Nyonya Ayam Sioh/ Chicken in Coriander and Beanpaste Sauce

April 13, 2011


All of us are familiar with the expression of "Don't judge a book by its Cover" or "Looks can be deceiving" ... I would apply both 'saying' to this dish.

Ayam Sioh is a Nyonya Dish. One look at the dish ~ one would tend to think...
"hmm.. nothing exciting about this dish ...its plain... not colourful...dark brown in colour.." 
and eventually, we would skip to the next page or dish... and forget all about it.

I was one of many that would judge a dish by how it is presented and colour... afterall the concept of "We eat with our Eyes first' do play a major part in our daily life... agree with me?

When Mr H suggested Ayam Sioh few years back... I was the 'reluctant cook' because of the 'what I mentioned above'... but the minute I pan-roasted the coriander seeds, then grind them... The beautiful aroma of coriander is amazing!!!. Ayam Sioh had me at 'Hello'... like love at first whiff...

When I started to blog ... about 2 years ago... I wanted to share with everyone this gorgeous mouth watering dish, but the photos held me back... I didn't like it...
A challenging task~ to capture and present something that looks so plain but yet tasted wonderful... hence I KIV the post for 2 years... until recently... I gave it another go ... I still find it difficult to photograph ... with my limited creativity... but I gave my best shot...

My photos may not be 'drool-worthy' but I do encourage you to try this Nyonya Dish... you will fall in love with the dish on your first bite...

Recipe (adapted fromNyonya Flavours)
8 chicken drumsticks
1 brown onion - pounded and extract the juice
1/2 cup yellow soy bean paste or taucu
1 tablespoon of dark soy sauce
1/2 cup of coriander seeds - pan roasted then ground
2 tablespoon of tamarind paste (or 100g tamarind pulp strained and extract with 1 cup of water)
2 tablespoon of sugar
salt to taste
  1. Heat the cooking oil in wok and saute the onion pulp until golden brown.
  2. Add in the chicken and the bean paste. Mix well. 
  3. Add in the grounded coriander, dark soy sauce, tamarind juice and the onion extract. Add in sugar and salt to taste.Add about 1/2 cup of water if the sauce is too thick.
  4. Cook until gravy thickened and chicken is cooked through.
  5. To serve, heat about 2 tablespoon of oil in frying pan, and fry chicken with some gravy until slightly brown.  
  6. Serve with steam rice.
Do taste the sauce before adding salt (beanpaste has salt added).


  1. I can tell that this is dish is full with flavours!!

  2. I love this dish. Look can be deceived.

  3. Yummy.. never tried it with this seasoning.. interesting :)

    new to ur space and happy to follow u for more wonderful recipes..

    do visit my space when u get time

  4. I have cooked similar before and love it! Very appetizing dish.

  5. Mehjabeen,
    Thank you for dropping by my kitchen..
    Will visit yours soon :)

  6. tigerfish,
    It is very appetising... and it tasted better the next day too, dont you think so?

  7. I don't think I've eaten this before but since I've all the ingredients in the pantry, I guess I'll definitely have to try this soon! It looks yummy and very very droolworthy - not brown and unappetizing at all!

  8. Hi Lisa
    Yes, sometimes I "eat" with my eyes first... :-) just like looking/browsing at the cookbooks and it the colours of the food doesn't appetizing, I will skip and forget all about it. I think I will "brave" myself again to cook this Ayam Sioh. I really loves your Kari Kapitan soooooo much! Thank you lots and lots!!