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Tau Yu Bak (Braised Pork Belly in Soy Sauce)

Braised Pork Belly in Soy Sauce Recipe

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I grew up eating this homely dish of braised pork belly in soy sauce (or locally known as “tau yu bak”/豆油肉) so this is true taste of home-cooked food to me. Deliciously savoury, this dish goes very well with rice or steamed buns (kong bak bao). Every family has a different way of cooking this dish.

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My family’s version is no fuss – just one type of soy sauce (dark) and no need to grind the spices. 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.

Braised Pork Belly in Soy Sauce Recipe

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 Recipe

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

  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.