Tau Yu Bak

4.65 stars

'Tau yu bak' is a Fujian dish which is very closely related to the Peranakan cuisine. Literally translated, it means soy sauce pork. It is braised in soy sauce until the pork is tender and succulent.

Preparation 20 mins
Cooking 120 mins


Braised Pork with Soy Sauce

Malaysian, Singaporean

Nutrition per Serving

309 kcal
11 g
17 g
27 g

Tau yu bak is more popular in Malaysia and Singapore although Penang is well known for it. The main ingredient of this braised pork dish is light soy sauce. In Hokkien, light soy sauce is known as ‘tau yu’ while pork is called ‘bak’. That is how the dish got its name. Tau yu bak may be deemed as a simple soy sauce dish but do not underestimate its taste. The additional herbs, spices and hard boiled eggs which are infused with the awesome gravy make it an exceptional amazing dish.

Cooking tau yu bak in slow cooker

Tau yu bak can be prepared in a slow cooker. Add all ingredients into the slow cooker and ensure enough water to cover the ingredients. Allow the dish to cook for at least 4 hours at low heat. This applies whether chicken or pork is used. Stir the dish every now and then for the flavours to be incorporated evenly.

Get rid of the boar taint

To get rid of the unpleasant smell of boar taint, bring a pot of water to a rolling boil. Then, add the pork together with a few slices of ginger into the pot. Once water begins to boil again, remove the pork and set aside.

Best pork cut for tau yu bak

Traditionally, pork belly is the favourite choice when it comes to cooking tau yu bak. As the pork belly cooks, the fats melt and enhance the flavour of the dish. However, choose pork butt/pork shoulders if you prefer more meat.

Tips for tender tau yu bak

The only way for tender and succulent tau yu bak is to simmer the dish over very low heat. This will ensure that the flavours of the ingredients and the pork are properly infused together.

Replace pork with chicken

Instead of pork, chicken meat may be used as a substitute. Use chicken thighs for best results.

Trust me, you can never get enough of this awesome dish especially if raw sambal belacan is used as a dipping sauce.


1 tbsp
dark soy sauce
400 g
garlic head
cinnamon stick(s)
star anise
1 cm
1⁄2 tsp
five spice powder
1⁄4 tsp
1 tbsp
soy sauce
10 g
rock sugar

Steps to Prepare

Tau Yu Bak Step 1

Step 1 of 4

    • 1 tbsp dark soy sauce
    • 400 g pork

Coat pork evenly with dark soy sauce. Pan fry pork without oil over low heat for 3 to 4 minutes.

Tau Yu Bak Step 2

Step 2 of 4

    • 1 garlic head
    • 1 cinnamon stick(s)
    • 1 star anise
    • 2 clove(s)
    • 1 cm ginger
    • 1⁄2 tsp five spice powder
    • 1⁄4 tsp pepper

Toast whole garlic in oven at 200 degrees Celcius for 10 minutes or until fragrant. Then, add cinnamon stick, star anise, cloves, ginger slices, pepper, five-spice powder and also, toasted garlic head to pork.

Tau Yu Bak Step 3

Step 3 of 4

    • 1 tbsp soy sauce
    • 10 g rock sugar
    • water

Add soy sauce and mix well. After 30 minutes, add rock sugar. If the dish is too dry, add a tablespoon of water.

Tau Yu Bak Step 4

Step 4 of 4

    • 4 egg(s)

Once sugar melts and thickens, add enough hot water to cover pork. Add hard-boiled eggs. Cook dish at medium heat for at least 1 hour or until meat is tender. Serve with 'sambal belacan'.

Published: June 18, 2014

2 Discussions

a year ago


I posted my comment in discussion..but not showing at that section. I gave my genuine feedback about this recipe.

a year ago


Dear Grace, thanks for sharing. I tried this recipe, it's nice overall. Here is my feedback. I found it to be a bit too sweet for my family and I. It lacks the taste of "tau yu. I increase the soy sauce to 3 TBSP. I will reduce to 5g and try to use brown sugar instead the next time I cook.

a year ago

Mira - Community Happiness Manager

Hey Caroline, thank you so much for sharing! Did you also post a food snap? I guess it depends on the soy sauce (tau yu) you use. The caramel black soy sauce from Malaysia works like magic in this recipe. Did you use the Chinese yellow rock sugar? They are mild in sweetness.

a year ago


I am using the tiger brand soy sauce and black soy sauce from Singapore which tastes great when I cook other dishes actually. I think the proportion of the ingredient can be fine-tuned to bring up the taste of Tau yu. I will experiment by adjusting the amount of each sauce.

a year ago

Mira - Community Happiness Manager

We love hearing how our community adapted the recipe to their taste. Share with us your food snap when you do the next round!

a year ago


Hi Mira, I have uploaded food snap and the amount of the sauce ingredients I used for our family. My recipe can be found at my website: https://carolinechongpf.wixsite.com/experience/recipes

a year ago

Mira - Community Happiness Manager

Fantastic! Actually, you can directly share your recipe on Nyonya Cooking. https://www.nyonyacooking.com/recipes/create That way, our members can follow you and see all the recipes you‘ve shared!

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