Ooey Gooey Kicap Chicken with Ginger, Onion Jam

This chicken dish is a certified crowd-pleaser, and why not? It has everything everyone is sure to love- It’s sweet, it’s spicy, it’s salty and it’s dark and glossy and sticky! Pair it with the ginger and onion jam, and you have a winning combination.

And this kicap chicken is so, so versatile! Turn down the chili heat, and it’s perfect for kids to get their lil’ fingers all icky and face covered in that yummy kicap (that’s soy sauce) gravy. Turn up the heat and it’s a great contribution to an adult dinner party. Turn it into a starter by using only chicken wings, or make it a fancy main, as Darsh has done in the first picture, by serving it up with creamy cauliflower pureethe jam, fried onion slices and crispy chicken skin… in short, you’d want to hang on to this recipe.


  • 500g chicken pieces
  • 1 cup light soy sauce (kicap)
  • 1 1/2 tbsp sesame oil
  • 16 dried chilies, soaked and rough chopped [reserve soaking liquid]
  • 1 tbsp chili powder/chili flakes [reduce to 1/2 tbsp for a milder version]
  • 7 cloves garlic, 5 grated & 2 sliced
  • 1 thumb-size ginger, grated
  • 1 medium onion, minced
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp course black pepper
  • 1 tbsp dark soy sauce (kicap pekat)
  • Roasted white sesame seeds, for garnish
  • Spring onions, chopped, for garnish
  • For jam: 2 thumb-size ginger, grated
  • 1 medium onion, grated
  • 1 tsp red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 1/2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1/2 tbsp cooking oil
  • 1/2 cup water


  1. In a large bowl, combine light soy sauce, 1 tbsp sesame oil, 8 dried chilies, chili powder, grated garlic, ginger, onions, brown sugar and pepper. Stir well to combine. Check seasoning, adding more soy sauce or sesame oil as needed.
  2. Marinate chicken pieces in the mixture for at least 2-4 hours, although overnight would be ideal.
  3. In a pan, heat the remaining sesame oil and sweat the garlic slices. Toss in the rest of the dried chilies and stir for a couple of minutes. Keep the heat on medium and don't let the chilies get too dark.
  4. Separate the chicken from the marinade. Strain the marinade and add to the hot pan, together with the dark soy sauce, and stir.
  5. Add the chicken pieces and some chili-soaking liquid to loosen the sauce. Bring to a boil, stir the mixture well and reduce heat to a simmer.
  6. Cook chicken for about 15-20 minutes until meat is cooked and sauce is nicely caramelized and thick.
  7. To prepare the ginger and onion jam, heat cooking oil in a small heavy-based pot under medium heat and add in grated ginger and onion.
  8. Turn the heat to low and slowly sweat the ginger-onion mixture for several minutes.
  9. Add sugar, red wine vinegar and water, and stir to combine.
  10. Leave mixture to simmer for at least 30 minutes, stirring occasionally so the bottom does not burn, until it thickens to a jam-like consistency.
  11. Let cool until time to serve.
  12. Just before serving, top chicken with roasted sesame seeds and spring onions. Serve with rice, and ginger-onion jam on the side.



  • Try adding a handful of crushed basil leaves in the marinade for extra flavour.
  • Preparing too many dishes and no stovetop space to spare? No worries, just omit the dark soy sauce and chuck the whole batch (chicken, marinade and all) in a preheated oven at 180°C for 50-60 minutes (turning the chicken over halfway through).

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