Air Fryer Ayam Goreng Berempah

Ayam Goreng Berempah is a Malay spiced fried chicken. The chicken is marinated in spices and deep fried to reveal a crust on the skin and moist juicy meat on the inside. It is a marvellous accompaniment to Malaysia’s No 1 meal – nasi lemak. This is my version using the air fryer.

Guys, try this. It is not hard to marinate and not hard to Air Fry. AND the results are SO worth it. Using 2 whole chicken legs, I tried this out in the Air Fryer and didn’t miss that it wasn’t deep fried. Big WIN!

The main ingredients here are pounded ginger, garlic and lemongrass. Marinate with some curry and turmeric powder and of course salt and you’re done.

You want the ginger, garlic and lemongrass pounded to a rough paste. This will be rubbed into the chicken and give it the first layer of flavour. I use my mortar and pestle to do this – using the M&P is great for stress relief!

Next we add in some meat curry powder, turmeric powder, salt and vegetable oil. Allow the chicken to marinate for at least 2 hours or better yet overnight if you can prep ahead. 

Trust me the longer it sits in the marinate the more flavoursome it will become. I also make slits on the thicker side of the legs, to allow the marinate to penetrate and to ensure it cooks evenly later.

Chicken will then go into a preheated Air Fryer and it should be turned midway. Allow to rest. Total cooking time is about 25 mins. Be sure to include all the rough paste that was used as part of the marinate into the AF as well.

It can go so so well with Malaysia’s NO 1 meal – nasi lemak. I find air frying it such a solid alternative to deep frying it.

Do give this recipe a try when planning your next nasi lemak meal and let me know how it goes! Good luck!

Did you try this recipe?

Please do let me know if you've tried it, by leaving a comment or tagging me on IG @thesuddencook.​

Air Fryer Ayam Goreng Berempah

A popularly deep fried Malay-style spiced fried chicken, now air fried as a solid alternative. Pair this with Nasi Lemak for an unforgettable meal!


  • 2 Whole Chicken Legs with Skin On

Pound Together To Form a Rough Paste

  • 5 cloves garlic
  • Small piece ginger
  • 3-4 lemongrass Use only the end white portion


  • 2 tbsp meat curry powder
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil


  • Make deep slits on chicken legs to allow marinade to penetrate and ensure even cooking. Place chicken in bowl and pat dry. Add in rough paste and other ingredients. Allow to marinate for 2 hours or overnight.
  • Preheat Air Fryer to 200C for 5 mins. (Place a piece of foil at bottom compartment of AF to make cleaning up easier).
  • Put chicken in AF skin side up. Include all the rough paste from the marinade. Air fry for 10 mins. Lower temp to 180C and continue to air fry for 10 mins.
  • Flip chicken over, continue to air fry for 5 mins. Done. Allow to cool. Enjoy!


Top Tips:
  • Marinate chicken for at least couple of hours. If marinated chicken has been sitting in fridge- bring to room temperature first before Air Frying. I usually remove from fridge at least one hour before.
  • Make deep cuts in the chicken.
  • Preheat the Air Fryer.
  • Be sure to inculde all the rough paste in the marinade into the air fryer as well when beginning to cook the chicken.
Enjoy with a nice meal of nasi lemak!
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1 year ago

Very nice and easy recipe! I’ll definitely make it soon!

1 year ago

Great do let me know how it works out!

1 year ago

I am drooling over this! I love anything with lemongrass, and chicken legs are one of the best parts of the chicken IMO. Great recipe!

1 year ago

Thank you:)

1 year ago

Easy to make and so much flavor! This was a big hit with with whole family!

1 year ago
Reply to  Jessica Stroup

That’s great to know Jessica. Tnx for trying.

1 year ago

I love Malaysian food and this ayam goreng berempah was delicious!

1 year ago

Yes Malaysian food is just the best. 🙂

1 year ago

I am always looking for new ways to use my air fryer and this looks delicious. perfectly cooked, flavourful chicken.

1 year ago
Reply to  Dannii

Yes do try it. The air fryer is a keeper.