I like this dish as it compliments rice very well. The rich stew tastes heavenly when poured over the rice and the meat is usually very tender by the end of cooking time.
Tau Yu Bak can be cooked using either belly pork or even pork ribs. In this picture, pork ribs are used together with tau ki (which is soya sheets).
You can also add hard boiled eggs or even tau pok (fried beancurd) as extra ingredients.
Taste can be a matter of individual preference and also depends on the type of dark soya sauce you use. Dark soya sauce (and even light soya sauce for that matter) differs in taste from one brand to another due to the individual recipe in the fermentation process. Some tastes saltier than others. Some tastes sweeter than others. For us, we usually source our dark soya sauce from our hometown in Pontian Kecil, Johor, Malaysia.
My mum's recipe is as follows:-
- 300 gms of belly pork or pork ribs. (If belly pork is used, cut into 1/2 inch cubes (fat at the top, lean at bottom). If pork ribs are used, choose meaty ones and ask butcher to cut into 2 inch lengths)
- 100 gms of tau ki (also known as foo chok. Ask for stiff type)
- 5 to 8 chinese dried mushrooms (pre-soak till soft)
- 3 whole bulbs of garlic
- 2 bowls of warm water (approximately 500 mls)
- 3 tablespoons dark soya sauce
- 1 1/2 tablespoon sugar
- 2 star anise
- 3 inches ceylon cinnamon (kayu manis)
- salt to taste
- white pepper to taste
Heat pot. Add sugar. Once sugar caramelised, add meat and coat it with caramelised sugar to lock juices in.
Add water, garlic, chinese dried mushrooms and seasoning. (This is also the time to add hard boiled eggs and / or tau pok if you wish to have more ingredients)
Once start to boil, close lid, reduce heat and simmer for 1 hour. Then add tau ki and simmer for a further 30 minutes. Add boiling water is stew becomes too dry.