Ayam Suwir Bumbu Bali – Balinese spicy shredded chicken

Ayam Suwir Bumbu Bali is aromatic and spicy shredded chicken from Bali, Indonesia. This recipe will help you make this chicken dish from scratch so that you can adjust the chilli heat to feed all your loved ones.

Balinese spicy shredded chicken - Ayam Suwir Bumbu Bali - in an oval white dish

Ayam Suwir Bumbu Bali

Ayam Suwir Bumbu Bali – which literally means shredded chicken in Balinese spices – is one easy chicken dish with exotic taste and aroma. 

This dish is ideal for those who love boneless chicken, just like my kids ?. 

And the recipe I’m sharing with you here will teach you how to make your spices from scratch, so you will have more control in how much chillies you want to put into your cooking.

Hence, even your little ones can enjoy this flavourful chicken dish.

an oval dish of ayam suwir bumbu bali - the shredded chicken in Balinese spices with overlay texts

What I can suggest is you put little to nothing chillies in your initial spice mixture. When the spice mixture is done, take some out and put into a new pan. Then add in the pan as much as shredded chicken enough to feed your little ones. Mix it and cook it until the poultry absorbs all the spices.

After that, you go back to your original cooking pan and add all the remaining chicken pieces to finish your cooking process. 

This way, you will have Ayam Suwir Bumbu Bali with two different strengths of chilli heat and everyone in the family will be happily fed. Job sorted mama ?.

Side dishes to go with spicy shredded chicken

This spicy shredded chicken is delicious enough to enjoy as is with plain white rice. But if you have more ingredients, time and energy to cook, some simple vegetable dishes will go nicely with this aromatic chicken dish.

I would usually serve it with simple stir-fry vegetables, sweetcorn fritters/ Perkedel Jagung or mung bean fritters/ Perkedel Kacang Hijau

Main ingredients

ingredients for Balinese spicy shredded chicken - Ayam Suwir Bumbu Bali


Needless to say, this is the number one ingredient for the recipe ?. You can use either chicken with bone or boneless chicken. It matters not. Because you will have to boil it prior to cooking the recipe whichever poultry you choose.

Spices and herbs for Ayam Suwir Bumbu Bali

You need some spices that you pound into a paste and some that you need to put a whole

The spices paste contains onion, garlic, chillies, ground pepper (either white or black), and turmeric.

The whole herbs to put in the spice mixture are kaffir lime leaves, Indonesian Salam leaves, galangal, and lemongrass.

These days we are lucky to enjoy lots of convenience in life. That includes cooking ingredients such as ready-made spice paste. 

And I am one of those who make the most of this practicality. So, sometimes I use ready-minced garlic which is usually sold frozen. Or lemongrass paste, galangal paste, chilli powder, turmeric powder, etc.

All these have made my cooking process way quicker. In the past, I did try to follow the old-fashioned way of cooking which uses whole fresh spices and herbs. And then pound them into a paste. But really, it did take time. I used to find myself spending more time in the kitchen whenever I cooked Indonesian food.

So after many trials and tests of using dry spices or ready-minced ginger garlic, I now don’t find any difference in the flavour and taste quality of my food.

In the end, it’s the proportion of each ingredient that plays a major role in creating delicious and tasty food. And of course, the love you put in it ?.

Dried-Shrimp paste (Terasi) or Fish sauce

Traditionally, the recipe uses Terasi (dried-shrimp paste or also called Belacan). But I don’t always have it at home. So, I swap it with fish sauce and I still get a yummy Ayam Suwir. 

Every Terasi has its own strength of flavour. So, if you use it for this recipe, you may want to add it little by little. Also, try to dissolve your Terasi with a teaspoon of water before you put it into your cooking, to make it easier and faster to mix with the rest of the spice mixture.

Palm sugar

Ideally, you use palm sugar, but if you don’t have it, you can always use brown sugar or even regular granulated sugar. Yes, the sweetness and the flavour can be slightly different, but it’s not huge. 


What you need is a few tablespoons of Tamarind juice. You can make it by soaking some Tamarind block or dried Tamarind in water. Or mix a little of Tamarind paste with a little water.

For this recipe, you can mix one teaspoon of Tamarind paste with three tablespoons of water.

Cooking oil

Any cooking oil will do. But I personally use either sunflower oil or rapeseed oil.

Coconut milk

You will only need a quarter cup of coconut milk for this recipe. You can also use coconut milk powder if that’s what you have at home. You can add 3 tablespoons of coconut milk powder and 2 tablespoons of water extra. 

An oval dish of shredded chicken in Balinese spices

How to make Ayam Suwir Bumbu Bali

Firstly, you boil the chicken together with the whole ginger root, Salam leaf, a few kaffir lime leaves and a little bit of salt until the poultry is cooked and tender. Then drain the water, rinse the chicken slightly and shred the meat to slivers. 

