Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Making Tau Eu Bak with a Slow Cooker

So we had pork belly that MIL bought for us laying in the freezer for some time now until one fine weekend I decided that I'm making Tau Eu Bak (otherwise known as Braised Pork Belly in Dark Soy Sauce), one of my favourite dishes my two Ah Mas used to cook. I especially love my dad's mum's version - Hers was simpler without much herbs but the meat were always so tender that I couldn't help topping up my rice just to go with the dish. She knows that I love it too so she would call me whenever she makes that dish. Too bad she isn't cooking anymore but I'm here to make Ah Mas proud yo!

... Hahahaha... Or so I thought lar!

Being lazy and also so ngam we ran out of gas at home, I made my version of Tau Eu Bak (mostly based on KY's recipe) with a slow cooker.

What You Need: 
Approximately 11/2 strips of pork belly (for 2-3 pax) cut into roughly 1/2 inch big, Fu Chok pre-soaked, hard-boiled eggs, dark soya sauce, light soya sauce, rock sugar (I used brown sugar), about 6 cloves of garlic (leave the skin on), a couple of cinnamon sticks (I conveniently forgot to buy this), 8-10 cloves, 4-5 star anise, 1 teaspoon of 5 spice powder (also forgot to buy this)

*KY's recipe calls for Shiitake Mushrooms but I replace them with Fu Chok cos I love Fu Chok in Tau Eu Bak! He also cooked the pork belly in a strip then cut later when it's cooked but I followed my Ah Ma's style here.

What to do:
1) Dump the pork belly in the slow cooker pot, throw in appropriate amount of dark and light soya sauce, plus about 1 tablespoon of brown sugar. Stir them all up.
2) Now dump in all the herbs and garlic. 
3) Now add in two bowls of water.
4) Turn on the slow cooker and set it to high and let the pork cook for an hour.
5) Turn the fire to low (or medium if yours has that function), add in the Fu Chok. 
6) Let it cook for another two hours, but about 30 minutes before that, add in the hard boiled eggs, taste the gravy and if needed to, add more light soya sauce to taste. 

Now serve the homey bowl of Tau Eu Bak in a bowl, garnish it with spring onion if you want to, perfect to go with steam rice or porridge!
Pretty awesome looking, aye?
I think my version of Tau Eu Bak needs just a little bit more of saltiness, but Deardo was saying it was good as a healthier version. Since I prefer my pork to be tender, mine weren't tender enough so next time I'm either going to leave it longer in the slow cooker or cook it over fire to get that tenderness that I always like. Otherwise, it was about 80% success!
No-gas-dinner: Slow-cooked Tau Eu Bak, Rice cooker-cooked dried scallop porridge and induction cooker-cooked long beans.
Still have some pork belly left in the freezer so should attempt to make a 100% success Tau Eu Bak soon! :)

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