Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Ayam Masak Oh (A Malacca Nyonya Dish)

When we were young, my mom would cook this soupy chicken with potatoes with lots of ginger and garlic. And we love it! I remember flooding my rice with the soupy gravy and would happily slurp on the leftovers the next day. The adults, of course, they would not "flood" the rice with the soup, but would eat this dish with rice and some sambal belacan as a condiment.

This is one of the Nyonya dish from my childhood that I cook quite often at home. I love the soupy gravy, the potatoes and the ginger, eaten with sambal belacan or on lazy days, with sliced birds's eye chillies and soy sauce. Sometimes when I made this, I would travelled back in time with fond memories and "flood" my rice with the soupy gravy, mixed with the longing of going back in time when my mom was around.

I would be the one who would finish every last piece of the ginger.


Fermented soya bean paste and pounded garlic

And this dish uses quite a lot of ginger, surprisingly, this dish is not really gingery-hot. If you are concerned about the spiciness from the ginger when serving this to kids, you may cut down on the ginger, but it would be rather mild and lack the added "oomph"! 

Have you heard of this Nyonya dish before? Do you have your own family recipe for this dish? Or perhaps may have seen it from some recipe books,  but my mom's version uses lots of ginger. The garlic are pounded to a paste and sometimes, some additional garlic cloves are sliced to be fried together with the julienned ginger, optional.  You might want to give it a try, this is really a simple and yummy dish, one that most kids would love. I could happily eat the whole bowl pictured above as it is without any rice. Love it! 

I'm linking this post to Little Thumbs Up event, the ingredient for this month is Ginger, hosted by Chef and Sommelier, organized by Zoe from Bake For Happy Kids and Doreen from my little favourite D.I.Y.

Little Thumbs Up

Ayam Masak Oh
half a chicken
3"-4" piece root ginger, slice to about 3/4 cup of julienned ginger strips
2 heaped tablespoons fermented soy bean paste
6-8 cloves garlic, pounded to a paste
2-3 cloves garlic, sliced thinly
4-5 potatoes, peeled and quartered
3 cups water
1 tsp black soy sauce
2-3 tablespoons canola oil
light soy sauce to taste, if necessary

  1. Prepare the chicken : Discard the fats and skin. Chop chicken to medium-sized pieces.
  2. Heat oil in a deep saucepan or medium stewing pot. Add ginger and sliced garlic, saute until light brown and fragrant, do not let it be too brown. Reduce heat to low and add in soy bean paste and garlic paste, stir to combine about 1-2 minutes until fragrant. Add in the chicken pieces, stir until chicken are fully coated with the paste and no longer pink.
  3. Add in water. Increase heat to medium-high, cover and let it come to a boil. Reduce heat and let simmer for 5 minutes. Add in black soy sauce and potatoes. Stir and cover, simmer for about 20 minutes until potatoes are tender and chicken is cooked. Taste for saltiness, you may add a little light soy sauce if necessary, though I usually do not need to add anymore as the fermented soy bean paste is already salty.
  4. Enjoy with plain rice.


  1. I must try to cook for my children one day, it looks delicious!

  2. This dish looks absolutely delicous. I have been planning to use soya bean paste in my cooking & now looking at this curry I think I need to pick one soon. Loved the rich stock in there & the flavours are beautiful

  3. Joyce,
    This is so appetizing. I would slurp up all the gravy.
    I brought extra bowl of rice for your ayam masak oh!!
    Bookmarked..must cook for my kids :D
    Thanks for linking and sharing this to LTU :)

  4. Hi Joyce! I have not tried the exact same dish before but very close. A little chinese wine would be great!

    Thanks for your support once again!

  5. Joyce, I have seen a similar recipe in a cookbook. From the ingredients, especially the ginger overload, I know I will enjoy this dish very much. And I'll whack all the ginger too :)

  6. ivy sew http://simplybeautifulhealthyliving.blogspot.comWednesday, July 10, 2013

    Hi Joyce, I know I am going to like this.

  7. Delicious chicken dish , Joyce ! I love that you're not shy in using ginger in this dish :D

  8. I think I would eat this dish with plenty of rice. I love the gravy too! It is simply delicious!

  9. chicken with ginger is good combination, the taste must be very yummyy......

  10. i have yet to find any soybean paste in my grocery store. I guess i will have to order it online. I love this dish! It looks so good with the ginger

  11. Oh, I adore chicken made with ginger root. Yum!

  12. Hi Joyce, Holy Smoke! I have not seen nor eaten this dish ...can't even remember when. There's also the pork one too.
    This is a sure 3 plates of rice disappearing and followed by loud burrrrps!
    Yes, no Malacca or Singapore or Penang Nyonya worth her salt cannot cook this dish, unless she wants to be left standing at the jetty when the ferry leaves, ha ha.
    Every Nyonya lady must learn this, as well ayam pong teh, sambal belachan....
    Joyce, you are good. Outstanding!
    Have a nice day and keep a song in your heart.

  13. That sounds wonderful, Joyce. It has all my favorite ingredients!

  14. Chicken and ginger root - wonderful flavors - loving this!
    Mary x

  15. One of my favourite childhood dishes for sure! Love the chicken and ginger combo.

  16. Hi Joyce,

    I used to hate this dish when I was young. I was the fatty MacDonald and KFC girl :p

    Now, I'm seeing the beauty of this Nonya dish. Chicken with lots of gingers... Yum! Great combination, always!


  17. no, i have not eaten this dish before but reminds me of the pongteh dish. I maybe like you, flooding my rice with the soup gravy!