Tau Yew Bak (Braised Pork Belly) Recipe

Here is a very traditional Hokkien dish which every household should be able to cook as it is quite straightforward and uses a few ingredients which should already be in the pantry.  The key to the dish is the dark soy sauce.  You should try to get your hands on the very best quality dark soya sauce and it should be the thick type which is not salty and just slightly sweet.

Kicap manis is not traditionally used, but I find that it adds an extra layer of flavour and sweetness to the dish.  You may leave it out if you don’t have it.  With the white peppercorns, you may give it a light tap to break the them first before toasting.  Blanching the pork belly first is optional but this extra step will get rid of that porky odour.   This dish is best cooked the day before and left in the fridge for the flavours to really permeate the meat!


Pork Belly 1 kg (skin optional)
Garlic 8 cloves
White peppercorns 30 (1 Tbsp)
Dark Soy Sauce 100ml
Light Soy Sauce 100ml
Kicap manis 2 Tbsp
Water 250ml
Sugar 2 Tbsp

Cut pork belly and blanch to remove porky odor. Strain and set aside. Toast peppercorns till fragrant, add oil and fry garlic. Add sugar and caramelise then add pork and fry till brown. Mix sauces with water and add to pot and add enough water to cover pork. Simmer covered for 2 hours. (You might want to add tofu and eggs in the last 30mins of cooking) Uncover and simmer for another 10 mins to thicken sauce. Adjust to taste by adding more sugar or soy sauce.
Best kept overnight!

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Other Pork Recipes:
Hakka Zhar Yoke
Sweet and Sour Pork
Teriyaki Pork Belly
Char Siu 
Sio Bak  

Places to eat Tau Yew Bak:
Chef Chik: Restaurant Quality Hawker Centre
White House Teochew Porridge
Uncle Lee’s Eating House
West Lake

Check out what you can cook during CNY!
18 CNY Dishes to Usher in the New Year 

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Looks great. I tried the set lunch at D’Bun, which features this dish and it was really quite tasty.

Thanks for your feedback!

May I know the brand of dark soy sauce and fish sauce you’re using? I am using ? premium soy sauce. Quite good.

Kwong Woh Hing special dark sauce is very good. But you can only get it at their factory. Fish sauce I like to use Vietnamese which you can buy from Golden Mile. The expensive ones with rating of at least 40

Thank you Dr Leslie. Do Kwong Woh Hing sell by bottle?

Yes they do!

There isn’t any fish sauce in this recipe…?

Not in this one.

Hi Dr Tay

Noticed that you did not use star, 5 spice powdwe, cinnamon stick etc.?

I remember seeing them before in some TYB…

What is your thoughts on these spices?

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