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Tau Yu Bak (Braised Pork Belly in Soy Sauce)

Braised Pork Belly in Soy Sauce Recipe

Browning the pork belly (optional but highly recommended) adds additional flavour to the stew.

Braised Pork Belly in Soy Sauce Recipe

Aromatics for cooking tau yu bak

Braised Pork Belly in Soy Sauce Recipe

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.

Serves: 4

Prep Time: 10 mins

Cook Time: 60 mins


  • 8 dried Chinese mushrooms
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tbsp cooking oil
  • 500 grams pork belly
  • 1.5 tbsp dark soy sauce
  • spring onions or coriander garnishing
  • 1-2 piece of fried beancurd (tau kwa/豆干) quartered

(A) Seasonings

  • 1 litre water
  • 1.5 tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 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


  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Add (A) and mushrooms. Bring to a boil, then lower heat to a simmer (with lid partially closed) for an hour, or until the meat is tender.
  5. 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.

Cooking Notes

  1. Browning the meat before cooking adds depth and flavour, but you may skip this step if you are busy.
  2. 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.
  3. The recipe is very forgiving and flexible. Adjust to taste with dark soy sauce (for colour and sweetness), light soy sauce (for saltiness) and rock sugar for (sweetness). Simmer longer for more tender meat.
  4. Do not overdose on the spices (like star anise, cinnamon) as a little goes a long way.
  5. For best results, cook and serve this dish in a claypot. My claypot is too small for cooking, so I cooked it in a wok and transfer the cooked stew to a claypot for reheating.


If you want marbled eggs (Chinese tea leaf eggs), do not peel the eggs. Instead, gently tap the exterior of the eggs with the back of the spoon to form cracks evenly around the egg, careful to leave the entire shell still intact and covering the egg. This will create the beautiful “marbled” look and also allow the flavours to seep through the eggs.

Leave a Comment

100 Responses to “Tau Yu Bak (Braised Pork Belly in Soy Sauce)”

1 5 6 7
  1. eunice — January 6, 2014 @ 4:07 pm


    I’m going to make this braised pork belly recipe tonight. Can I use fresh shitake mushroom instead of dried ones?



    • wiffy replied: — January 6th, 2014 @ 5:53 pm

      Yes you can. You don’t have to simmer them as long though; as long as they are softened, they are ready.


  2. Carolyn Pe — January 10, 2014 @ 8:53 am

    When do you add the mushrooms?


    • wiffy replied: — January 10th, 2014 @ 3:27 pm

      Step 4. Thanks for pointing it out to me, amended recipe.


      • Carolyn replied: — January 10th, 2014 @ 10:03 pm

        Thanks for that mod. How about the garlic? Being Hokkien, this dish is so homey to me!

    • wiffy replied: — January 15th, 2014 @ 11:59 am

      Garlic is part of (A), so it’s at step 4 :)


  3. Dois — January 18, 2014 @ 12:16 am



  4. Carene — June 14, 2014 @ 12:50 am

    Hi, can I know which brand of tau yu (dark soy sauce) you strongly recommend?


    • wiffy replied: — June 14th, 2014 @ 12:53 pm

      There’s no brand that I highly recommend (have not tried that many), but personally I have been using Tai Hua superior dark and light soy sauces all these years.


      • Sona replied: — April 15th, 2015 @ 1:16 am

        Hello, I have recently thrown away a bottle of dark soy sauce, but when I was shopping for a new one, I cannot remember if it’s a Taihua dark soy sauce or Superior dark soy sauce. Can u advise me? I usually use it to cook beehoon and fried rice. Thanks..

        • wiffy replied: — April 22nd, 2015 @ 9:14 am

          I personally use Taihua superior dark and light soy sauce. But you can use any brand you like :)

  5. Cindy — October 3, 2014 @ 9:23 pm

    Hello, can I check with you if it’s okay to substitute the pork belly with chicken meat instead? If yes, is there anything else I need to add on to it?


  6. Karen See — October 29, 2014 @ 4:04 am

    The recipe is so easy to follow and the dish is so delicious and appetizing…my husband and I enjoyed it a lot. The lengthy braising of the pork belly is worth waiting for as it’s tasty and very tender!!!


  7. Cornelius Chan — February 3, 2015 @ 2:57 pm

    Do you know, is this the Teochew or Hokkien recipe?

    And is there any difference between the two if you know?

    Thank you!


  8. JC — September 27, 2015 @ 12:09 am

    Hi, wonder how much rock sugar you put in, thanks


    • wiffy replied: — September 28th, 2015 @ 3:27 pm

      Use about 1 tbsp. you can always add more to taste if required.


      • Jc replied: — September 29th, 2015 @ 6:18 pm

        Thank you for your reply. I will try this tonight

  9. Clairice — November 15, 2015 @ 8:24 am

    Hi wiffy! How long can u keep the leftovers for?


  10. vivian — November 19, 2015 @ 9:52 am

    hi, can I cook this in a slow cooker?


    • wiffy replied: — November 23rd, 2015 @ 9:03 am

      yes, you can.


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