When someone mentions “comfort food”, an immediate image that would come to my mind is “Tau Yew Bak” – Pork braised in Dark Soya Sauce. When I run out of ideas on what to cook for dinner or when I have one of those insane urges to have something porky to go with rice, invariably this dish would be my choice.
So what makes a good Tau Yew Bak? There are various versions to this popular dish. My version would require a good cut of Belly Pork. Some would prefer other cuts of pork, like shoulder loin, shank etc but I think nothing beats the belly cut. Make sure you get a cut with equal layers of fatty and lean meat. You do need the fatty layer – that’s what gives this dish it’s flavourful lardy taste.
Get a good bottle of Dark Soya Sauce – one that’s thick and sweetish with aromatic caramel nuances. Make sure you use enough of this to give the gravy a dark luscious look. I like it really dark – brownish hues just won’t do.
You will also need a good measure of high quality Light Soya Sauce – this kinda binds the dark soya sauce and porky flavours really well.
So all you have to do is saute several whole pieces of garlic in some oil, add in the pork, stir well. Add in the soya sauces (both light & dark), enough water to cover the meat and braise in low heat for 20-30 minutes until the pork softens to the right bite. If you want a more sweetish tinge to the gravy, add in some sugar. For a more substantial twist, add in some boiled eggs and serve this with some sambal belacan by the side. I guarantee you will down tons of rice with this :-))
The good thing about this dish is that it keeps really well – in fact, it tastes better after 1-2 days!
So, what’s your comfort food?