Ayam Buah Keluak
(黑果焖鸡) is a distinctive Peranakan dish combining chicken with Buah Keluak
to produce a rich sauce which is sweet, spicy and sour. This key ingredient of this unique dish is "buah keluak
(黑果)" which is not a common ingredients in Singapore. And to prepare this dish, you need extra effort on preparing the buah keluak (wash, soaked and remove the flesh
), meat stuffing and rempah (spice paste
) before you get to cook and enjoy this hearty dish.
Although my granny is a Peranakan, I did not really get to learn her secret recipes because she passed away during my teenage time. And moreover she only has a few signature dishes due to her busy timing. But despite of that, Ayam Buah Keluak
is definitely one of her best shot which we all loved.
AYAM BUAH KELUAK
Finally with the help of my brother who visited Malacca recently, he managed to find and brought back some "processed (washed and cleaned)" buah keluak from one of the eatery there. So using those 20 pieces of "treasure" that he gave me, I decided to cook this popular Peranakan Dish.
Recipe adapted and modify from Famous Cuisine, May And June 2010 issue.
(Serves: 4 | Preparation: 30 minutes | Cooking: 30 minutes)
10 Buah Keluak (黑壳果)
1/2 Portion Chicken (600g), cut into pieces
2 Pieces Tamanrind Slices (亚参皮)
500ml Hot Water
200g Chicken Fillet
3 Dried Shiitake Mushrooms, soaked until soften
100g Shelled Prawns
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
1/4 Teaspoon Pepper
1/2 Teaspoon Sugar
5 Buah Keluak Flesh (黑果肉)
Ingredients C - Rempah:
20 Dried Chillies, soaked in hot water until soften
5 Buah Keluak Flesh (黑果肉)
2 Stalks Lemon Grass (香茅)
2cm Fresh Galangal (南姜)
2cm Fresh Ginger
5 Garlic Cloves
1.Wash and clean the unprocessed "Buah Keluak", soak them in water for 3 days (change water daily).
2. Cut off a small opening on top of the shell, remove the flesh in it and set aside.
3. After which, rinse the empty shell and place it in a pot with water to cover it and bring to boil for 10 minutes. Next dish up, rinse and drain well before stuffing in the buah keluak paste mixture.
4. To make the fillings:- Blend all Ingredients (B) in the blender until it form a smooth paste, remove.
5. Stuff filling back into the cavity of the Buah Keluak shell till full. Set aside.
6. Heat up about 3 tablespoons of oil in frying pan, suate the blended Ingredients (C) until fragrant.
7. Add in chicken pieces and continue to fry until aromatic before putting in the stuffed "Buah Keluak", water and tamarind slices. Bring mixture to boil, add in 1/2 cube of chicken stock and simmer over low heat until chicken is cooked thorough and flavour has been absorbed (about 20 - 30 minutes).
8. Lastly, season with salt and sugar to taste. Remove from heat and serve hot with steamed white rice.
- You can get Buah Keluak in Singapore from Chinatown Market, Teka Market or Bukit Panjang Wholesale Centre.
~ If you or anyone going to Malacca, you can also easily get the "process" Buah Keluak from there.
DEEP-FRIED BUAH KELUAK TOAST
My inspiration for this "Deep-fried Buah Keluak Toast" comes from a similar snack which is available from My Peranakan Spice Box Restaurant, located at Toa Payoh Hub. Their Buah Keluak Toast is mainly made with soft buah keluak meat served on crunchy baguette which taste like Asian caviar on toast. Whereas for mine, I used the left over Buah Kelauk Chicken Paste from the dish above, spread it on some halved sandwich bread and deep-fried to achieve that crunchy texture similar to "prawn toast".
(Serves: 2 | Preparation: 5 minutes | Cooking: 5 minutes)
2 - 3 Slices of Sandwich Bread, halved
Some Buah Keluak Chicken Paste (80g), recipe above
1 Tablespoon Each of White And Black Sesame Seeds
Oil for deep frying
1. Spread about 3/4 - 1 Tablespoon of the Buah Keluak Chicken Paste over the top of each slices of bread.
2. Hold the bread upside down (paste facing downward), coat it evenly with the sesame seeds mixture and set aside.
3. Preheat a pan with oil and deep-fried the bread over medium low heat until golden in colour and chicken paste is cooked through (about 2 minutes).
4. Drained well and serve warm plain or with chilli sauce.
There are a few ways to prepare this "Ayam Buah Keluak" dish depending on individual preference and taste. While preparing the stuffing you can use either pork, chicken or just the buah keluak flesh itself. And as for the gravy, you can simmer the mixture until it resemble "rendang" or quiet watery like normal chicken curry. But no matter which is your choice, I am sure you would love this appetizing dish which makes you crave for more.