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Tag / tau eu bak

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 cinnamon sticks
  • 8-10 cloves
  • 1 star 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 😀