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  • Philip Munda

Sambal Oelek Chicken Thighs

One of the first things I can remember cooking was a honey and sesame marinated chicken roast. I was thinking of that dish and those flavours as I was driving home and thought I wanted something similar but much punchier. We had Sambal Oelek (Indonesian chill paste) in the fridge so I used that as a base and tried to balance the sweet, salty, acid and heat by using honey, soy sauce and rice vinegar. The result was fantastic and it was a really quick meal to make. Great for a weeknight post-work cook.

Time: 40 Minutes

Serves: 6

Difficulty: Easy


  • 6 Chicken Thighs (skin on)

  • 2 Tbsp Sambal Oelek

  • 1 Tbsp Sesame Oil

  • 1 Tsp Honey

  • 1 Tsp Rice Vinegar

  • 1 Tsp Soy Sauce

  • 1 Tsp Rice Wine Vinegar

  • 1 Tsp Grated Ginger

  • 2 Leeks

  • 12 Baby Carrots

  • 2 Tbsp Sesame Seeds

  • 3 Spring Onions

  • 2 Tbsp Olive Oil

  • Salt & Pepper


  1. Preheat the oven to 200 C. Mix the sambal oelek, sesame oil, honey, vinegar, soy and ginger in a small bowl and set aside.

  2. Pat the chicken breasts dry with paper towel then season well with salt and paper. Add the oil to an ovenproof pan/skillet on medium-high heat and place the chicken skin side down in the hot pan.

  3. Place a piece of baking paper over the chicken and then place another pot/pan weighed down on top. This will help the crispiness of the skin and the even cooking. Leave the chicken like this for 15 minutes but be vigilant to make sure they don't burn!

  4. Turn the chicken over, the skin should be golden brown and crispy. Take the chicken out of the pan. Chop the leeks into 2cm segments and the carrots in half then add them to the pan with a little extra oil if necessary. Fry for 3-4 minutes on medium high.

  5. Put the chicken breasts back in the pan and then pour the marinade over all the pieces and the vegetables and then place the pan in the oven for 20 Minutes or until the internal temperature is past 73 C.

  6. Toast the sesame seeds and chop the spring onions while the chicken is cooking. Once the chicken is ready sprinkle the sesame seeds and spring onions over for garnish.

  7. Serve with some roasted vegetables or egg-fried rice and an asian salad.

Happy Cooking!


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