Make it: Tau yew bak, chap chye, & soya sauce chicken

Slow-cooked comforting goodness from Asian Soups, Stews and Curries, by Lee Geok Boi: Braised pork belly, chap chye and soya sauce chicken (Japanese style)…


Hokkien-style braised pork belly in dark soy sauce (tau yew bak)

Serves 4 to 6


• 800g belly pork, cut into thin layered strips

• 1 head garlic

• 2 tsps dark soy sauce

• 3 tbsps light soy sauce

• ½ tsp ground white pepper

• 750ml water

• 3 to 4 steamed Chinese buns

• 3 bunches coriander leaves (cilantro), cut into 4cm lengths


1. Rinse the meat well. To cut the pork belly into thin strips, place the meat on a piece of aluminium foil or greaseproof paper and freeze flat until it’s stiff, yet soft enough to be sliced through. Ensure each slice (layered with fat and lean) is about 6cm long. Or, heat some water in a saucepan and boil the meat until it’s firm enough to be sliced through. Use the remaining water to braise the pork in step 4.

2. Rinse the head of garlic with skin on, then use the flat side of a cleaver, or a pestle, to bash it.

3. Combine all ingredients in a pot, except the steamed buns and coriander leaves, and bring to a boil. Skim off the scum as it rises.

4. Once the water is boiling, lower the heat and simmer for one-and-a-half to two hours, or till the meat is tender. Ensure the pieces are intact and not falling apart. Rest the stew for several hours before serving.

5. Add variety to the stew by including firm tofu cut into cubes, or dried shiitake mushrooms. Alternatively, make a Hakka-style version of the stew by adding several whole seeded dried chilies and a piece of star anise.

6. To assemble, steam the buns until soft, then open and place a slice or two of meat in it, top it with coriander leaves, and fold over before serving.


Next up, Peranakan-style chap chye…