Chicken humba is a dish often served at our family gatherings. It brings back many good memories of my grandmother and this is now my own version, in remembrance of her.






Skill level

Average: 4.2 (75 votes)


  • vegetable oil, for cooking
  • 3 chicken thigh cutlets, skin on and bone in
  • 50 g roughly chopped garlic
  • 4 star anise
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 2 tbsp coarsely cracked black peppercorns
  • 185 ml (¾ cup) dark soy sauce
  • 185 ml (¾ cup) coconut vinegar (or white)
  • 110 g (½ cup) raw sugar
  • jasmine rice, to serve

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


  1. Heat a small drizzle of oil in a large heavy–based frying pan over high heat. Add the chicken and cook until browned on both sides.
  2. Add the garlic and stir for 30 seconds or until fragrant. Add all the remaining ingredients and 125 ml (½ cup) water and stir until the sugar has dissolved.
  3. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to very low, cover and simmer for 45–60 minutes or until the chicken is very tender, turning the chicken half-way through. Serve with steamed rice.


Adam Liaw cooks, laughs, and explores culture with some of Australia's most beloved in The Cook Up With Adam Liaw.

Photography by Adam Liaw.