Recipe : Potato & Chicken, Hainanse style

This is yet another ‘never fail recipe’ which has been handed down from my mom. I am not sure if this is unique to the Hainanese or it is the Nyonya version of Ayam Pongteh (which uses more ingredients). It is easy to cook and keeps well.



  • 2 chicken thighs (the upper part and the drumsticks) chopped into small pieces
  • 2 potatoes, peeled and cut into almost the same size as chicken (to ensure they cook at the same time)
  • 1 bulb of garlic, peeled
  • 1 large piece of ginger (as big as the bulb of garlic)
  • 1 tablespoon of taucheo or preserved bean paste
  • some oil
  • half a cup of water


  1. Pound garlic and ginger roughly
  2. Heat oil and fry garlic and ginger till fragrant
  3. Add taucheo
  4. Add chicken and potato and fry
  5. Add water and simmer. Cover the wok/pot and let it simmer until the chicken and potatoes are tender. Add more water if there is no gravy.
  6. Season with some dark soya sauce and pepper. No salt is needed because usually the preserved bean paste is very salty.
  7. Skim off the oil from the top because the chicken usually have plenty of fats after all the simmering. I usually do not like to remove the skin before cooking because I cannot get the aroma and the chicken will be dry and bland if cooked without its skin.

This is the simplest recipe but taste very, very yummy when serves with rice. There are no fuss and fancy ingredients.

Actually, a combination of taucheo, garlic and ginger can go a long way in preparing various dishes. Add some red chillies and make gravy for fried fish. This is call ikan chuen chuan (in Hokkien). But that’s for another post.

As for the girls, if your future spouses/current partner love meats, this is one dish that you must learnt to cook because it is the kind of hearty meal most men love. I don’t know why but my dear hubby will ask for this dish whenever I don’t cook it for a while. And when the pot is simmering on the stove, all my kids will be screaming for their meals and cannot wait for it to be served.

Post Author: Lilian

Food, travel, recipes. Chinese Malaysian, blogger, photographer and writer.

10 thoughts on “Recipe : Potato & Chicken, Hainanse style


    (July 19, 2006 - 2:27 pm)

    Yeah, typical housewive dish, something every mom will cook i guess … children loves the potato … comes with a gravy, goes very well with hot fluffy rice



    (July 19, 2006 - 2:52 pm)

    I almost 4got this dish. TQ for reminding. BTW, my version has Chinese Mushrooms for more bites. It’s 1 of my fav kept overnite dish!


    (July 19, 2006 - 3:09 pm)

    good grief, i just had this for lunch an hour ago!


    (July 19, 2006 - 5:26 pm)

    Is Black bean paste same as taucheo or preserved bean paste? I’m from Melbourne and not sure if Lee Kum Kee sauces have any preserved bean paste… or issit similar to Black bean paste?


    (July 20, 2006 - 1:38 am)

    So much garlic & ginger for 2 chicken thighs? Did you really mean 1 whole bulb? Or is it clove (one of the segments of the bulb)?


    (July 20, 2006 - 9:52 am)

    i tried your acar fish last nite.. yummy, sehingga menjilat pinggan! so, tonite’s menu your ayam pong teh lor.. one commentor suggested mushroom, what type is best? shiitake ke? dried or fresh.. need to know coz lunch break nak pegi buy the ingredients.. TQ


    (July 20, 2006 - 9:55 am)

    gimbot – Any type. Dried shitake is best, but remember to soak in advance and you can use the water to cook your chicken. However, any other type of mushroom is fine, like oyster, button (expensive lah) or canned button mushroom ‘cos the gravy will be soaked in the mushroom. Tks for the test! Very flattered!

    Phui San

    (July 20, 2006 - 10:31 am)

    Lilian, I have a hunch that this will turn into my favourite dish! Will give it a go this weekend. Thanks for the recipe.


    (July 22, 2006 - 12:44 pm)

    Never eaten this dish before. Cooked it last nite. Tasted good, but did not look as good as yours. Think I added too little black soya sauce. Thanks for sharing recipe.


    (July 25, 2006 - 4:28 pm)

    hmm i love this dish too and its easy to cook

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