Eurasian and Nyonya Recipes

All the recipes here are taken directly from Star2's article entitled "Dads Who Cook Every Day For The Families". Eurasian is a subgroup of Malaysians with mixed heritage- typically locals with European ancestry. Nyonya is another subgroup of mixed heritage Malaysians and Singaporeans- typically locals with Chinese ancestry.

I grew up eating some of their well known dishes.

Chicken Pongtey

Ingredients (Yields 6 servings):

For pounding together to a paste

5 to 6 cloves garlic

4 shallots

For cooking

2 tbsp oil

2 tbsp heaped minced tauchu (bean paste)

1kg chicken thigh, cut into 4 pieces per thigh

1 tbsp thick caramel black soy sauce

2 chicken stock cubes diluted in 2 cups of hot water

1 small sengkuang a.k.a. jicama, cut into bite-sized pieces

2 carrots, rolling cut

3 potatoes, cut into quarters

salt and sugar to taste


1. In a pestle and mortar, pound garlic and shallots to a paste. Set aside.

2. Heat oil in a wok and on low heat, lightly stir-fry the garlic and shallot paste; do not let it brown.

3. Add the minced tauchu, stir constantly on low heat until fragrant.

4. Add chicken and stir on medium heat for about 1 minute. Then add the thick sauce until the chicken is fully coated in the sauce.

5. Add chicken stock. Simmer with lid closed for about 10 minutes.

6. Add the sengkuang, carrots and potatoes, cover with lid and allow to cook on medium heat until the chicken and vegetables are cooked, about 15 minutes.

7. Add salt and sugar to taste and serve hot.

Henry's Assam Fish

Ingredients (Yields 8 to 10 servings):

1 golden pomfret, about 800g (can be replaced with snapper)

7 to 8 okra, tip removed

10 tbsp cooking oil

3 stalks lemongrass, white part only, smashed lightly

15 to 20 shallots, blended

10 cloves garlic, blended

5 to 6 dried chilies, blended

10 fresh red chilies, blended

5 candlenuts, pounded

5cm belacan a.k.a. shrimp paste (6mm thick), flattened to 2mm and toasted over gas fire

6cm fresh turmeric, pounded

2 bunga kantan a.k.a. torch ginger buds, sliced

A bunch of daun kesum a.k.a. Vietnamese mint, sliced thinly

2 tbsp tamarind pulp, soaked in rice bowl filled with 3/4 water

1 whole pineapple, halved (1/2 cut into slices for curry, the other 1/2 juiced)

10-12 kalamansi limes, juiced

salt to taste

sugar to taste


1. Steam fish until cooked; discard steaming liquid.

2. Microwave okra until tender, then cut into 2cm slices.

3. Heat wok with cooking oil. Fry lemongrass with blended shallots and garlic. Add blended chillies, candlenuts, belacan, turmeric, bunga kantan and daun kesum and stir to combine.

4. Add tamarind juice, pineapple juice and kalamansi juice and stir to combine. Add salt and sugar, then put in pineapple slices and adjust seasoning to taste.

5. Add okra and fish right at the end and stir to coat evenly for 1 to 2 minutes until flavors soaked into the fish.

6. Serve hot with rice.

Pineapple Prawn Curry

Ingredients (Yields 6 servings):

For blending into a rempah paste

20 dried chillies, rinsed and soaked in hot water

4 medium red onions

4cm turmeric

2cm lengkuas a.k.a. galangal

4-5 cloves garlic

3 stalks lemongrass

2cm young ginger

For cooking

2 tbsp oil

1 chicken stock cube, diluted in 1 cup water

salt to taste

1 tbsp assam jawa a.k.a. tamarind paste, diluted in 1 cup water

1 small whole honey pineapple, cut into wedges

sugar to taste

1kg medium sized prawns, deveined, shells intact


1. In a blender, blend all the ingredients for blending until smooth. Set aside.

2. In a wok, add oil and stir-fry the blended rempah paste on medium-low heat until a layer of oil emerges, about 2 minutes.

3. Add chicken stock and salt. Add the strained tamarind juice and cut pineapples and let simmer for about 2 minutes.

4. Add sugar to taste and simmer for 10 minutes. Add prawns towards the end, stir to combine and allow prawns to cook until just tender.

5. Once done, serve hot with white rice.