Recipe Pongteh Chicken

Ayam Pongteh is a traditional Peranakan (Straits Chinese) dish from Malaysia's Malacca region. This hearty and flavorful dish features tender chicken simmered in a fragrant blend of fermented soybean paste, palm sugar, and spices. Here’s how you can recreate this beloved recipe at home.


  • 1 whole chicken, cut into pieces
  • 200g shallots, peeled and sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 large potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 3 tablespoons fermented soybean paste (touch or tau cheo)
  • 2 tablespoons palm sugar (gula Melaka), grated
  • 2 tablespoons cooking oil
  • 2 cups water
  • Salt to taste


  1. Heat cooking oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add sliced shallots and minced garlic. Sauté until fragrant and golden brown.
  2. Add chicken pieces to the pot and cook until they start to brown.
  3. Stir in fermented soybean paste and palm sugar. Mix well until the chicken is evenly coated.
  4. Add water to the pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and let it simmer for about 30 minutes or until the chicken is tender.
  5. Add potatoes to the pot and continue simmering until they are cooked and the sauce thickens.
  6. Season with salt to taste.
  7. Serve hot with steamed rice.


  • Adjust the amount of palm sugar according to your preference for sweetness.
  • Marinating the chicken in soy sauce and some sugar for a few hours before cooking can enhance its flavour.
  • For a richer taste, you can use chicken thighs or drumsticks instead of a whole chicken.


  • Some recipes include mushrooms or black fungus for added texture.
  • You can also add hard-boiled eggs to the dish for extra protein.
  • Experiment with different types of root vegetables like carrots or radishes.

Nutrition Facts (per serving):

  • Calories: Approximately 350 kcal
  • Protein: 25g
  • Fat: 15g
  • Carbohydrates: 25g
  • Fiber: 3g


Ayam Pongteh is not only a delicious dish but also a representation of the rich culinary heritage of the Peranakan culture. Its unique blend of flavours and simple cooking techniques make it a dish that can easily become a favourite in any household. Whether you're enjoying it as a comforting family meal or serving it at a special gathering, Ayam Pongteh will surely delight your taste buds and leave you craving more.


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