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Thursday, September 24, 2009

Pork Belly Stewed in Dark Soy Sauce (Tau Yew Bak) Recipe | Easy Asian Cooking

Pork belly chunks is braised in an aromatic dark sauce flavored with star anise, cinnamon, white pepper and whole bulbs of garlic. Pork belly stewed in dark soy sauce (Tau Yew Bak) is a memorable nostalgia Chinese provincial dish that went on national scale. Though simple, it never disappoints our tastebuds with its intense flavors and spice.

Pork Belly Braised in Dark Soy Sauce Homecooked Recipe(Tau Yew Bak)

When talking about nostalgic country style homecooked food, this comfort homey dish - pork belly stewed in soy sauce (Tau Yew Bak in Hokkien) will naturally comes into my mind. This is part of my mum's legacy and I must say I grew up with this. Pork belly stewed in dark soy sauce is a very Penang Hokkien dish and its popularity has even reached our Teochew kitchen. The dish may vary in every Chinese kitchen with different cooking styles, as cooking this family tradition dish is intuitive, liberating and improvisational instead of following a set of strict instructions from a recipe.

Learning how to cook can be a daunting task, but not with this how to recipe. Whilst some Hokkien homes like to use five-spice powder for marinade, I prefer star anise and cinnamon stick. You can add in some amount of fried bean curds (tau kua in Hokkien) and Chinese mushrooms to have a more substantial dish. For those weight watchers, this sinful and cholesterol laden pork belly can be substituted with chicken or lean pork.

Ingredients :
600g pork belly with gelatinous skin, cut into 1 inch length or bite-sized pieces (五花肉或三层肉)
4 whole bulbs of garlic, keep whole with papery skin peeled off
1 piece of star anise
1 piece of cinnamon stick, roughly 5cm in length
4 hard boiled eggs, with shells removed
Some water

Marinade :
4 tbsp of soy sauce
4 tbsp thick dark soy sauce
1/2 cup of rock sugar (can be substituted with brown sugar or 3 tbsp castor sugar)
1/2 tsp white pepper

Method :

1. Marinate pork belly slices with soy sauce, thick dark soy sauce, rock sugar and white pepper for at least 1 hour or preferably overnight in refrigerator. 

2. Heat up a claypot. Without adding any oil, pour the marinated pork and the excess marinade into the claypot, keep stirring the pork to prevent scorching. Add in in the whole garlic, keep stirring until the gravy is thickened and the pork belly slices are tender.

3. As soon as sugar begin to caramelize, add just enough water to cover the pork and garlic. Bring to boil, reduce to low heat and stew for 40 minutes (with the claypot lid covered) or until the liquid is reduced to about half its amount. Stir occasionally to ensure even cooking.

4. Add in hard boiled eggs (with shell removed). Coat the eggs with sauce mixture and toss frequently. Simmer for another 5 minutes. Add some water (if required) to prevent the sauce from drying up. Taste and add additional soy sauce or salt as desired.

More on  Healthy Easy Food Recipes 


  1. your recipe makes cooking this dish not that intimating at all!!!
    great post!

  2. Thanks lululu, I especially love homey food, this is one of those that provides chewy textures and flavors that we adore. But nowadays we seldom indulge in so often due to its glorious fat. :-)



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