I don’t know what Pong Teh means, but Ayam Pong Teh is basically Chicken, Potatoes and Mushroom braised in Soybean Paste. This is a delicious and easy to make dish of Nonya/Peranakan origin. You can also use pork ribs in this dish. This will then change the name of the dish to Babi (Pig/Pork) Pong Teh, of course!
I’ve never heard of this dish prior to this and came across the dish from my own collection of recipe books. This recipe is by Celine Carnegie gathered during her trip to South East Asia and can be found in her book; “Authentic Tastes Of Southeast Asia”. The dish is slightly sweet, slightly salty and easy to make! Here’s the recipe for the Ayam Pong Teh:
AYAM (CHICKEN) PONG TEH RECIPE
- 2 Tbsp Oil
- 4 Tbsp Shallots, Finely Minced
- 2 Tbsp Garlic, Finely Minced
- 1-1/2 Tbsp Soybean Paste
- 1 Lb Chicken (Bone In), Cut Into 2 Inch Pieces
- 1-1/2 Cup Water
- 2 Medium Potatoes, Peeled and Cut Into Wedges
- 6 (Canned) Button Mushrooms, Halved
- 1 Tsp Sweet Soy Sauce
- 3 Tsp Sugar
Heat pan over medium high heat and add oil. Fry shallots and garlic for 2-3 minutes, stinging constantly until dry and lightly browned. Add soybean paste and continue frying for 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly. Add chicken and stir to coat with the paste. Gradually add water and then potatoes.
Bring to boil and cook for 3 minutes over medium high heat. Then, stir in mushroom, soy sauce and sugar. Lower heat to medium low and continue cooking for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally until chicken and potatoes are cooked/tender. If you prefer a thinner sauce, add about 1/2 cup of water and let the chicken simmer for about 5 minutes. Transfer onto a serving platter, garnish with some green onions/scallions and serve this with some white rice.
June’s Notes : If you can’t get Soybean Paste, Fermented Soy Beans will work just fine. You just need to mash it into a paste. You can do so in a bowl with the back of a spoon or fork. Depending on the brand and the saltiness of the beans, you may need to use more than stated in the recipe. I used about 3 Tbsp of (self-mashed) Fermented Soy Beans in my dish. For this recipe, I would recommend using dark meat. Chicken Legs (Thighs and Drumsticks) are the yummiest! As for the mushrooms, Chinese/Shitake Mushrooms are a good substitute.
If you don’t have sweet soy sauce in the pantry, it’s ok to use dark soy sauce and add another 1 Tsp of sugar to the dish.