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Tau Yu Bak (Braised Pork Belly in Soy Sauce)

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

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 – garlic, 5-spice powder, cinnamon, cloves, star anise and rock sugar.

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

119 comments on “Tau Yu Bak (Braised Pork Belly in Soy Sauce)”

  1. What a coincidence! I just finished cooking this for lunch! I agree it’s a very easy dish to prepare. Mine is even fuss-free! I don’t use all the spices except for one petal of star aniseed and lots of garlic. My hubby doesn’t like the spice flavour. My recipe is my MIL’s, so naturally I have to use hers for her son. :)

    • yes, not everyone likes the spices. My mum always add star anise, cinnamon etc to hers so I’m really familiar with this taste :)

  2. My version is a simple one, without star anise and cinnamon, hehe…

  3. omgggg i could eat many bowls of rice with this dish! :D

  4. Just curious…are you a Hokkien? (I always thought you were a Cantonese. :-))) )
    I ate very often the “tau yu bak” when I still lived in my mum’s house. We call it “豆油肉“. I was the one who usually finished up all the black mushrooms and tendons.


    • Yes I am. Oh I think you’re right, it’s 豆油肉 not 酱油肉… think I translated wrongly. My mandarin cannot make it T_T gonna edit the post, thanks a lot

  5. Oh my God! These are my favorite things put together!

  6. That sounds very similar to our 滷水 foods. The name 豆油肉 is new to me, but I think they are equally delicious. I enjoy it very much with rice.

  7. Oh my, my hubs is gonna love you for this :-) This is his absolute favourite dish. I must try out your recipe!

  8. I love this dish, so yummy going with rice :)

  9. This is definitely one of our family’s staple!

    Seeing this making me wanna cook this again (we just had it last week actually!). Will be buying pork belly from the market tomorrow ;)

  10. OMG! How i wish i could have this for 2morrow night dinner.. It’s just so nice and tasty^^

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