Secondly, fry and cook the spice paste and some whole herbs until it’s fragrant. Then add in the coconut milk and water to let it cook until you get a nice thick spice sauce.

Spices and herbs frying on a pan
1. Fry the onion, garlic and other spices
adding water to spices for Ayam Suwir Bumbu Bali
2. Add water to the cooking spices
Adding coconut milk to Ayam Suwir Bumbu Bali spices
3. Add coconut milk
shredded chicken in a pan
4. Add the shredded chicken

Thirdly, put the shredded chicken into the sauce and let it cook further until the meat pieces absorb the spice mixture. 

shredded chicken coated with Balinese spices
5. Stir and cook the shredded chicken
Balinese spicy shredded chicken in a pan
6. Your Ayam Suwir Bumbu Bali is ready

Related posts

Thank you for reading the post. I hope you are now thinking of trying this Ayam Suwir recipe. When you do, it will be great if you could share with us what you think about the recipe in the comments below.

And please follow me on Facebook, Instagram and/or Pinterest to sneak a peek at what’s cooking in my kitchen. 

Before you go, don’t forget to check my other recipes that you may like.

Thank you and all the best.

Ayam Suwir Bumbu Bali - shredded chicken with Balinese spices in an oval white dish
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Ayam Suwir Bumbu Bali

Ayam Suwir Bumbu Bali is aromatic and spicy shredded chicken from Bali, Indonesia. This recipe will help you make this chicken dish from scratch so that you can adjust the chilli heat to feed all your loved ones.
Author: Devy Dar
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time30 minutes
Total Time45 minutes
Course: Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine: Indonesian
Servings: 6


  • Cooking pan
  • Wooden spoon
  • Pestle and mortar or
  • Food processor
  • Large frying pan or
  • Wok.


  • 21.16 ounces boneless chicken.
  • ¼ cup coconut milk.
  • 4 kaffir lime leaves.
  • 3 salam leaves.
  • ½ – inch ginger root.
  • ½ – inch galangal.
  • 1 lemongrass or ½ tsp lemongrass paste.
  • 2 tablespoons cooking oil.
  • ½ cup of water.

For the spice paste mixture:

  • 1 onion chopped.
  • 5 garlic chopped.
  • 1 teaspoon Kashmiri chilli powder.
  • 1 teaspoon fish sauce or Terasi/ dried-shrimp paste
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper.
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric powder.
  • 1 teaspoon salt.
  • 1 tablespoon palm sugar brown sugar.
  • 3 tablespoons tamarind water see the note.


  • Pound all the ingredients for spice paste using pestle and mortar. Or, you can use a food processor. Set it aside.
  • Boil the chicken with enough water to cover it together with 2 kaffir lime leaves, 1 salam leaf and ginger root. Cook it until the poultry is tender. Discard the water, rinse the meat slightly to get rid of the impurities and shred it to pieces.
  • In a large frying pan or cooking pan, heat the oil and fry the paste mixture until it releases aroma. 
  • Then add the coconut milk and water to the spice paste mix. Let it cook for a minute or two in between each addition.
  • When the spice mixture is nicely bubbling, put the shredded chicken pieces in. Stir it well until all the meat slivers are coated with spices.
  • Leave it to cook for about 5 minutes or until almost all the chicken absorbs almost all the spice mixture. If you prefer, you can leave some gravy. I personally prefer my Ayam Suwir Bumbu Bali to be slightly dry.


  • You can use regular chili powder or freshly-pounded chili paste. If you use fresh chilies, for this recipe you can use about 2-3 bird’s eyes chilies for moderate heat. And of course, you can always put more if you prefer.
  • You may not have Salam leaf and find it difficult to get hold of it. In that case, you can try to substitute it with one bay leaf and a few curry leaves. I won’t use just either one because both bay leaf and curry leaf have different types of aromas from Salam leaf. But if you use them together, somehow they work together although they may not 100% resemble the fragrance of Salam leaf.


Serving: 1g | Calories: 431kcal | Carbohydrates: 13g | Protein: 31g | Fat: 29g | Saturated Fat: 17g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 10g | Cholesterol: 89mg | Sodium: 571mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 4g


Nutritional info in this recipe is only estimate using online calculator. You should refer to it as a guide only. Please verify with your own data if you seek an accurate info.

Author: Devy Dar

Title: Food Writer, Recipe Developer, and Digital Content Creator.


Devy Dar founded So Yummy Recipes and Drizzling Flavor to share her love of food after exploring various cultures and cuisines for more than two decades. Her mission is to help others easily recreate traditional and non-traditional food with readily available ingredients. Her works have been featured in Reader’s Digest, Al Jazeera, MSN, Yahoo, Bon Appetit, and more. 

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