Ayam Pongteh (Nyonya Chicken and Potato Stew)

2 shallots, peeled and roughly chopped
5 cloves garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
1/4 cup oil
1/4 cup taucheo (fermented bean sauce)
1 Tbsp dark soy sauce
1 Tbsp soy sauce
2 Tbsp gula melaka, chopped
1 3-lb chicken, cut into bite-sized pieces, about 18 pieces
4 small boiling potatoes (Yukons or Reds will hold better than Russets), peeled and cut into large pieces
3 cups water
Salt to taste

Pound shallots and garlic into a coarse paste. Set aside.

Heat oil over medium heat, add shallots and garlic paste and fry for about 2 minutes, making sure not to burn the paste.

Add tauheo, dark soy sauce, and palm sugar. Stir until palm sugar has dissolved and liquid has thickened, about 30 seconds.

Add chicken and potatoes and the 3 cups of water. Bring to a boil.

When the water boils, reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 1 hour or until the chicken is tender.

Season with salt and soy sauce to taste. Serve hot with steamed rice.

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