Nyonya Recipes

Nyonya Food Recipes

(Nyonya or Peranakan Food Recipes)

Nyonya or Peranakan Recipes are combination of food that are usually sour, sweet, salty, hot and spicy tasting.  The best, most famous and popular nyonya recipes or peranakan recipes which are tasty and delicious are their spicy or mild curry, soups, vegetables, nyonya kerabu (salad), fruits or vegetable pickles, rice and congee or porridge recipes.  Besides the nyonya food and pickles or relish, they are also known for their all-time favorite nyonya desserts recipes and nyonya kuih recipes which are easy and simple to cook or prepare.  Nyonya food is influenced by the combination of many cultures.  Nyonya cuisine is now acknowledged as one of the earliest examples of Asian exotic and fusion food.  Unlike modern fusion dishes, the melting pot for Nyonya food or Peranakan food existed in the world where cultures meet and taste buds were awakened by the dominant nyonya cooking tastes and flavors of the day.  The secrets to Nyonya method of cooking is by the infamous agak-agak or rough estimates method in our grandmother's recipes.  As a result, a number of nyonya recipes have been lost, and the true essence of the nyonya cuisine has been confined only to Straits Chinese homes today.  Influenced by its Chinese, Malay, Indian, Thai and to a lesser extent, colonial, the nyonya food and desserts recipes of the Penang Peranakan food is unique and exotic.  The Straits Chinese were among the first to adopt Western ways and methods of cooking, some of the nyonya dishes they prepare has an unmistakable western taste and flavor.  While the Straits Chinese everyday food breakfast, lunch, dinner or supper betrays a distinct local taste and flavor, the Chinese influence is most apparent during festivals where you will find the best and most tasty, delicious, famous and popular nyonya soups, the clear soup - 'Kiam Chai Ark' (salted vegetable and duck soup), the 'Chap Chai T'ng (mixed vegetables soup), 'Too Thor T'ng' (pig's stomach soup) or the 'Hu Pioh T'ng (fish maw soup).  Besides the nyonya soups, there are also nyonya food recipes like the Jiu Hu Char, Hu Chih Char, Chap Chai, Nyonya Curry Chicken, Tau Ewe Bak, Hong Bak, Loh Bak, Nyonya pickles or nyonya acars are usually a medley of pickled fruits or vegetables, with the more elaborate ones made in combination with a spice paste and ingredients.  The secret on how to make good nyonya acars and pickles lies in the salting and sun-drying of the fruits and vegetables.  The sharp tang of sour taste, however, must be tempered with the sweet, salty and spicy taste as well, to create a balance of flavors that those outside the community often find hard to replicate.  Some of these sour, sweet, salty and spicy Nyonya acars or fruit, vegetable pickles - the famous Acar Awak; Papaya Pickle or Bokwa Sui; Lime Acar or Acar Keat Lah; Leek Pickle or Logiou; Radish Pickle or Chai Tow Sui; Pickled Cucumber or Acar Timun, just to name a few.  In the nyonya family, after lunch or dinner, the family will serve a varieties of nyonya desserts or nyonya kuih.  Traditional or local favorites, authentic, most famous and popular nyonya desserts recipes or nyonya kuih recipes are the Kuih Talam, Huat Kuih, Pengat, Kuih Ee (glutinous rice flour balls in syrup), Chiu Chu Kuih, Pulut Tai Tai, Kuih Koci, Kow Chan Kuih, Radish Kuih, Bee Koh and Rempah Udang.  There are also traditionally popular nyonya dishes found in recipes such as the Nasi Kunyit (yellow turmeric rice), Lam Mee (nyonya birthday noodles), ultra-rich Nasi Lemak (coconut fragrant rice) consisting of Assam Prawns, Assam Fish, cucumber slices, a wedge of hard-boiled egg and sambal belachan - a ground paste of fresh red chilies and toasted dried shrimp paste, in which Kerabus or Asian Nyonya Salads can be tossed up in no time at all since freshly-made sambal belachan is always at hand in a respectable Nonya family kitchen.  We also have the Rice Recipes such as the Nasi Kembuli Recipe or Spiced Rice Recipe - an elaborate feast cooked on auspicious occasions like weddings, birthdays and the Chinese New Year.  There are normally eight or nine accompanying dishes.  Besides the traditional methods, techniques and ways of cooking Chinese Nyonya dishes, now there are also new methods which are easy and simply to follow on how to cook nyonya food, soups, curry and how to make nyonya desserts and kuih.  The Nyonya and Peranakan recipes provided below are a combination of traditional, local and modern or new improved methods of cooking Nyonya food.


