Oh Chien

Fried oyster omelette (called Oh Chien in Hokkien) is one of my favourite dishes at the hawkers in Malaysia. In Malaysia alone, there are a few types of fried oyster omelette. In Kuching and Pulau Pangkor, the omelette is crispy much like crackers whilst in Pontian, Melaka and Penang, it is slightly soft and sticky (owing to the use of potato starch).

Before you start going “ooh-aah, Pablo can cook!”, let me tell you that this is what I ate in Pontian a couple of months ago and “No”, I did not cook this. I might try cooking it one day if I can get my hands on fresh small-sized oysters. The other ingredients in this dish are pretty much standard and easy to find. I have eaten fried oyster omelette which has medium or slightly larger sized omelette but found them a tad too overpowering in the taste of the oyster. Besides, I think using larger sized oysters are a waste. Better have them fresh with a squeeze of lemon instead.

If at all you can find the ingredients, why not try this Fried Oyster Omelette recipe by Amy Beh?



  • 30 fresh oysters (small ones)
  • 110g sweet potato flour
  • 250ml water
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tbsp chopped spring onions
  • 1 tbsp chopped chives
  • 4 tbsp oil


Ground ingredients (well combined)

  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 shallots
  • 1 tbsp chilli paste
  • 1/2 tbsp coriander powder (‘ketumbar’ powder)
  • A dash of pepper



Soak oysters in water.

Mix sweet potato flour, salt and water into a thin runny batter and leave aside.

Heat oil in a non-stick wok or pan. Scoop out two ladles of batter onto the wok. Give a quick stir and crack in the eggs one at a time. Stir quickly, then push cooked batter to the side of the wok.

Add 2 tbsp oil to the wok; add ground ingredients and saute well. Add in oysters. Cook for a minute and combine the egg and sweet potato flour batter together with the oysters.

Add pepper and sprinkle with chopped spring onions and chives. Give it a stir then dish out and serve with chilli garlic sauce. [source]



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  1. 1
    July 27th, 2007 at 10:52 am

    i love ochien! Batu pahat had some very delicious ochien last time, but now it is just so-so. I have to the orang asli kampung in JB, i remember there was once they served XL ochien, uh..the XL oysters made me feel like puking because the taste is just like what u said, overpowering.

  2. 2
    July 27th, 2007 at 12:54 pm

    Arrghhh..hungrryyy…’Cos I was meddling with Google Adwords. Bluehost got USD30 free wor. Equivalent to RM103. So, I top up RM40 and try lor. LOL.

    My mom used to make the oh chien with prawns and we used tapioca flour. Now if i do at home, my kids will spoil my appetite by saying I am eating…ok, I won’t spoil other’s mood. The addition of ketumbar is really great. Some Thai fish sauce too will make it very nice.

  3. 3
    July 27th, 2007 at 1:03 pm

    This looks sooooo good! I have searched around for the recipe, and yours looks delicous!

  4. 4
    July 27th, 2007 at 4:57 pm

    Thank you very much, I am going to have it for dinner tonight following your recipe!

  5. 5
    July 27th, 2007 at 9:50 pm

    I tried to make this for CNY early this year but it didnt exactly make it to the table. ANyway, it is good to learn that I should be using potato starch instead of all purpose. I’ll try it again.

  6. 6
    July 27th, 2007 at 11:01 pm

    Good god! You just made my mouth watered! Ochien (or, me and my family call it Oluak, we are teochew) in Pontian is indeed sticky and gooey. Back then, they used to put a lot more oysters but nowadays, you can count how many oysters they actually put in, you’ll get 10 baby ones if you are lucky and the price is of course, pricier. To me, I think the dipping sauce plays an important part in this dish too by the way.

  7. 7
    Rasa Malaysia
    July 29th, 2007 at 10:55 am

    I had the Taiwanese version in Taipei…not very good at all…a lot of tepung inside and oysters only a few. I still think Malaysian oh chien is much better, especially Penang one lah. LOL. But your pontian one looks very good too…so many big fat juicy succulent oysters…yummmmy.

  8. 9
    July 30th, 2007 at 3:08 pm

    xin : I heard that the bigger the oysters (especially the wild caught ones), the more polluted the waters are ๐Ÿ˜›

    lilian : I was a bit skeptical about the use of ketumbar as it is a very strong spice to use. Might “drown” the oysters. LOL!

    Anh : Well, the recipe belongs to Amy Beh and the oysters depicted above was what I had back in my hometown. Not my own cooking this time ๐Ÿ™‚

    Frucomerci : How is it?

    reeseboston : Mmm….all purpose flour won’t be suitable. It won’t give the sticky feel to it. He! He!

    psychochique : Oh yeah, nowadays, it is getting pricier. But my aunt knows the chef. So, she will place the order and ask for extra oysters for the same price. Heh! Heh! This place is by the coast, near Giant. It’s a corner restaurant next to the food court.

    Rasa Malaysia : Er…big and fat because of the macro function of the digital camera lah. This is about the size of a guli only.

  9. 10
    Mrs Shinoda
    September 1st, 2007 at 10:38 am

    I honestly think that using medium sized oysters are the best. I am an extremely big fan of o-chien. Eaten ” o-chien ” for many years and me and my family also agreed that too big the oysters and the omellete will have a very ” sheng ” smell to it. Too small the oysters and you will not taste anything at all except for the eggs and tapioca flour. And that, most stalls tend to add too much of tapioca flour but less eggs and oysters to cut cost. Not tasty at all.

  10. 11
    December 24th, 2007 at 10:57 am

    I tried the recipe but my first attempt was awful. Here are some tips on where I went wrong:

    1) Go easy on the potato starch.. only use a few tablespoons of the batter.. it’s easy to fix if you used too little.. but impossible if too much.

    2) Make sure when frying the starch / egg mixture, fry until the eggs are completely cooked (unless you like them raw tasting) but not too dry because you will fry them again with the oysters. If it’s not cooked, you may overcook the oysters before the eggs are ready.

    3) Don’t try decreasing the salt – if not it will be flat! Just use sea salt, it’s good for you.

  11. 12
    December 25th, 2007 at 9:05 pm

    Kristy : Thanks for the great feedback! I am sure other readers would take note. ๐Ÿ˜€

  12. 14
    September 7th, 2008 at 9:32 am

    This dish brings back so many fond memories of Malaysia! I think the best ones I had were definitely in Melaka and in Penang…yummy! thanks for the recipe!

  13. 15
    November 26th, 2008 at 9:24 am

    ah! i am back here again for the recipe ๐Ÿ™‚ will try out tonite!

  14. 16
    August 19th, 2011 at 8:26 pm

    Where can I get sweet potato flour? Thanks.

  15. 17
    August 30th, 2011 at 4:30 pm

    Violet : It should be readily available in most major supermarkets.

  16. 18
    January 18th, 2013 at 9:44 am

    Where can I get sweet potato flour from in Penang?


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