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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Tau Yu Bak is also known as: Braised Pork with Soy Sauce
Coat pork evenly with dark soy sauce. Pan fry pork without oil over low heat for 3 to 4 minutes.
Toast whole garlic in oven at 200 degrees Celcius for 10 minutes or until fragrant. Then, add cinnamon stick, star anise, cloves, garlic, ginger slices, pepper and five-spice powder to pork.
Add soy sauce and mix well. After 30 minutes, add rock sugar. If the dish is too dry, add a tablespoon of water.
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'.