Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Braised Pork Belly in Soy Sauce (Tau Yew Bak)

As I understand it, there exist quite a few variants of 'tau yew bak' recipe, simply because each family will have their own recipe and style of cooking. Some recipes I've come across sears the pork belly first, before braising it. While others add tofu,Chinese mushrooms and dried chillies. Which ever recipe you follow, you can't go wrong because the fundamentals are already there, it's really just a matter of preference.

One night, I decided to make 'tau yew bak' for the hubby, since he's been working long hours due to a project, and being a loving wife, what better way to a man's heart than through his tummy? I had to modify the recipe a little and used another cut of meat, as I didn't have pork belly at the time. 

Pork belly (ideally), cut into bite sizes
4-5 cloves of garlic, skin intact
2 sticks of cinnamon (the ones I have were shorter, hence I used two sticks)
2 star anise
2 tbps soy sauce (depends on the type of soy sauce, if yours is watered down, add more)
1 tbps dark soy sauce (tweak it according to the dark colour you want to achieve)
1.5 cups water
A dash of white pepper
2 hard boiled eggs (optional)

If you have a claypot like the one I have above, use it. Otherwise a regular deep pot would suffice. Heat up some oil first, add the cinnamon,star anise and garlic and fry until it is fragrant. Add the pork, soy sauce, dark soy sauce and water (everything will sizzle for a while). If you want to, you can add a dash of five spice powder and a bit of crushed rock sugar, but because I felt the cinnamon and star anise already gave that nice fragrance, I didn't want to overdo on spices so I skipped the five spice powder. Simmer using medium heat until the pork is cook and when the gravy has reached the consistency you want (not too watery, not too thick either). Garnish with some spring onions.

The hard boiled eggs were added at the last stage of simmering, so that the yolk doesn't overcook (if hard boiled eggs are overcooked, the yolk has a greenish crust around it).


i love tau yew bak!!!

there were a couple of times when i kept sniffing the aroma of tau yew bak in the air, at least twice a week. i haven't figured out which neighbour cooks it more regularly than i do!!