Neil Perry's Indonesian-style barbecued chicken

Neil Perry
Indonesian-style barbecue chicken
Indonesian-style barbecue chicken  Photo: William Meppem

This is easier to make than it looks, is super-tasty and versatile – both the rice and salad will go with many different main dishes.


2kg chicken thigh, bone out and skin on

For the marinade

skin of 2 makrut limes, chopped

1 bunch coriander

1 red onion, peeled

2 long red chillies

1 tsp whole white peppercorns

¼ cup vegetable oil

For the chicken dressing

125ml sweet soy (ABC brand if possible)

juice of 2 limes

For the fragrant rice

300g jasmine rice

1 bunch Vietnamese mint, leaves picked

6-8 makrut lime leaves

½ cup fried onions (buy these in packets from Chinese grocers)

For the salad

½ Chinese cabbage, shredded

2 carrots, grated

1 red onion, finely sliced

½ bunch mint, leaves picked

For the salad dressing

¼ cup fish sauce

2 heaped tbsp palm sugar

¼ cup rice wine vinegar


For the marinade, peel the skin from the limes with a vegetable peeler and roughly chop. Add the chopped skin to the other ingredients, place in blender and process to a smooth paste. Cover the chicken thighs in the marinade and refrigerate overnight if you have the time, or for at least an hour.

Preheat a barbecue, then cook the chicken over a medium flame so it does not burn, turning once. Remove the thighs when they are cooked through (about 15-20 minutes) and set aside.

To make the chicken dressing, combine ingredients in a bowl, then pour over the cooked chicken and allow to rest.

Wash the rice well and cook according to packet instructions. When the rice is cooked, add the mint and lime leaves, stir through and set aside. When rested for 10 minutes, serve the rice on a platter and garnish with fried onions.

For the salad, place all ingredients in a salad bowl.

For the salad dressing, combine ingredients in a jar, shake to combine, then pour over the salad.

Serve the chicken piled up on a plate, accompanied by the rice and salad.

Tip: This dish also works well with duck instead of chicken. Just get some duck legs, boil them gently in salted water for 1 minute, turn off the heat and leave for 30 minutes. You can then marinate them and finish them on the barbecue.