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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.

31 comments on “Braised Pork Belly in Root Beer”

  1. Hi Wiffy,

    I absolutely love your website and have been following you on Facebook as well as here on your blog for sometime now only because I am a Singaporean living in HK so I miss all the local SG food and find that if I want something specifically Singaporean, I have to cook it on my own. There are Singaporean restaurants here in HK but I have not found one that I would really recommend so my solution is to try and cook it myself. Thats why your website has been great – your pics are great and the instructions that you give are clear.

    I decided to try this recipe this evening but am afraid I was really disappointed especially as I followed it to your exact specifications. Here’s what I noticed ..

    1. The coke (could not find rootbeer at the supermarket near me in HK), whilst an interesting ingredient – made the soup too sweet and not salty enough. I had to add at least another tea spoon of salt or as some recommended in their comments on your site – to add soya sauce. Thats missing from the ingredient list and I think vital in bringing out the flavour.

    2. 1 can of coke plus 750 ml of water is also alot of soup and makes the broth too watery rather than slightly thick the way I prefer it. What I got was a soupy result rather than the “gravy-ish” consistency which I associate with Tau Yew Bak. I think if there was less water – you would be able to get a better flavour from the dish especially when the overall simmering is done with and the broth is suitably reduced.

    3. Also I had to boil for about 1 hour 20 mins on low heat for the pork to become tender. So maybe 1 hour was abit ambitious as per your recipe.

    Still, it was an interesting evening experimenting and I hope my feedback is useful for anyone else wanting to cook this.

    • Hi Elaine,

      Thanks for sharing your detailed experience and feedback, I appreciate it! The timing (1 hour), water and soy sauces stated in the recipe are indicative amounts. I mentioned about adding more water, adjusting to taste and simmering until the meat is tender in my recipe. I did simmer for longer than 1 hour too, along the way adding more water and reducing the sauce etc. Please feel free to adapt the recipe accordingly.

  2. This is a very interesting recipe! I have never used root beer in cooking before.

  3. A&W is my favorite pop outside of Ginger ale. How interesting this dish is.

  4. This looks a wonderful recipe. I have all my Australian friends for dinner tonightI have all my ingredients and pork belly ready.I’m excited. thank you

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