Friday, 11 August 2017

Globecooking recipe : Nyonya Chicken, Potato and Green Bean Curry (Malaysia)

Nyonya cuisine is fusion food at its finest, originating from the Peranakans, descendants of early Chinese migrants who settled in Penang, Malacca, Singapore and Indonesia, inter-marrying with local Malays, so it combines Chinese, Malay and other influences. Having seen a mention of a Nyonya curry using chicken, potato and green beans, I went to investigate.

 I couldn't find a specific recipe, but I did stumble across Gordon Ramsay's Malaysian Chicken Curry, which sounds similar. I adapted it to include the flavours that I'd seen mentioned elsewhere, and that I happened to have in my spice rack (galagal, powdered lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, turmeric ...) and the result was very tasty, even if I was dubious about how combining coconut milk and fish sauce would work ! As always, I share my recipes as inspiration - a rough guideline to be tweaked depending on what you already have in your cupboards, so don't go out buying things you won't ever use again !

Nyonya Chicken, Potato and Green Bean Curry (Malaysia)

ingredients :

3 chicken breasts
3 potatoes
300g green beans, topped and tailed
2 onions
drizzle of olive oil
salt, pepper
3tbsp garlic & ginger paste
1 can coconut milk
1tsp galagal
1tsp powdered lemongrass
3 kaffir lime leaves
1/2tsp turmeric
1tbsp fish sauce
1tbsp soy sauce
a handful of coconut chips

Start by putting the potatoes on to boil in a pan of salted water. I left the skins on and chopped them into chunks to save time. Then start cooking the onions in a drizzle of olive oil, until they are soft but not browned.

Chop the chicken into chunks and add to the onions. Keep cooking over a low heat until the chicken is completely white. Season with salt and pepper.

Add the green beans. Cook for a further five minutes.

By now the potatoes should be soft when you stab them with a sharp knife. Drain and add to the pot.

Stir through the garlic/ginger paste and the coconut milk. 

If you want to serve the kids, this is the place to stop, before adding all the complex flavours.

Add the herbs/spices, fish sauce, soy sauce and coconut chips.

Give it all a good stir and heat through. When it's piping hot, serve on its own or on a bed of rice. This is not at all spicy so you might like to add some curry or chilli paste, to give it a little kick.


  1. It looks amazing, I love curry, and the ingredients sound wonderful, id add some curry paste to make it hotter xxx

  2. Remind me of my mum recipe but with different spices. I love green beans with any type of meat. Never tried galagal before. Thanks for sharing as I always love discovering new recipes.

  3. Anything with coconut milk gets my vote of approval. :) Love the sound of the nyonya curry. My guys would probably not like the fish sauce, I use it very rarely and just a little bit.

    1. I thought it would be overpowering but it all blends together and balances out nicely :)

  4. This looks interesting, I must give it a try

  5. Hi Cheryl I'm craving curry now! Please share this with everyone over at Food on Friday: August. Cheers from Carole's chatter


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