Braised Pork Belly in Root Beer
Braised pork belly or what I know as Tau Yu Bak is my family favourite dish. It is easy to cook with few ingredients and I always cook a large pot with plans for leftovers as it keep well. Recently, I came across recipes which use root beer which I thought is a great idea. I have used coca-cola for my chicken wings, so I know it works by caramelising and tenderising the meat while sweetening the stew. Try this if you like a sweeter tau yu bak stew. I use my mum’s base braised pork belly in soy sauce recipe, added a can of root beer and omitted the rock sugar. Though I have only tried with root beer, I am sure it will work with other sweet drinks like Coke too. 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. This is a deliciously savoury dish that goes well with rice or steamed buns (for kong bak bao 扣肉包).
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Braised Pork Belly in Root Beer Recipe
- Serves: 4
- Prep: 10 mins
- Cook: 60 mins
The root beer not only help to tenderise and caramelise the pork, it also sweetens the stew. You may substitute with coca-cola.
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
- 2 tbsp dark soy sauce
- 1 can (330 ml) root beer
- 750 ml 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
- 1-2 piece tau kwa (fried beancurd/豆干) quartered
- 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 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) in Root Beer on page 2.
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