Malaysian Food Blog, Travel, Diving & More

One of my favorite dishes out of mom’s kitchen is undoubtedly the tau eu bak, or braised pork belly with soya sauce. While I’m not sure of it’s origin, this dish seems to be quite common among Hokkien/Nyonya people from Penang, Melaka, and even Singapore.

the finished product - tau eu bak (braised pork belly with soya sauce)
the finished product – tau eu bak (braised pork belly with soya sauce)

Before having a proper kitchen, I usually get my fix for tau eu bak at Champs, Centrepoint (and they do cook up a fine dish). However, it is RM 20+ a pop and I thought wouldn’t it be nice to give it a try ourselves.

This is actually the dish that prompted us buy pastle and mortar and made the sambal belacan.

the ingredients for a bowl of proper tau eu bak
the ingredients for a bowl of proper tau eu bak

Surprisingly, tau eu bak isn’t really hard to cook at all. Everything you need can easily be obtained at any wet market (or properly stocked grocery store) for less than RM20, and the resulting bowl of goodness can feed 3-4 people.

The ingredients:

  • 10 cloves of garlic, don’t need to peel
  • a couple cinnamonΒ sticks
  • 8-10 cloves
  • 1 starΒ anise
  • 1 teaspoon of rock sugar
  • a teaspoon of 5 spice powder
  • 3 table spoon of dark soya sauce
  • 4-6 dried mushroom
  • 5-600 grams of pork belly
  • 2-3 eggs

mushroom, pork, dark soya sauce, the essentials
mushroom, pork, dark soya sauce, the essentials

The steps:

  • soak dried mushroom with warm water till soft, remove stems
  • pan fried pork belly in medium heat till slightly brown, oil is not needed
  • add dark soya sauce on each side and fry a bit more
  • add about 2 cups of water, and throw in all the spices and mushroom
  • keep cooking until the sauce becomes thicken, this takes another 20 minutes or so
  • taste the sauce and add more sugar/dark soya sauce, or even salt to taste
  • add hard (or 80% boiled egg) in the last couple minutes
  • cut pork belly into bite size just before serving

To prepare the eggs

  • bring the water to boil with eggs in it, and keep on boiling for 2 minutes
  • stop the heat and leave eggs in hot water for 7 minutes to get 80% hard, or 10 minutes if you want it all the way 100%

Johnny & Haze, Johnny really liked the dish, despite his facial expression here
Johnny & Haze, Johnny really liked the dish, despite his facial expression here

There it is, pretty straight forward recipe isn’t it? It was lucky that Johnny joined us for dinner that night as the dish was really too much for just two of us. We had it with plenty of sambal belacan, was a pretty fine dinner, I think mom would be proud πŸ˜€

Discuss : KY cooks – Tau Eu Bak (braised pork belly with soya sauce)

  1. πŸ‘Ώ i want πŸ‘Ώ

  2. KY, u didnt cut off the pig skin? I saw the red colour marker pen that was wrote on the pig skin..

  3. Michelle

    Ooh I made this before. Not a huge fan of it though. πŸ˜€ I prefer mui choy kau yoke!

    • Michelle: looks like I shall try to make mui choy kau yoke soon! Not as familiar with it though since I only tried it starting college time, tau eu bak on the other hand, have been in my taste buds since childhood πŸ˜€

  4. i was about to ask about the skin to with red marker pen , LOL !! tot only me think it’s weird πŸ˜›

  5. thegreat_vanlee


    Pork belly in cantonese call wut ehh…???? and oso the ingredients like cinnamon sticks, cloves and star anise wat we call in cantonese….hehe


    • thegreat_vanlee: pork belly – δΊ”θŠ±θ‚‰, star anise – ε…«θ§’, clove – 丁香, cinnamon stick – ζ‘‚ζ£’, good translate is your friend. πŸ˜€

  6. This is my favorite dish too. Foochows have a version of this as well. πŸ™‚

    I’ve tried the one in Champs too, not too bad, but my mom makes a better version (maybe coz I’m used to her cooking). If you like spicy food, some fresh chilli inside (the normal ones, not the bird eye chillies) does wonders as well.

  7. I’m sure your mom will be very proud. I am also very impressed!

  8. Damn that looks good, gotta try it out one day.

  9. Delish! Coincidentally, I made this 2X last week after motivated by many FB responses to my status about Tau Yew Bak. Correct me if I am wrong but I think many Klang Hokkiens don’t really put 5-spice in it… mine is pretty basic, relying much on the quality of soya sauces (many people have their own preferences on what is deemed the best :D) And i do not have sambal belacan πŸ™ Looking forward to more of your home-cooked meals post!

  10. kimberlycun

    /salivating!! looks really goood!

  11. Looks like your dish will be making it across the seas and into a Gold Coast home in Queensland. Woohoo. πŸ˜€

  12. Dang it looks deliciousss! I like how you picked the pork with pun fei sau.. must have fat right? LOL πŸ˜†

  13. I remembered cooking it back in Uni days…all sorts of experiment came out. Tau Eu Bak is one of them. πŸ™‚

  14. nekomeow

    y lastime u didnt cook tau you bak one?
    wana try one day ya~
    ur cooking seems like improved dy ooo~ πŸ˜‰

  15. Gary Tee


    just saw your mouth watering tau eu bak post. As a tau eu bak enthusiast n chef myself, can’t help it but to give my 2 cents worth! 1st of all Kudos for using rock sugar, it’s something many people miss! technique wise, may i suggest that next time you get a whole unsliced piece and before you cook the pork, boil it in water (to get rid of impurities), then steam it (for abt 15min) to make the fat meat springy, lastly, dry it and add a little oil on a wok and fry it skin down. i know it seems like a hell of a preparation before you even cook but try this n u will get a non sickening fat meat no matter how much you eat it! then, wats the no.2 ingredient in tau eu bak? yes, tau eu (soya sauce)!! u know in penang they sell a kind of soya sauce which claim to be virgin soya sauce (same concept as virgin olive oil) which is not very salty, cannot be used on its on to cook tau eu bak, need to mix with normal soya sauce. the magic with this soya sauce is that it’s extra fragrant and makes the meat very tender somehow. finally, you’ve made a mouth watering pork belly with excellent sauce must add tau kua (dry tofu) to suck up the juice!! hope you like it!!

    • Gary Tee: excellent idea! I’ll try that the next time, never knew about the steaming process πŸ˜€

      • Gary Tee

        boil,steam and fry are all important but remember to really take your time with the frying skin down, slowly frying it till the meat’s own juice comes into the picture! got time i show you the virgin soya sauce in fb

  16. wow you can really cook. i am proud of you too.!!! πŸ˜›

  17. […] This soya sauce chicken dish was first made by HazeΒ off a recipe she obtained online, it turned out pretty good but I thought there were something lacking, so after giving it a bit of thought I came up with this version that took a que from the tau eu bak recipe. […]

  18. Pongteh, Tau Yew Bak, Tu Ka Chor: I love them all! – Gao Chiak Po

    […] The exact origins of Tau Yew Bak is debatable, but it definitely seems to be especially quite popular among Hokkienese and Nyonya Chinese from Penang, Melaka, and even Singapore. […]

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