Apa Mau Makan? – Ayam aka Chicken Pongteh 

Why did the chicken cross the road?

To run away from the chicken man Ryan! The chicken seller in the market (Not my son).

For a simple weeknight meal, chicken pongteh is super easy to whip up in a jiffy using a pressure cooker (or not).

My Nyonya grandma, who used to single handedly prepare an 8 course delectable feast every CNY eve, introduced me to this dish from a very young age.


  1. Half a chicken (small or medium sized) – chopped into bite sized pieces. Chicken man Ryan does this for me 🙂
  2. Dried shitake mushrooms – 3 caps, soaked in boiling water and then quartered. Remove stems before cutting. To ensure the mushrooms are fully immersed, lay something heavy over it. I used a cup.


  3. Garlic – 3 cloves, minced
  4. Shallots – 3 pieces, minced. The original recipe requires that the garlic and shallots be pounded together into a paste. Alternatively, you can also blend using a blender.
  5. Water – 250 ml (200 ml if not using a pressure cooker)
  6. Bean paste (Taucu) – 1.5 tbsp (As I’m using a pressure cooker and the minimum water requirement is 250 ml, I use 1.5 tbsp. But if you’re not using a pressure cooker, 1 tbsp will do)    FullSizeRender 31
  7. Light soy sauce – 1 tbsp FullSizeRender 30
  8. Thick caramel sauce – 1 tbsp (use less if you like it to turn out lighter in colour) FullSizeRender 3
  9. Potatoes – 1 or 2, peeled and cut into 8 pieces (or quartered for smaller sized potatoes) FullSizeRender 27
  10. Coconut oil – 1.5 or 2 tbsp
  11. Brown sugar – 2 tsp
  12. Salt – according to taste



  1. Heat up the coconut oil and then add the minced garlic and shallots. Fry till fragrant.FullSizeRender 11
  2. Next, add in the chicken pieces and keep stirring as you don’t want it to stick to the bottom of the pan. Fry till slightly brown.FullSizeRender 32
  3. Then, add the bean paste and stir till well combined.
  4. After that, add the mushrooms, light soy sauce and thick caramel sauce. Keep stirring until everything is well combined.
  5.  Add in the potatoes followed by water and mix until homogenous/ uniform in colour.
  6. Since I’m using a pressure cooker for this recipe, secure the lid to the pot and increase the heat to high. Once the valve is at the second orange ring (1st yellow ring not counted), reduce to low heat setting and start timer for 7 minutes. Alternatively, without using a pressure cooker, bring it to a boil and then simmer it for 30 minutes until the gravy has reduced and the chicken meat is tender.
  7. Once the 7 minutes is up, turn off the heat and slowly release the valve or just leave it to release on its own while you wash up.


Note: Cooking using a pressure cooker will not evaporate the liquid. If you need the ‘kuah’ aka gravy to be thicker in consistency, remove the chicken pieces and potatoes, and continue to reduce the gravy until desired consistency.


Dish out and serve with a bowl of steaming white rice!!


FullSizeRender 35
Chicken pongteh with white rice and stir fried lady fingers with belacan.



Yusof Taayub (NOT!!!) – This was Ryan’s idea!



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