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?
Life for Beginners says
Oh no. It's almost midnight and you've got me craving some Tau Yew Bak right now! Heavens! 😛
(Also been craving your sambal petai all day, but that's a different story, hehe.)
YES! I used to love braised pork with EGGS (lots of them!) made by my grandma.
Another dish was potatoes with pork, and the third one of course… sambal petai!!!
LFB: Go get a piece of pork tomorrow and cook this, hehe! Can't wait to read yr story on the sambal petai!
J2Kfm: Oh yes, eggs and potatoes go so well with braised pork.
Ahh… another sambal petai fan here! We must have a petai party soon eh!
I like mine with some star anise and cinnamon stick together as well. But I agree, it all starts with a good cut of belly meat for a pleasurable taste. Awesome!
Tau Yew Bak! Yums..yes, I do hate those versions with not enough fat since the fatty bits seem to complement the meat so well.
my comfort food is anything with eggs, so this recipe definitely qualifies! your photo of this looks perfect, especially with all the sinfully fatty slices of meat!!! 😀
This is also called Lor Bak in Teo Chiew right?
Sometimes my grandma/mum would add some tau pok. I remember flooding my porridge with the gravy.
My comfort food is Chicken Rice. Hehehe…
Growing up mom used to cook Tau Yew Bak much the same like you do, with healthy cuts of fatty pork! LOL! I remember peeling the shells off hard boiled quails eggs and adding them into the mix as well 😉
My favourite comfort food is my mum's soup (any kind) and a bowl of rice! 🙂 🙂
(But your tau yew bak looks darned good too!)
My comfort food… should be braised minced pork with potatoes and onion. Mom never fails to cook that whenever I go back to Ipoh 🙂
Your TYB look fantastic!
CUMI & CIKI says
so.. when are we going to get to try this?! LOL
yea my late grandma & mum cooks this when they ran out of idea on what to cook too!
according to my mum it is a hokkien dish..hence tau yew bak!
just a suggestion only, sometimes my grandma will add in some whole uncrushed peppers as in like 'lada putih' in the dish to spice things up a bit
LFB: Hehe, lookin at it, i'm craving for some of it too!
QMonkey: Oh yeah, those spices are favoured by some but i prefer it with just garlic which brings out totally the pure porky flavours!
Boo: Hehe, ya, TYB definitely must have some fatty layers!
Sean: Yeah, i gathered you are an Eggy fan 😛 I love eggs too!
Andrew: Ah yes, the Teochew's version is called Lor Bak. And then they have the Lor Ark too – braised duck which goes superbly with porridge!
Unka: Ahh, yes – Chicken Rice also is another Comfort Food – shd do a post on that later, hehe!
Quails eggs – wow, super high cholesterol wor!
J: Soups are good, especially boiled with love by moms!
Jason: I think Potatoes with Pork must be an Ipoh thing! My mom cooked that too & we all loved it so much!
hi, got to know you thru kenny mah's blog, he was writing abt his story on the angkoos. Those are really beautiful. Talking abt tau yew bak, yeah how can we missed the fatty belly layer?ooh, that fatty part is the most delicious part. My comfort food? that would be salted vegetable with fried fish or with roasted pork and any kind of tofu dishes.
Ciki: But this one, u must eat with lotsa rice wor… and you are such a Carb Fan NOT! LOL!
Aaron: Yes, i agree this dish has its Hokkien origins. Yep, peppercorns will give it that extra little spicy kick, eh!
This looks so yummy. I don't mind the pork fat in here. haha. Hey do you have a twitter? Mine is swgraphic.
Yumyum my fave too!
OH yeah, Lor Ark. omg I'm so hungry.
Need to request my grandma to cook some this week lulz
OOOO..braised food is ALWAYS comfort food. Loving a good tau yew bak and truth be told, it has been some time! but this looks sooo good..sparkling good.
Lyrical Lemongrass says
I love tau yu bak. My mum cooks a mean version, but I haven't learnt her recipe yet. Must ask her to cook next time I visit. 🙂