Cooking: Babi Pongteh

I love Nonya food even though I’m far from being a Nonya. My closest link to Nonyaship is marrying someone whose grandmother is Peranakan. My first introduction to Nonya food is my friend’s mother who does a pretty mean Ayam Buah Keluak. Since then my love for Nonya good grew so I’ve decided to try a simpler Nonya dish, Babi Pongteh.


Ingredients: (recipe taken from Rasa Malaysia)

2 shallots, peeled and roughly chopped
5 cloves garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
1/4 cup oil
1/4 cup taucheo (fermented bean sauce)
1 Tbsp dark soy sauce
1 Tbsp soy sauce
2 Tbsp palm sugar (but I used brown sugar instead)
1 3-lb pork, chopped. I used pork ribs.
4 small boiling potatoes, peeled and cut into large pieces
3 cups water
Salt to taste


First, pound the shallots and garlic together into a paste with a traditional stone pounder. I instead cheated by using a blender, adding a bit of water so it blends better.

Cook the paste lightly in a frying pan but make sure it doesn’t burn. Throw in fermented bean sauce,  both sauces, sugar and mix well for about 3 minutes.

When done, transfer the paste to a pot. Mix the meat into the paste along with the potatoes. Fill with water and bring to boil. Once boiled, lower the flame and let the stew simmer for an hour.


My first Nonya dish, Babi Pongteh! Bryan loved it. His mom approved. I’m mightily pleased myself.


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