Terengganu Peranakan Cuisine-Ayam Pachok

Living in a simple rural life,the Terengganu Peranakans do not attract much attention compare to the Melaka and Penang Peranakans ,most probably because they have stayed pretty much below the social radar. However, they have also a rich malay style cuisine under their sleeve which was revealed in an article, in a magazine many years back .
According to the article, the Terengganu Peranakan community was more rural and involved in agricultural activities in the early years,and did not have the wealth and prosperity of the peranakans in the Straits Settlements(Melaka and Penang).
Peranakan is considered by ethnologists as a Chinese sub culture and the Hokkein speaking Terengganu Peranakans are regarded not as a true-blue Peranakans,but as ‘Peranakan-type” Chinese,as even though they have certain features that distinguish them from other Chinese,as they really do not assume a sub-ethnic identity like the babas and nyonyas.
To get to the heart of the local peranakan culture in Terengganu, one needs to head to a town known as Tirok,where the most sizeable Peranakan type community can be found. The recipes that I’ll be sharing with all of you are of the Terengganu type peranakan cuisine, shared by Madam Bee,owner of a cafĂ© style peranakan restaurant.

The first recipe that I’m sharing today is Ayam Pachok. This is a grilled chicken satay with Peranakan spice paste which is truly delicious and speaks for the cooking prowess of the Terengganu Peranakans. The second recipe , which I’ll be sharing in a few days time would be Gulai Asam Pedas ala Peranakan , this is an Asam Pedas mixed with herbs employed by the Terengganu Peranakans ,with the addition of certain ingredients. The third and final cuisine is the Kerabu Kecambah ,which was concocted by Madam Bee’s grand mother in law! ‘Kecambah’ is bean sprout in the local lingo.Do return back to check out the other two recipes , which I would be posting in the near future.


1 kg chicken meat,cut into 3cm cubes,blanched
bamboo skewers,soaked in water for half an hour and then drained

Spice Paste 
2 tbsp coriander powder(ketumbar)
1 tsp cumin powder
1 tp fennel powder
1 tsp spices (can use all spice or a mixture of cardamom,cinnamon and cloves)
160gm shallots,ground to a paste
100gm dried chilli paste (soaked in water ,drained and make into a paste or can use cili boh)
30gm palm sugar, gula melaka
1 tsp salt
350ml coconut milk
1 tbsp toasted grated coconut/kerisik

To prepare spice paste: Cook spice over medium heat until fragrant,stirring vigorously to prevent spattering.Add coconut milk ,palm sugar and simmer until gravy thickens. Add in kerisik .Remove from heat and set aside to cool.

To marinate the chicken : In a mixing bowl, combine the chicken and spice mix.Mix well, set aside to marinate for 15mins.

To grill satay : I bought a small mini satay griller /burner, bakau wood charcoal and a box of easy lite fire starter to make my tedious grilling experience a bit more tolerable !!

To grill the satay : Thread the chicken onto the bamboo skewers and grill over charcoal heat, basting once or twice ,until the spice coat  the meat and chicken is cooked.


  1. Hi this looks interesting...but I couldn't understand the instructions very well.. the spice paste that you cooked... is it for the marinade for the chicken
    or for the gravy for dipping the satay in? Sorry for the doubt....btw, love your easy grill set!
    Thanks in advance, Mrs Singh, Ipoh

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. The spice that had been cooked until fragrant should be used to marinate the blanched chicken for 15mins. Left over sauce can be served as a dipping .

  4. may i know where the cafe situated in tirok. is the cafe pork free?


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