Tau Yu Bak (Braised Pork Belly in Soy Sauce) 豆油肉
I grew up eating this dish so this is true taste of home-cooked food to me. Deliciously savoury, this dish goes very well with rice or steamed buns (for kong bak bao 扣肉包). Every family has a different way of cooking this dish. My family’s version is no fuss – just one type of soy sauce (dark) and no need to grind garlic (or shallots). The recipe is also very forgiving and flexible so you can always “rescue” it if something goes wrong. Do not overdose on the spices (like star anise, cinnamon) because a little goes a long way. If you like to know what the spices such as star anise, cloves and cinnamon look like, check out the photo (with additional cooking tips) on page 2.
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I re-created the dish from memory of the taste and I let my mum taste test the dish. Her verdict – my tau yu bak was good, and she liked that the sauce is just the right amount (if too much, the stew is diluted; too little will result in insufficient gravy for the rice & meat).
Braised Pork Belly in Soy Sauce (Tau Yu Bak) Recipe
- Serves: 4
- Prep: 10 mins
- Cook: 60 mins
Constantly check that the braising sauce is not dried out during the simmering. You will need to add water (a little at a time) when the stew is drying out. Get more cooking tips on page 2 of the recipe.
- 8 dried Chinese mushrooms
- 4 eggs
- 1-2 tbsp cooking oil
- 500 grams pork belly
- 3 tbsp dark soy sauce
- 1 litre water
- 1 cinnamon stick (桂皮)
- 1 star anise (八角)
- 4 cloves (丁香)
- 1/2 tsp Chinese 5-spice powder (五香粉)
- 1.5 bulbs garlic separated into individual cloves (no need to peel)
- dashes of white pepper powder to taste
- spring onions or coriander garnishing
- Soak dry mushrooms in small bowl of hot water until puffy, then drain water. Squeeze out the water from mushrooms and trim away stems. Set aside the mushroom caps.
- Prepare 80% cooked hard boiled eggs. To do that, place eggs in saucepan of cold water (enough water to cover eggs one layer). Bring to a boil for about 2 minutes, turn off the stove and cover with lid for about 7 minutes (for 100% hard boiled eggs, it’s about 10 minutes). Rinse the eggs with cold water until eggs are cooled. Peel when cool enough to handle. Set aside.
- Heat oil in casserole (wok, claypot or deep pot). Brown pork belly on both sides on medium heat. Add 1.5 tbsp dark soy sauce on both sides of browned pork belly.
- Add the rest of the ingredients except eggs, tau kwa and spring onions/coriander. Bring to a boil, then lower heat to a simmer (with lid partially closed) for an hour, or until the meat is tender.
- During the last 10 minutes of simmering, add eggs and tau kwa. To serve, slice pork belly to smaller, bite-sized pieces. Serve with rice or steamed buns. Garnish with spring onions or coriander.
Get more photos and cooking notes for Braised Pork Belly (Tau Yu Bak) on page 2.
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