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Braised Pork Belly (Tau Yu Bak)

September 3, 2009


It’s been a long time since the last local food post, so here goes… =)

A couple of months ago I found a Tau Yu Bak recipe in a local magazine, and since my husband is a fan of the dish I thought I’d give it a go.

This was the second recipe I tried from a local magazine. The first one – some beef noodle recipe – was quite a disaster. I think the dish turned out as it was supposed to, but it just didn’t taste good at all. This Tau Yu Bak recipe was much better, but I did make some adjustments when I cooked it the second time round (3 weeks ago I think?) so it would taste more the way we like it, and it really tasted quite good!

I must say I am rather proud of myself for now being able to make my own Tau Yu Bak =) It’s one of those dishes that most Singapore mums and grandmas seem to know how to make, but not one I ever thought I’d do by myself.

So in case you feel like making your own Tau Yu Bak too, here’s the recipe with my modifications.

*Oh a little warning – we like our tau yu bak quite salty =) So if you don’t, you might like to cut back on the salt and soya sauce.

Tau Yu Bak

Ingredients (enough for 3-4 ppl):

800g pork belly
5 tbsp dark soya sauce (1 tbsp for marinade, the rest for later)
1 tbsp honey
1 tsp five-spice powder

2 tbsp cooking oil
5 tbsp chopped garlic
6 shallots, chopped (if you don’t have shallots you can sub with a medium sized onion, though shallots are better)
2 Star anise
2 tbsp brown sugar
500ml Chicken stock
Salt (2-3 tsp)
Pepper (2-3 tsp)

Most of the ingredients:


I also added some boiled eggs to the Tau Yu Bak, and steamed some corn, to make the meal more complete.



(Start cooking 2 hours before you need to eat. If you marinade the meat the night before, then you just need to start 1 hour before eating.)

1. Slice pork belly into 2-3 inch lengths.

2. Marinade the pork belly by dumping the meat into a ziploc bag, adding 1 tbsp dark soya sauce, the honey and the five spice powder, sealing the ziploc bag and squishing it all together. Leave pork belly in refrigerator for at least an hour.

3. (After meat has marinaded) Heat oil over medium-high heat in a medium to large sized sauce pan. Fry garlic, shallots, star anise and brown sugar for a minute or two until garlic and shallots are golden brown.

4. Reduce heat to medium, add pork belly and fry for two to three minutes until meat appears cooked.

5. Pour in chicken stock and bring to boil. Add salt, pepper and remaining 4 tbsp dark soya sauce. Leave to simmer over low-medium heat for about 45 minutes. (If you have lots of time and can let it simmer for longer, then by all means go ahead. The longer the better.)

7. About 15 minutes into simmering, put the eggs in boiling water for about ten minutes till they are hard boiled.

8. Run the eggs under cold water to cool, peel off the egg shell, and add the eggs to the Tau Yu Bak. Cook for another 15 minutes. (At the same time you add the eggs, you can start steaming the corn, which should be done about the same time as everything else.)

9. Eat!


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