Pong Teh Chicken

'Pong teh' chicken is a typical Peranakan dish which uses fermented bean paste as its core ingredient. It is braised together with potatoes over low heat in a combination of soy sauce and palm sugar gravy until tender.

4.76 stars

Preparation 15 mins
Cooking 45 mins


Braised Chicken with Fermented Bean Paste and Potatoes

Malaysian, Singaporean

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Nutrition per Serving

743 kcal
33 g
38 g
83 g

This pong teh chicken recipe was given to my mom by one of my aunts from Malacca. The braised chicken dish is one of the most significant Peranakan dishes. Although fermented bean paste is salty, the combination of shallots and palm sugar gives the gravy a slight hint of sweetness. As it slowly cooks over low heat, the meat and potatoes absorb the flavours from the gravy making it extremely delicious.

What is pong teh and its history?

Pong teh is a braised meat dish with potatoes cooked in a gravy consisting of fermented bean paste and soy sauce. It is said that the word ‘pong’ could be a mispronunciation of the Hokkien word ‘hong’ for stewing in soy sauce while ‘teh’ could mean ‘te’ which is pig trotters in the same dialect. Since the Hokkien community commonly braise pig trotters in soy sauce, we can safely make the assumption that it is a pork dish with soy sauce.

Pong teh chicken is also a dish cooked as offering on the prayers table to ancestors during certain occasions such as death memorial or the Hungry Ghost festival Besides that, the dish is commonly eaten at any time of the year. However, maybe due to its dark colour, pong teh is not cooked for auspicious festivities such as a weddings and birthdays.

I don’t have Taucu

Taucu is fermented soy beans paste which are popular in Chinese and Southeast Asian cuisine. You can find this ingredient in Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia and even Thailand. If you are not in the region, it might be tougher to get taucu as the ingredient is not as popular as the Japanese version, miso. Therefore, you can substitute taucu with miso. While they are almost similar, miso has a smoother consistency and taucu has more intensed flavours than miso.

Pong teh pork or babi pong teh

In fact, the original dish uses pork and is known as ‘babi pong teh’, where ‘babi’ means pig in the Malay language. Substituting it with chicken, it simply becomes ’ayam pong teh’ as in the Malay language, ‘ayam’ means chicken.

Overnight pong teh chicken

I have to admit that this dish tastes even better overnight even though I do not encourage consuming such food. The potatoes taste so good after absorbing the fermented bean paste and palm sugar.

Aromatics and tofu puffs in pong teh chicken

Originally, pong teh is cooked without the extra herbs like cloves, star anise or dried bean curds. I personally love the herbs combination as it makes the dish exceptionally flavourful. As I have mentioned, the gravy of this dish is really delicious. So, when tofu puffs are added, they soaked up the gravy. You can imagine the gravy flooding your mouth as you sink your teeth into them!

How to serve pong teh chicken?

This dish is best served with white rice and sambal belacan or some freshly cut chillies in soy sauce.


garlic clove(s)
1⁄2 tbsp
2 tbsp
fermented soybean paste (taucu)
1 tbsp
soy sauce
1 tbsp
dark soy sauce
250 g
chicken meat
300 ml
tofu puffs
cinnamon stick(s)
2 tbsp
palm sugar (gula melaka)
star anise

Steps to Prepare

Pong Teh Chicken Step 1

Step 1 of 3

    • 3 shallot(s)
    • 5 garlic clove(s)
    • 1⁄2 tbsp oil

Mince garlic and shallots. Then, heat pan with oil to saute garlic and shallots over medium heat until fragrant.

Pong Teh Chicken Step 2

Step 2 of 3

    • 2 tbsp fermented soybean paste (taucu)
    • 1 tbsp soy sauce
    • 1 tbsp dark soy sauce
    • 250 g chicken meat
    • 300 ml water

Add fermented bean paste, soy sauce and dark soy sauce. Mix well and add chicken meat. Then, add enough water to cover the chicken meat. Cook over high heat until it boils.

Pong Teh Chicken Step 3

Step 3 of 3

    • 1 potatoes
    • 10 tofu puffs
    • 1 cinnamon stick(s)
    • 2 tbsp palm sugar (gula melaka)
    • 1 star anise

Cut potatoes into bite pieces. Add potatoes, tofu puffs, cinnamon stick, star anise and palm sugar into the pan. Stir from time to time. Bring to boil. Then, reduce heat to low. Simmer for at least 30 minutes until gravy thickens. Serve hot with white rice.

Published: December 10, 2012

3 Discussions

Edmund Pearson
7 months ago

Edmund Pearson

I cannot find Taucu here in (Montreal) any Asian store here. I can get red bean curd and white bean curd. I can also get white Miso. Which should I use?

7 months ago


Hey Edmund, miso will be the closest. Check out the explanation above, under "I don't have Taucu".

4 years ago


Why in your video you are using 3 shallots for 250g of chicken but the ingredients in this website stated approx 1 shallot only?

Mira - Community Happiness Manager
4 years ago

Mira - Community Happiness Manager

You are right Fen! It's a mistake which we've updated. Hope to see your food snap soon.

Lesley 🌸
4 years ago

Lesley 🌸

Does GULA MELAKA have an expiry date? I bought in Singapore over a year ago. I am in Canada now so I treasure it :)

4 years ago


It may get hard but it's safe to consume. I have some which are in my pantry for more than 2 years now. ;)

Lesley 🌸
4 years ago

Lesley 🌸

Terima kaseh Grace. Good to know. Thanks for taking the time to respond.😊

Edmund Pearson
8 months ago

Edmund Pearson

I live in Montreal Quebec and can find Gulah Melaka in all Asian stores.

Lesley 🌸
7 months ago

Lesley 🌸

I have since found the gula Melaka . it is not soft like from S'pore but atleast can get here. Thanks Edmund.

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