  1. Abalone Soup (Pau Hu Th'ng)

  2. Acar Kunyit Ikan (Fish Pickle)

  3. Acar Mango (Mango Pickle)

  4. Acar Timun (Pickled Cucumber)

  5. Acar Keat Lah (Calamansi Acar)

  6. Achar Nyonya Vegetable Pickle

  7. Assam Prawns (Deep-Fried Sour Prawns)

  8. Aubergine Sambal

  9. Ayam Buah Keluak (Chicken in Black Nut Curry)

  10. Ayam Cincaluk (Chicken in Preserved Shrimps)

  11. Ayam Kleo (Chicken in Rich Spicy Gravy)

  12. Ayam Merah (Chicken in Red Spicy Sauce)

  13. Ayam Oh (Chicken in Soy Bean Paste Gravy)

  14. Ayam Risa Risa

  15. Ayam Tempra (Spicy Chicken)

  16. Babi Assam (Tamarind Braised Pork)

  17. Babi Chin (Sweet Pork)

  18. Babi Pong Tay (Stewed Pork)

  19. Bayam Masak Lemak (Spinach in Coconut Milk)

  20. Bean Curd Roll

  21. Beansprouts and Prawn Fritters

  22. Betik Masak Titek (Papaya in Hot Gravy)

  23. Birthday Mee (Nyonya Birthday Noodles)

  24. Bittergourd Curry

  25. Braised Chicken in Pepper Gravy

  26. Cabbage Salad (Kerabu Kubis)

  27. Chap Chai Lemak (Mixed Vegetables in Coconut)

  28. Chap Chye (Stir-Fried Mix Vegetables)

  29. Char Eng Chai (Fried Water Convolvulus)

  30. Char Swee (Fried Cucumber in Vinegar)

  31. Cheh Hu (Nyonya-Style Indian Rojak)

  32. Chicken Curry (Nyonya Style)

  33. Chicken Kerabu (Kerabu Kay)

  34. Chicken Porridge (Congee)

  35. Cincaluk Sambal (Chilied Preserved Shrimps)

  36. Clams Curry

  37. Coconut Curry Prawns

  38. Crab and Bamboo Shoot Soup

  39. Crispy Anchovies with Calamansi Juice

  40. Curry Prawns Kapitan

  41. Devil Curry (Nyonya Style)

  42. Fish and Aubergines in Coconut Gravy

  43. Fish Belanda

  44. Fish in Screwpine Leaves

  45. Fish in Spicy Tamarind Gravy

  46. Fried Cockles and Chives

  47. Fried Spicy Chicken a'la Nyonya

  48. Fried Stuffed Taukua (Soy Bean Cake)

  49. Fried Tamarind Chicken

  50. Garam Assam Paste

  51. Green Curry Hor Fun

  52. Green Papaya Kerabu (Kerabu Bok Kwa)

  53. Grilled Fish with Lum Chut Sauce

  54. Heh Kian (Prawn Fritters)

  55. Hong Bak

  56. Hu Chih Char (Sharks Fin Stir-Fried)

  57. Ikan Kuah Lada (Fish in Peppery Gravy)

  58. Inche Kabin (Deep-Fried Chicken)

  59. Itik Sio (Braised Duck in Tamarind)

  60. Itik Tim (Duck Soup with Salted Mustard)

  61. Jackfruit Curry

  62. Jantung Pisang Kerabu (Banana Flower)

  63. Jellyfish Kerabu (Kerabu Hai Tay)

  64. Jiu Hu Char (Fried Cuttlefish and Vegetables)

  65. Kacang Botol Kerabu (Wing Beans Kerabu)

  66. Kerabu Bak Phoey (Pork Skin Kerabu)

  67. Kerabu Beehoon (Rice Vermicelli Salad)

  68. Kerabu Kay Kar (Chicken Feet Kerabu)

