Garang Asem Kudus

By Marchellinus Hanjaya - Tuesday, Mar 03, 2015

It’s simplicity yet powerful taste have made this dish one of the most comforting chicken parcels for the locals for ages in Indonesia. It is especially common and found easily along the northern coast line of Central Java. There are some different renditions where the proteins are changed and swopped but the main structure and accent of the soup, remain- fiery and sour (garang and asem). Garang asem means just that, and here’s how and why:


All the ingredients that you will need.


1pc free range chicken (1.5 – 1.8 kg)
or you can subtitute this with
4pcs breast and/or thigh, do not use fillet.
1pc lemongrass
4pc Indonesian bay leaf
50gm galangal
8pc garlic
4pc shallot
20pc bilimbing (wild starfruit)
15pc red chilli padi
10pc green tomato
1pc lime
350cc water
salt to taste
banana leaf for wrapping
stapler, for ease of wrapping


1. Cut the chicken into bite size (3-5 cm long chunks each), do not debone as maximum flavour need be extracted. Rub with sprinkle of salt and lime juice. Leave it for 15 mins.


2. Cut the tomatoes into wedge pieces, slice every single other ingredients, and leave some chilli padi in for heat and presentation.


3. Fold a parcel with the banana leaf, ensure it will hold :
– 3 pieces of chicken cutlets, mix between breast and thigh if you have both
– 4-5 slices of garlic
– 2-3 slices of shallot
– 1 slice of galangal
– 2 slice of lemongrass
– 2-3 bits of cut chilli padi
– 1/2 piece of Indonesian bay leaf(Salam leaves)
– 2-3 pieces of tomato wedges
– 5-7 cut pieces of bilimbing
– Sprinkle of salt


Make sure the banana leaf parcel won’t leak, handle with care.


Make sure the banana leaf parcel won’t leak, handle with care. Gently heat the leaves over low stow fire prior to the folding process. It will gives more flexibility and strength.


Your pack of Garang Asem Kudus!


1 whole chicken can make around 8 parcels, depends on the size of the chicken. Adjust the amount of ingredients accordingly.


Almost there and ready!


4. Steam for 30-40 minutes, and it is done.


Now you know how to make some Garang Asem Kudus