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Mak Jelon’s spicy chicken wings @ Kepak ayam berempah Mak Jelon

It is that time of the year again and this is the thing we look forward to eating during our Eid feast. When I was a kid, you would know when my mom was frying this as the whole kitchen would be filled with the fragrant smell of lemongrass, galangal, and chili. It was one of the best smells during Eid-ul Fitri in the 80s. And if any of my uncles were walking to the main door while the chicken wings were frying, they would instantly recognize that familiar fragrant. They were among the happiest ones to devour on these Malay-styled spicy chicken wings every Eid. Kinda bring back those good old Eid-ul Fitr memories.

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The best thing about this recipe is that you can prepare this way beforehand and keep the chicken wings frozen until the morning you want to fry them. I find this even better as you will taste the spices right to the bones. I would keep mine marinated and frozen for at least a day. So when the final day of Eid preparation comes along, I have one less thing to worry about.

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If you feel like it is a bit too hot for your liking, then reduce the amount of the ground dried chili or use the less-hot grade instead. You see, over here we have a few grades of dried chili – the hottest that can leave your ears smoking, the medium grade that generally most people can tolerate and the least hot chili that I rarely buy. Why add chili to your cooking in the first place if what you’re getting is just the colour? Hmmm. I would also sometimes double the amount of sugar because I love when it is hot and sweet at the same time.

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When it’s time to fry those wings, just make sure they are perfectly thawed and the oil temperature is approximately 180-190C. Deep fry and the chicken wings will stay afloat when they are thoroughly cooked but I would wait for a minute or two to get the skin a little crispier. Not too long though or the inside may turn out too dry and hard. You don’t want that.

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Toss the chicken wings and drain on paper towels. If your cooking in the deep fryer the time may differ slightly but either, do serve them hot, with chili sauce (that’s the Malaysian way). You can prepare any dip of your choice but I have been eating this amazing dish with chili sauce ever since I was a kid.

And this dish never failed to bring me back to you Mak Jelon. Love you!

Mak Jelon’s spicy chicken wings

Recipe by Mazmin ShariffCourse: MainCuisine: MalaysianDifficulty: Easy


Prep time


Cooking time






  • 1 kg chicken wings (small to medium), wash and towel dry.

  • 1/2 cup ground dry chilli

  • 3 medium-sized lemongrass. pounded

  • 1 tablespoon pounded galangal

  • 5 cloves garlic, pounded

  • 5 pieces shallots, pounded

  • 1 tablesoon pounded fresh turmeric

  • 1 teaspoon pounded ginger

  • 1/2 cup crushed ‘gula Melaka’ or brown sugar

  • 1 tablespoon salt (to your taste)

  • 1 cup tapioca flour


  • Mix all ingredients (except tapioca flour) with the chicken wings.
  • Place chicken wings in a ziplock bag or an air-tight container and marinate in chiller for at least 4 hours, or keep frozen until the day you want to fry them.
  • Let the chicken thaw in the chiller the night before you plan to cook them. Alternatively, you can thaw it at room temperature or in the microwave oven.
  • Heat oil in a deep frying pan until 180-190C or medium hot.
  • Coat each piece with tapioca flour.
  • Place a few pieces of chicken wings at a time. Don’t force all of them into the pot at once as they need space to brown beautifully.
  • The chicken wings will stay afloat when they are cooked. That would take about 20 minutes or more depending on the size of the chicken wings. Wait a few minutes more until they turn golden brown if you desire.
  • Toss and drain the chicken wings to remove excess oil.
  • Serve them hot.

Kepak ayam berempah Mak Jelon

Inilah antara hidangan awjib hari raya Aidilfitri kami sejak kami kecil. Mak Jelon punya kepak ayam berempah ni sentiasa dinanti-nantikan oleh pakcik makcik kami pada hari raya pertama. Nak menggorengnya lagi lama dari masa nak memakan kepak ayam ni. Asal goreng letak dalam pinggan, habis terus. Tunggu pula batch kedua keluar dari kuali! Letih!

Mak Jelon memang beli berkilo-kilo kepak ayam untuk hidang masa raya. Biasanya kami tak pisahkan bahagian kepak dari drummet sebab peminat kepak lebih ramai dari peminat drummet. Sampai ke tulang kepak tu dikunyahnya.

Bila pilih kepak ayam, pilihlah yang saiz agak kecil. Sebab rempah akan terasa hingga ke tulang bila saiz kepak ayam lebih kecil. Kami memang suka yang bahagian drummet kepak ayam tu tak terlalu besar dan berisi. Bila kepak ayam tak terlalu besar, rasa rempah tu meresap hingga ke tulang.

Satu lagi, kami sebenarnya kadang-kadang suka kalau rasa kepak ayam ni manis-manis pedas, jadiada masanya kami tambah amaun gula tu dua kali ganda. Sedap sangat!

Sayang Mak Jelon!

recipe flyer gourmetwhisk by mazmin shariff


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About Me

Mazmin Shariff

A mom, baker and cook, living in Malaysia, sharing the best curated and tried tips and recipes she has in her collection.



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