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Braised Pork Belly in Root Beer

Root Beer Tau Yu Bak

Braised Pork Belly in Root Beer Recipe

The root beer not only help to tenderise and caramelise the pork, it also sweetens the stew. You may substitute with coca-cola. The recipe is very forgiving and flexible. Adjust to taste with water, soy sauce (dark for colour and sweetness; light for saltiness) and rock sugar (sweetness). Simmer longer for more tender meat.


  • 8 dried Chinese mushrooms
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tbsp cooking oil
  • 500 grams pork belly
  • 1-2 piece “tau kwa” (fried beancurd/豆干) quartered
  • spring onions or coriander garnishing

(A) Stew Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 1 can (330 ml) root beer
  • 750 ml water
  • 1 cinnamon stick (桂皮)
  • 1 star anise (八角)
  • 4 cloves (丁香)
  • 1/2 tsp Chinese 5-spice powder (五香粉)
  • 1.5 bulbs garlic separated into individual cloves (no need to peel)
  • dashes of white pepper powder to taste


  1. Soak dry mushrooms in small bowl of hot water until puffy, then drain water. Squeeze out the water from mushrooms and trim away stems. Set aside the mushroom caps.
  2. Prepare 80% cooked hard boiled eggs. To do that, place eggs in saucepan of cold water (enough water to cover eggs one layer). Bring to a boil for about 2 minutes, turn off the stove and cover with lid for about 7 minutes (for 100% hard boiled eggs, it’s about 10 minutes). Rinse the eggs with cold water until eggs are cooled. Peel when cool enough to handle. Set aside.
  3. Heat oil in wok or claypot. Brown pork belly on both sides on medium heat. Coat both sides of browned pork belly with 1 tbsp dark soy sauce.
  4. Add the ingredients in (A). Bring to a boil, then lower heat to a simmer (with lid partially closed) for an hour, or until the meat is tender.
  5. During the last 10 minutes of simmering, add eggs and tau kwa. To serve, slice pork belly to smaller, bite-sized pieces. Serve with rice or steamed buns. Garnish with spring onions or coriander.

Noob Cook Tips

  1. Browning the meat before cooking adds depth and flavour, but you may skip this step if you are busy.
  2. Constantly check that the braising sauce is not dried out during the simmering.  You will need to add water (a little at a time) when the stew is drying out.
  3. For best results, cook and serve this dish in a claypot. My claypot is too small for cooking, so I cooked it in a wok and transfer the cooked stew to a claypot for reheating.
  4. If you want marbled eggs (Chinese tea leaf eggs), do not peel the eggs. Instead, gently tap the exterior of the eggs with the back of the spoon to form cracks evenly around the egg, careful to leave the entire shell still intact and covering the egg. This will create the beautiful “marbled” look and also allow the flavours to seep through the eggs.
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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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