Nasi Tim Ayam

2009 December 3

This is one of Indonesian Chinese culinary dish as far as I know (anyone knows what the story behind this dish, please feel free to comment). Literally, “Nasi” means rice, “Tim” means steam, “Ayam” means chicken. I have never been a big fan of this dish and never taste it. It is not that I don’t want to try them but there are too many appetizing dishes in Indonesia that I crave that this is never be one of them. I became aware of its existence because my sister in law fond them so much.

Anyway, why did I make this this? Simple. A different menu variety for my toddler and family. Because I never make them before, I started to surf the web finding out how others make them. It turned out that people making them in few different ways. Some actually did as mine, however they didn’t steam them again before serving. Some put the sweet soy chicken in a bowl together with an uncooked rice and chicken stock, then steam them. I found the second way quite tricky, because there are lots of rice variety so that you can’t really follow others recipe in terms of chicken stock amount to cook the rice. So, I just did them my way and wouldn’t be bothered as long as it looks like how it is supposed to be and tastes great or at least eatable.

Before you start, here are few tips that might help:

  • The longer you simmer the soup, the nicer and deeper the soup taste. So I suggest that you to prepare them ahead of time.
  • When you wash the rice, drain them thoroughly so that when you sauteed them with garlic and ginger, they really could absorb the fragrant of the spices.
  • Do not peek while the rice is cooking, at least not before 15 minutes, so that the rice could cook evenly.
  • Taste the rice after cook, they should have rich taste and slight saltiness on them. Not salty but you could taste the salt, if you understand what I mean. If you find that you can not taste the saltiness, add some fish sauce to the rice and stir until well combined.
  • Press the rice into the bowl, so that after steaming you could have the nice bowl shape rice like mine.
  • Sometimes it is hard to take the rice out of the bowl after steaming. Just place them up side down on the plate and let the bowl cool off slightly. Or you could try pushing the rice on one side using the back of the spoon, and gently squeeze them out.

Nasi Tim Ayam

Ingredients for the soup

  • chicken bone from a whole chicken
  • 2.5 liter of water
  • 2 medium carrots
  • 3 cloves of garlic, smashed
  • half onion
  • 2 stalk of spring onions, cut about 1 cm in length
  • salt, sugar and white pepper to taste

Ingredients for the rice

  • 700 gr of rice (not steam rice but uncooked rice), washed and drained
  • 800 ml of chicken stock that you got from making the soup
  • 1 tbsp of pureed garlic
  • 2 1/2 tbsp of pureed ginger
  • 2 tbsp of light soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp of fish sauce
  • 3 tbsp oil for stir frying

Ingredients for the sweet soy chicken

  • 600 gr chicken fillets, preferably chicken thigh fillets, cut into cubes
  • 8 dried shitake mushrooms, soak in warm water until soften, cut off the middle hard bit, and minced
  • half onion
  • 2 cloves of garlic, sliced
  • 2 cloves of shallot, sliced
  • 2 tbsp of pureed ginger
  • about 2 tbsp of mushroom soy sauce, or normal soy sauce
  • 1/3 cups sweet soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 tsp of white pepper
  • salt and sugar to taste
  • oil for stir frying


  1. For the soup: Using a big pot, bring the water to boil. Add in garlics, carrots, onion and chicken bone. Close the lid and let it simmer on low heat for at least 1 hours. Reserve 800 ml of the soup for cooking the rice. Continue simmering the soup for at least 2 hours in total. 30 minutes before turning the heat off, add chopped spring onions, salt, sugar and white pepper to taste.
  2. For the rice: Using a big pot, heat the oil. Add garlic and ginger, stir until fragrant. Add washed and drained rice and stir until well combined. Add soy sauce and fish sauce and stir well. Add the chicken stock, stir until well combined and cover the pot with lid. Remember to set them on low heat. Check after 15 minutes. If the rice is not yet cooked, do a quick stir and cover them with lid again. It should take about 15-20 minutes.
  3. For the sweet soy chicken: Heat oil in the wok. Stir fry garlic, shallot, onion and ginger until fragrant. Add in cube chicken pieces and stir it until it has changed colour. Add sweet soy sauce and mushroom soy sauce, and stir it for 1-2 minutes. Add in minced mushroom and stir until combined. Add in water and let it simmer on low heat for about 10 minutes or until the sauce is reduced.
  4. Using glass/porcelain bowls or ramekins, put about 3 tbsp of sweet soy chicken, top with rice. Press the rice slightly so that it could hold its shape once it is taken out of the bowl.
  5. Steam them for about 5-10 minutes.
  6. Serve with the soup, cucumber, shallots, coriander leaves or chili vinaigrette sauce to suit your preferences.

Preparation time (duration): 60

Culinary tradition: Indonesian, Chinese

Please leave your comment/suggestion if you find this recipe useful. Can’t wait to hear from you and Thank You!!!

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