Balinese Chicken Lawar

Balinese Chicken Lawar

An authentic taste of Bali. [Photograph: Yvonne Ruperti]

Notes:The cooking is easy, but there are multiple parts to this dish, so it may take a bit of time to prepare. The ingredient list is long, a common theme in many Southeast Asian dishes. Candlenuts are an Indonesian nut with a waxy texture. The flavor is mild in this dish, but the nut adds body to the sambal. If unable to find, try substituting macadamia nuts. Kaffir lime leaves impart a fragrant citrusy flavor and aroma, but you can substitute 1 teaspoon lime zest added at the end of cooking (flavor won't be quite the same though). Look for these ingredients in your local Asian grocery store.

About the author: Yvonne Ruperti is a food writer, recipe developer, former bakery owner, and author of The Complete Idiot's Guide To Easy Artisan Bread. You can also watch her culinary stylings on the America's Test Kitchen television show. She presently lives in Singapore working on her new baking cookbook, and as a recipe developer for HungryGoWhere Singapore. Check out her blog,, or follow her on Twitter @yvonneruperti.

Every recipe we publish is tested, tasted, and Serious Eats-approved by our staff. Never miss a recipe again by following @SeriousRecipes on Twitter!

  • Yield:serves 4
  • Active time: 1 hour
  • Total time:1 hour


  • For the Sambal:
  • 1 medium shallot, peeled and quartered
  • 2 medium cloves garlic, peeled
  • 2 candlenuts (see note above)
  • 2 Thai green chilies (chopped)
  • 1/2-inch piece fresh turmeric, chopped (or 1 teaspoon ground turmeric)
  • 1/2-inch piece fresh ginger, chopped
  • 1/2-inch piece lemongrass (white part only), chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame seeds
  • Pinch ground cloves
  • Pinch ground nutmeg
  • For the lawar:
  • 8 ounces green beans, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 kaffir lime leaves, finely sliced
  • 1 pound ground chicken
  • 1/2 cup homemade or store-bought low sodium chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon grated palm sugar (or light brown sugar)
  • 1 cup fresh grated coconut (or 3/4 cup unsweetened desiccated coconut))
  • 1/4 cup homemade or store-bought fried shallots
  • Steamed rice to serve on the side


  1. 1.

    For the sambal: Place all the ingredients for the sambal in a food processor and process until mixture forms a paste, about 30 seconds; set aside.

  2. 2.

    For the lawar: In medium saucepan, bring 4 cups water to boil. Cook beans to crisp tender, about 5 minutes. Transfer to large bowl to cool.

  3. 3.

    Heat 2 teaspoons oil in 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Pour in beaten eggs and swirl to coat entire bottom of pan with a thin layer of egg. Cover and cook until just cooked through (top won't look wet), 30 seconds to a minute. Slide the egg omelette onto cutting board. When cool, roll up into a log. Cut the log in half lengthwise, then cut into 1-inch strips.

  4. 4.

    In same skillet, heat remaining oil over medium heat until shimmering. Add sambal and kaffir lime leaves and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add chicken and cook, breaking up into small pieces, until almost cooked through, about 4 minutes.

  5. 5.

    Pour in chicken broth, coconut milk, and salt. Simmer until liquid is slightly thickened and gently coats chicken. Transfer to large bowl with the cooked green beans and gently toss with the egg and coconut.

  6. 6.

    Transfer to serving bowl, top with crispy shallots, and serve with steamed rice.