Hong Bak is basically quite similar to Tau Eu Bak [Soy Sauce Pork Belly] but there is some variations to ingredients, seasoning and steps. Each one recipe for Hong Bak has its’ own unique taste and flavor. It is just a matter of one’s preference, choice and familiarity of the dish.
Though this recipe is different from my usual family recipe or other chef’s recipes, I like this too. I love trying various Hong Bak or Tau Eu Bak recipes but I will keep those which I really like the tastes. This one is more on the sweet side which my hubby commented and he still prefers the one which tastes savoury. As I said, it is a matter of preference and to me, I like the chewy pork belly pieces which is well braised, the tasty hard-boiled eggs and the thick sauce which is packed with all the flavours of this dish.
The thick sauce was good with plain white rice mixed with sambal belacan and freshly cut cucumber slices. It is just awesome for a simple meal in the comfort of my home.
If my hubby doesn't like, no problem, I get to enjoy a bigger portion, hehehe! Anyway, there isn't much left because half of this portion went to my mother in-law who loves braised pork belly with soy sauce. In fact, it is my hubby who asked that I cooked this for his mum.
600 gm pork belly with skin – cut bite size pieces
10 hard-boiled eggs – shelled [you can add less]
1 piece cinnamon stick
2 star anise
6 cloves garlic – crushed
90 gm palm sugar [gula Melaka]
450 ml water [150 ml x 3]
½ tbsp oil
2 tsp dark soy sauce for colour
2 tbsp light soy sauce
1 tbsp preserved soy bean paste [taucheong]
1 tbsp oyster sauce
1 tsp pepper
¼ tsp salt
- Heat up wok, dry fry cinnamon stick and star anise until aromatic, push aside.
- Add in oil, sauté garlic until aromatic, add in palm sugar. Stir to mix, until sugar dissolves.
- Add in pork belly pieces, stir fry to coat with the caramel and firm up, then add in the seasoning ingredients.
- Continue to fry until meat pieces are fragrant and some oil oozes out from the meat. Add in 150 ml water, bring to boil for 10 minutes.
- Pour in another 150 ml water together with hard boiled eggs. Bring to boil, cover to simmer ingredients for a further 10 minutes.
- Add another 150 ml water, bring to boil again, then braise until meat is tender and sauce is thick.
- Dish up to serve with rice and sambal belacan [Pork dish tastes better after resting. Reheat before serving].