Weekend Cooking

Rachel Khoo's Sticky Malaysian Chicken with Pineapple Salad

January 10, 2016
10 Ratings
Photo by Issy Croker
  • Prep time 15 minutes
  • Cook time 45 minutes
  • Serves 6 to 8
What You'll Need
  • For the glaze and chicken:
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 1 1/4-inch piece ginger, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 1/3 cup cup runny honey
  • 1/3 cup light soy sauce or tamari
  • 1 red chile, with seeds
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 2 pounds chicken drumsticks and thighs (4 of each)
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds, toasted
  • For the Malaysian salad:
  • 1 cucumber
  • 1/2 small pineapple
  • 1 small red onion
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1 pinch Sea salt
  1. Preheat the oven to 400° F. To make the glaze: In a food processor, blend all the ingredients up to the chicken together until fairly smooth. Place the chicken pieces in a large roasting pan with the glaze, tossing them well to coat. Bake for 45 minutes, remove from the oven, and sprinkle with the toasted sesame seeds. 
  2. To make the Malaysian salad: Halve the cucumber lengthwise, then seed with a spoon and discard the seeds. Cut in half again, then slice on an angle and put in a large bowl. Peel the pineapple, cut into small cubes, and add to the bowl. Peel and thinly slice the onion. Add to the bowl, along with the lime juice. Taste and season the salad with salt just before serving alongside the chicken. 

See what other Food52ers are saying.

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  • Patricia Mulvey
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  • Casey Chute
    Casey Chute
  • AlisonC
  • Hana
Best friends Issy and Meg have spent the last decade sitting across tables from each other, travelling the world knife and fork in hand. Photographing bowls of steaming noodles, exotic street food and some of the world's most exciting cooks, Issy makes up the photography side of the duo, while Meg records each bite in words. Considering their equal obsession for food and each other, it was inevitable that the two would eventually combine to become The Curious Pear, intent on bringing you reviews, food features and interviews with the culinary crowd, as well as pieces on their favourite eating spots from around the world. The Curious Pear are the contributing Food Editors at SUITCASE Magazine, bringing you a weekly food column at suitcasemag.com, as well as contributing for Time Out, Food52, Life & Thyme, Trends on Trends, Guest of a Guest and more!

17 Reviews

Jodi V. August 6, 2023
Such a tasty dish! I served with coconut rice and we cleaned the plates. It’s so easy and uses ingredients I normally have in my pantry.
ks.grand April 16, 2023
This was a nice, easy recipe! Like others who commented, the glaze was more of a sauce but still yummy! To my surprise, I liked the salad a lot more than the chicken but still enjoyed both. I am curious as to why the recipe calls for the cucumber seeds to be removed? I followed it as written and it turned out great, but I’m just wondering the reason for removing them.
Debra August 7, 2022
Excellent dish! I served it with white rice. I didn’t try making the salad since it got mixed reviews, but the chicken and the sauce were fantastic.
Franca November 4, 2020
Delicious and easy weeknight meal.
kathleen May 10, 2018
This has become a regular in my chicken dinner rotation. I love the way the salad plays off the sweet and spicy chicken.

I want to make this for a book club dinner, any suggestions on a cocktail that would pair with these flavors?
Wendy February 9, 2018
I recently handed this recipe to my husband who had taken chicken out for dinner. He wasn't sure of the direction he wanted to go with the poultry so I thought it would be the perfect time to give the recipe a whirl. The recipe was simple and used ingredients we always have on hand. So, it sounded perfect. And, the chicken was quite tasty! My husband did forget to finish with the sesame seeds (which we had). But, it was still a successful chicken dish. Thanks so much for sharing. Both my husband and I will certainly make this one again.
MStubbee January 8, 2018
I made both dishes last week and they were delicious. The sauce didnt thicken but it did get stickier as I continued the to baste it and i loved the way it turned out. I used a good sized red pepper, seeds and all, so the sauce did have some heat. I love pineapple with the chicken but wasn’t a huge fan of the salad. Just personal taste, I’m not crazy about purple onion and the cucumber doesn’t have much flavor. So I was happy with the pineapple and a squirt of lime juice and some white rice on the side. I liked the chicken so much I’m makng it tonight so I can pack some for lunch tomorrow! This will be a regular, go-to recipe for me.
Patricia M. January 1, 2018
Is the red chile meant to go in the sauce? It looks in the photo like it is on top of the salad....
Casey C. December 31, 2017
This sauce is delicious, but I usually prefer a shorter duration for chicken to remain tender. Since this is made with thighs & drumsticks it works well enough, but even so, I think next time I'd simmer the sauce first to reduce before pouring on to bake 25min or so.
ghainskom February 24, 2017
Yes, the sauce is runny. Who cares? It's tasty :) Unusual salad combination too, but just as good.
Andrew E. January 3, 2017
Had this last night. Not bad. I'm not sure this sauce is meant to thicken. I don't see anyhow it can. I baked it as per instructions then removed thighs from pan, set em aside and put sauce in to simmer on stove. It never got thicker. Also, I'm not sure if it's just my particular brand of fish sauce ("Tiparos"), but the underlying flavor created by this addition was a bit gross.
Salad was okay. Probably would have been better with oil & vinegar.
Jbkitchen August 29, 2016
The perfect chicken dinner. It did not matter that my sauce was runny the chicken still tasted great ( I basted twice) and served with couscous and just a green salad. My family declared it the perfect dinner.
AlisonC April 4, 2016
I've made this twice. Once the sauce got sticky and didn't the second time. The first time I used a much larger dish with more surface area. I think that was key to the caramelization.
JenniferinTO March 15, 2016
This recipe is very similar to Ina Garten's Indonesian ginger chicken. The sauce is always runny. We serve it with rice to soak up the sauce, as it is delicious as is.
Lacey January 27, 2016
The chicken was good, but the sauce would not thicken even though I turned it up to 425 and left it in for several minutes longer, it was still super thin and runny. The salad was interesting, but too much red onion (and I didn't use the whole onion)
Hana January 21, 2016
Yum! Followed the recipe pretty much exactly as written. Turned the chicken pieces over once halfway through the cook time and basted them in the sauce throughout. Cranked up the heat to 425 for the last 7 minutes and the sauce caramelized and darkened nicely. The salad was the perfect accompaniment -- balancing out the savory meat with a fresh, sweet kick! I used canned pineapple instead of fresh and it was still wonderful. Thank you for sharing the recipe!
Courtney M. January 19, 2016
I made this tonight and it was delicious. The only problem was it didn't become "sticky" and caramelized like the photo shows. I followed the recipe exactly and decided to serve it with "runny" sauce as any longer in the over and the chicken would have dried out. The honey was not a thick consistency as it poured easily, could that have been the culprit? Any thoughts on what went wrong?