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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. Whoops.. just saw posts below about the dark soya sauce! Thanks anyways, can’t wait to try it tomorrow night!

    • yep, just normal dark soy sauce. I use that in all my recipes. have fun cooking and hope you like the results!

  2. i just tried your recipie yesterday night and its awesome! thanks!

  3. Just tried this recipe. 3 adults and one 3-year old gobbled up everything. Meat was so tender and not 腻. Added 4 more sugar cubes also.
    One thing i did different was the simmering for one hour. Gravy was still too liquid for family’s liking. So after 50 mins of simmering, added Step 7 stuff and then brought it to a boil for the last 10 mins to reduce to a thicker gravy. Gravy was great with rice.

    Noobcook is my goto website when i miss Singapore food since I’m based in Beijing for so long now. Another Singaporean friend of mine in Beijing also tried the Yu Sheng (CNY Raw Fish Salad) after i introduced to him the website.

    Thank you for reconnecting us Singaporeans abroad to our childhood foods.

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  6. yum, this is one of my favourites…easy too! just chuck everything in and it’s done! I did a french braised pork, which is basically the same process but with different flavourings.

    Amazing how essentially the same dish can be present in two different cultures and yet be totally distinct.

  7. Hi

    Saw this recipe and looks great.
    I want to try it and in your tips, you mentioned using rock sugar yet I don’t see it in the list of ingredients above. Do you have a suggestions of how much sugar to add?

    Thank you

  8. I just tried making this dish today after reading your post. It was good! Thank you for sharing the recipe. :) I used a leaner cut (fresh ham) instead of pork belly and left everything in the crockpot to cook while I went to work. I forgot about rock sugar as I was in a hurry but all turned out well. The meat was very tender.

  9. Great looking recipe! I’m planning to make this for Chinese New year and wondering if anyone knows if I can use CrockPot or not. If so, what is the temperature setting an cooking time. Thank you.

  10. what is tau kwa?

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