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Braised Pork Belly in Root Beer

Root Beer Tau Yu Bak

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Braised pork belly (豆油肉)or “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 saw recipes for root beer braised pork belly which I thought was really interesting. I have used coca-cola for my chicken wings, so I know it works by caramelising and tenderising the meat while sweetening the stew.

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Try this if you like a sweeter version of tau yu bak stew. I use my family base recipe for the braised pork belly stew, 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 Coca-Cola too. This is a deliciously savoury dish that goes well with rice or steamed buns Chinese steamed buns.

Root Beer Tau Yu Bak

Tip: If you find the resultant stew too sweet, do adjust to taste according to your preference (for example, adding more water and soy sauces). Braised pork stews are the most flexible dish in the world (according to my mother) and one can easily season the stew to taste with soy sauces, water and sugar.

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31 Responses to “Braised Pork Belly in Root Beer”

  1. cindykang — August 23, 2012 @ 5:29 pm


    i wonder if can subsitute pork with duck or chicken?


  2. Edith — August 23, 2012 @ 9:46 pm

    I tried braising with coke not too long ago and we love it. Now you are giving a second option. Wonderful!


  3. MaryMoh — August 24, 2012 @ 1:54 am

    Oh wow….with root beer. I have heard of cola. I guess it’s almost the same. I need more rice to eat with this dish…mmm.


  4. Juliana — August 24, 2012 @ 2:52 am

    My mom makes similar dish, but I don’t think that she uses root beer…we all love this and it is so good on rice…moreover, the eggs taste delicious with the flavors of the meat in it…YUM!
    Beautiful and very tempting pictures Wiffy :)


  5. Ivy — August 27, 2012 @ 5:56 pm

    Love your website!

    Tried making this over the weekend but I found that 2 tablespoon of dark soy sauce wasnt quite enough (esp when it was a bit watery with a whole can of sarsi), so it was a lot of trial-and-error tasting during the whole 1 hour. Also I had to balanced it with light soy sauce (although the reason might be because my dark soy sauce was the sweet type and the saltiness had to come from the light soy sauce). You’re right on the spices though, any clove/cinnamon stick/spice powder more and it’ll be too much.



  6. ChopinandMysaucepan — August 27, 2012 @ 8:38 pm

    Dear wiffy,

    I think this is an awesome dish especially when the pork is cooked until it is so tender and melting. I have never tried cooking it with any sweet drinks because I prefer it to be more savoury.


  7. Rack of Lam — August 28, 2012 @ 9:38 am

    My dad makes this all the time, and I love it. It makes boring staples like meat and eggs taste so good. Can’t get enough of it! Thanks for the recipe!!


  8. lisaiscooking — August 30, 2012 @ 5:31 am

    I’ve made roasted sweet potatoes with Coke, and it caramelizes so well. Your stew with Root Beer must have been great!


  9. Ferrine — August 30, 2012 @ 8:22 pm

    I’ve tried today, it taste really sweet and not salty at all. Am i getting the right taste?


    • wiffy replied: — August 30th, 2012 @ 10:36 pm

      It’s supposed to be salty as well. How much water did you add? Adjust to taste with soy sauces and more water.


      • Ferrine replied: — September 2nd, 2012 @ 1:42 am

        I followed the instruction, only that the tau kwa i use 2 pcs. I’m so afraid if i use too much water the taste will turn light. You mean use dark soy sauce to adjust the taste?

        • wiffy replied: — September 3rd, 2012 @ 11:52 am

          “You will need to add water (a little at a time) when the stew is drying out.” Feel free to top up with water, as the recipe is just a general guide. Yes, you can use dark or light soy sauce to adjust the taste.

          • Ferrine replied: — September 4th, 2012 @ 1:31 am

            Thanks, i’ll try again next time. :)

  10. Jasmine — September 5, 2012 @ 6:46 am

    hi! You did not mention the rootbeer in the instructions.. when do we add in the rootbeer during the cooking process?



    • wiffy replied: — September 5th, 2012 @ 12:27 pm

      Hi, “Step 4: Add the rest of the ingredients except eggs, tau kwa and spring onions/coriander”. That includes the root beer :)