  69. Kerabu Pasta

  70. Kerabu Pucuk Paku (Fiddlehead Fern Kerabu)

  71. Kerabu Timun (Cucumber Kerabu)

  72. Kiam Chai Ark Soup (Duck Salted Mustard Soup)

  73. Kuih Paitee (Top Hats)

  74. Laksa Melaka

  75. Logiou (Leek Pickle)

  76. Loh Bak (Nyonya Seasoned Meat Rolls)

  77. Lor Hon Chai (Buddha's Vegetarian Feast)

  78. Mango Rice

  79. Meat and Liver Balls

  80. Mee Siam (Spicy Rice Vermicelli)

  1. Misua Soup (Wheat Flour Vermicelli Soup)

  2. Mixed Vegetable Curry

  3. Mixed Vegetarian Vegetables

  4. Nasi Kembuli (Spiced Rice)

  5. Nasi Minyak

  6. Nasi Ulam (Nyonya Herbed Rice)

  7. Nyonya Assam Curry

  8. Nyonya Chap Chai (Mixed Vegetables)

  9. Nyonya Fried Chicken

  10. Nyonya Fried Noodles

  11. Nyonya Fried Rice

  12. Nyonya Lam Mee

  13. Nyonya Stewed Vegetables

  14. Okra Sambal Belachan

  15. Otak-Otak Chicken Rolls

  16. Otak-Otak Panggang (Grilled Otak-Otak)

  17. Paceri Terung (Sweet and Sour Aubergine)

  18. Pajelis Ong Lai (Pineapple Curry)

  19. Papaya Pickle (Bokwa Sui)

  20. Papaya Soup

  21. Pasembor (Nyonya Spicy Salad)

  22. Pee Hu Char (Stir-Fried Dried Sole)

  23. Penang Assam Laksa

  24. Pineapple Kerabu

  25. Pomelo Salad

  26. Pong Tauhu Soup (Fish and Beancurd Soup)

  27. Prawn Porridge (Congee)

  28. Prawns in Pineapple Curry

  29. Prawns Masak Lemak

  30. Prawns with Spicy Shrimp Paste

  31. Radish Pickle (Chai Tow Sui)

  32. Rojak Nyonya (Nyonya Salad)

  33. Roti Babi

  34. Salted Duck Eggs

  35. Salted Fish Bone Beancurd Soup

  36. Salted Fish in Tamarind Gravy

  37. Sambal Babi (Spiced Pork)

  38. Sambal Belachan (Spicy Dried Shrimp Paste)

  39. Sambal Belimbing Buluh (Bilimbi in Chili Gravy)

  40. Sambal Heh Bee (Dried Prawns Sambal)

  41. Sambal Timun (Spicy Cucumber Salad)

  42. Satay (Skewered Grilled Chicken)

  43. Satay Babi Goreng (Fried Pork Satay)

  44. Satay Peanut Sauce

  45. Serondeng (Roasted Coconut Sambal)

  46. Siamese Laksa

  47. Spicy and Sour Fish Curry

  48. Spicy Duck Stew

  49. Spicy Sour Fish Head Curry

  50. Spicy Sour Prawns with Long Beans

  51. Spicy Sweet Sour Prawns

  52. Steamed Egg Custard with Pork

  53. Steamed Pork Salted Fish

  54. Steamed Spicy Sweet Sour Fish

  55. Stir-Fried Chicken and Ginger

  56. Sweet Potato Leaf Curry

  57. Sweet Potato Leaves in Coconut Gravy

  58. Sweet Potato and Sea Snail Curry

  59. Tau Ewe Bak

  60. Tetae Lemak

  61. Titik Papaya Soup

  62. Yam Soup (Nyonya Or T'ng)

  63. Yee Sang (Nyonya Chinese New Year Salad)

  64. Yee Sang Sauce

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