Monash Cook-Off #3: Sambal Matah Fried Chicken

Written by: Patricia In Wan Ting

Featuring: Tantya Putri Milenia

This mouth-watering dish has a name: ‘Sambal Matah Fried Chicken’.  


It goes without saying that self-isolation has had some surprising spillover effects, notably people exploring their culinary sides. Tantya, who has been pushed to the kitchen during the lockdown, is no exception. 

Originally from Bali, Indonesia, ‘Sambal Matah’ can be translated loosely into ‘raw sambal’, or ‘raw chilli sauce’. Tantya first had a taste of Sambal Matah at a cafe in her hometown, but it was with ‘Ikan Gindari’ which is a type of fish. It left a lasting impression on her. “It tastes really good, it’s savoury, tangy, and in the right balance!”

The defining characteristic of Sambal Matah is it’s spiciness and freshness. It does not need to be paired with fried chicken. It can be eaten with almost anything, including grilled seafood or even roasted pork belly. 

Alright, Tantya, what inspired the dish?

“(laughs) So I couldn’t sleep one night. Suddenly, I received a notification from the Indonesian Community group chat about a ‘Monash Cultural Food Cook-Off’. I wanted to do it, but I didn’t know what to cook. So I went on YouTube for inspiration, and I considered Rendang –  but it would be too difficult to make, and I was like, I cannot possibly make this! So I kept researching until I found this dish – Sambal Matah – which seemed easy to make. I recreated this dish with fried chicken and a sunny-side up, just like what’s trending right now: rice boxes.”

You’re making me hungry. How do you prepare this dish?

“I first separated the ingredients into three portions: to make the chicken, the Sambal Matah, and the egg. 

I used chicken breast cubes for the chicken, then I fried it with wheat flour and corn flour, chilli flakes, garlic powder, salt, pepper and an egg. 

The Sambal itself is simple because it does not need to be cooked. You just use different chopped ingredients to place on top of the fried chicken. The ingredients used in the Sambal Matah are shallots, lime leaves, lemongrass, garlic, chilli, lime, sugar, salt. These ingredients need to be chopped, mixed, and then combined with hot coconut oil. The chilli used can be personalised to a person’s spice level. 

As for the fried egg… I used an egg, salt, pepper and thyme. But thyme is optional.”


Any other fun facts about the dish?

“Hmm… no I guess not. I never really planned this. I just couldn’t sleep one night, and the next day, I found myself at AEON shopping for ingredients to make this.”

I see. Did you like to cook before?

“No. Surprisingly, no. I only started cooking during the Covid-19 quarantine period. I started trying many different recipes for baking and cooking. I personally prefer cooking.”


So would you say you’re a natural at cooking?

“(laughs) I don’t know. I just try different recipes. I do a lot of experimenting in the kitchen.”

Okay last question, what are you planning to do with the money you won?

“I’m planning to open an online business where I can sell the dish to people who pre-ordered it online. But I’m changing the rice from white rice to lime leaves rice to add a touch of uniqueness. Visually, it will look like the image below.”


And that’s one recipe, see you next [REDACTED] !

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