Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Pong Teh & Sambal Belacan

TW & I have have been deprived of fresh vegetables & fruits for 2 weeks! We have not been going to the pasar malam (night market) lately, mostly because of the weather and also our lack of timing. There was nothing much to salvage from the refridgerator, except for some chicken. Luckily, pong teh came to mind.

Pong teh is a Peranakan dish made of typically; preserved soy bean paste (tauchiu), garlic, shallots, potatoes and chicken/pork. It's a staple dish in a Peranakan's household, from important occasions such as Chinese New Year & Cheng Beng (All Souls Day), to everyday dinner.

Pong teh is actually very easy to make. Trust me. If a first timer like me can pull it off, so can you :) And best of all, it requires very basic ingredients, which I'm sure you can find off the shelves of your kitchen.

I'm sharing with you here, my mom's recipe.
Ingredients (makes more than enough for 2 hungry people)
  • 5 cloves of garlic, pounded (preferably with a pestle or if you don't have one, use a blender)
  • 5 shallot bulbs, pounded
  • 1 tbsp tauchiu paste
  • 2 medium sized potatoes, skinned and cut into bite sized pieces
  • chicken (I used a wing & some breast meat. In my opinion, dark meat compliments this dish well. If you plan to use pork, sam chan yok (pork with fat & rind) is a good choice)
  • 2 tbsp cooking oil
  • 1/2 tsp dark soy sauce
  • 1 1/2 cup of water
  • a dash of sugar (Back in the days, sugar canes left over from offerings during the Chinese New Year were used)
  • salt (optional, in fact I didn't use salt at all because the tauchiu paste that I used is already salted)

Cooking process
1. Heat 2 tbsp of oil in a wok. 
2. Fry pounded shallots, followed by garlic till fragrant.
3. Add in tauchiu and fry for a few minutes.
4. When mixture starts to 'dry' up, add in potatoes and meat.
5. Cook for a while more before adding water & seasoning.
6. Simmer till potatoes and meat becomes tender and gravy thickens.
7. You're all set!

For me, eating pong teh without sambal belacan (pounded fresh chilly with shrimp paste) is like having my McValue meal without the fries, it's incomplete. And it's just not right! Haha...

Here's what you'll need; 
2 fresh red chillies
some belacan

To whip up this yummy concoction, toast the belacan and pound it with the red chillies. Add some salt if the belacan is not salty enough. Serve with a generous squeeze of calamansi. Easy peasy rite?

1 comment:

The back of the hill said...

Here's my version of pong teh:

I usually have it with chilies mashed with lime juice, and I don't use potatoes. And I don't usually make it with chicken, but duck works very well.