Maya Sari

I'm Maya Sari, a passionate East Culinary food blogger here to share with you the secrets of the mouthwatering flavors of East Asian cuisine

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