People, food, experiences …. they make a place what it is in our hearts, special.

Whilst sitting on a boat drifting on the Mediterranean yesterday, my partner asked, “Do you remember the waroeng off the little street in Jalan Kemang Raya that we went to once, waiting for the rain to stop?”

I confessed I don’t. I have never been a fan of waroeng (simple shacks serving authentic local food), but he loves this sweet little aspect of Indonesian life.


Before we left Phuket a week ago, we were caught in a downpour whilst we went for our 20km run. I asked him to shower first, and when he was in the shower, I rushed around preparing this ‘instant’ food for him, reminiscent of what we ate in Jakarta on the rare occasions in the waroeng. Yes, I remembered the bubur ayam that he loved.

OK, confession time: I planned this before and got the recipe from here, with some modification:

  1. 3 cups chicken stock (I made mine with organic chicken carcass, leftover vegetables, garlic and bay leaf)
  2. 1 cooked chicken breast, shredded (according to the recipe, you cook the chicken in water for 20 minutes, adding garlic, and use the water as the stock).
  3. 1 cup rice, soaked overnight for that soft texture
  4. Chopped coriander and chopped parsley
  5. kicap manis (Indon sweet soy sauce)
  6. sesame oil
  7. lots of pepper, and some salt
  8. birds eye chilli (which I omitted)
  9. Shredded omelete (in the original recipe) – I didn’t have enough time to make this, so I tossed the chicken breast in soy sauce and quickly stir fried it – ayam kicap manis)
  10. Fried shallots (in the original recipe) – didn’t have any.

Cook the soaked rice in the stock until the rice becomes soft. Add more water if necessary. Divide the rice into two bowls. Chuck everything else on top.

Absolutely delicious, and wonderful to cuddle up eating this, watching the thunderstorm. Soul food, do make it and share with your loved one(s) ❤


Note from the original recipe from the website I got the original recipe from:

This bubur ayam recipe is quite simple. Rice cooked with some garlic with a chicken breast poaching in the pot. An omelette chopped into strips and placed on the rice porridge with the poached chicken meat shredded on top as well. Add some condiments and you’re done.

While the dish itself is not spicy, the condiments can be. Desak has a fondness for serving kecap manis (sweet soy sauce) and lethal, tiny, chopped green bird’s-eye chilis in a small bowl with just about everything, so if you think your congee is bland a small amount of this mix will fix it! The soy is essential to flavour the dish even if you don’t want the chilis. It’s probably best to take a spoonful of the soy without the chili slices if you don’t like the heat.

The most intriguing ingredient in the dish is the semi-dried ‘beans’ from the long beans (kacang panjang) that grow so prolifically here in Bali. Desak called them ‘peanuts’, but while they superficially had the look of peanuts, they had much more of a crunch. Desak adds some dried Indonesian bay leaves to the stock, but if you can’t find them just use normal bay leaves.