Malaysia – Pongteh Chicken

by Fauzan Anandika

Malaka, a port city on the West coast of Malaysia, has become a trade route since many years ago. This port city becomes the center of acculturation between the Malay tribe and the Chinese people. Cultural exchange happens in fashion when the Chinese migrant worker marriage the local people. Local women start to wear a long dress and a Chinese blouse. The culinary sector is also affected by this cultural intervention. Local people begin to use soybeans sauce, tauchu, and shrimp paste to cook their meals. Pongteh chicken is one of the fusions culinary.

There are two versions of Pongteh chicken, one with blackened color using palm sugar usually cooked by Malaka people. The other one is slightly white comes from the Penang region. As a fusion culinary Pongteh chicken use, green chili influence by the Malay and other ingredients comes from Chinese tradition. For the non-Muslim consumer, they can substitute chicken with pork. To cook Pongteh, chicken cuts into ten parts. Add potato and mushroom to make complete the meal. Yukon and red potato is the best option for making Pongteh. To make Pongteh more delicious, leave it overnight to make the spice soaks better on the chicken.  

According to local history, Chinese Malaysian girl who has reach marriage age should know how to cook Pongteh chicken. At that time, Chinese immigrant using their finger to eat, similar to the Malay tribe. They only use chopsticks in a special event and ceremony.

If you already eat Pongteh chicken in Malaysia, it will be an unforgettable experience. But if you haven’t visited Malaysia yet, Pongteh chicken can be cook anywhere since you can found the ingredient everywhere. Follow the recipe below to make delicious Pongteh chicken.


  • 500-gram chicken cut into 8 part
  • 3 potato
  • 3 Hiroko mushroom, can substitute with shitake mushroom
  • 6 shallot
  • 4 clove garlic
  • 2 tablespoon tauchu (fermented soybeans paste)
  • 2 tablespoon sweet soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon salty soy sauce
  • Salt
  • Sugar

Chili sauce ingredient

  • 10 red chili
  • 4 cayenne pepper
  • 2 shallot
  • 10 grams of shrimp paste
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 tomato
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 3 tablespoon cooking oil

How to cook

  1. Cut Hioko mushroom into small pieces.
  2. Cut the potato base on your taste.
  3. Blend shallot and garlic using a food processor. Stir until the aroma appear.
  4. Add chicken, stir until half cooked.
  5. Add tauchu, potato, and mushroom. Stir slowly.
  6. Add sweet and salty soy sauce. Adjust the taste.
  7. Add sugar and salt. Adjust the taste.
  8. Cook until boiling and check the taste.

Chili sauce preparation

  1. Prepare the cooking pan, pour cooking oil.
  2. Add tomato and chili, fry it using medium heat for 5 minutes.
  3. Remove and grind all the ingredients.
  4. Put in on the side of Pongteh chicken.

Pongteh chicken ready to eat with warm rice or steamed potatoes.

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