Recipes: Tau Yu Bak

Hercules is a real Hokkien boy because he really loves to eat a lot of the traditional Hokkien dishes. One of those dishes is Tau Yu Bak. I found this recipe on Noobcook which I thought was pretty authentic but I’ve modified it slightly to suit our palates and my style of cooking. Since Hercules is my only boy who’s nuts about this one, I like to use it for his bento lunch box (Daddy and Aristotle will eat it but they aren’t true aficionados of this dish).

Tau Yu Bak

Tau Yu Bak


  • 2 eggs
  • 1-2 tbsp oil
  • 500g pork belly
  • 3 tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 500ml water
  • 1 piece of rock sugar
  • 1 cinamon stick
  • 1 star anise
  • 4 cloves
  • 1/2 tsp 5 spice powder
  • 1 1/2 bulbs of garlic (no need to peel, just separate the cloves)
  • dash of white pepper
  • spring onion for garnishing


  • Put eggs in a pot of water and bring to the boil. Turn off the heat and leave until the water cools. Remove shell and keep aside.
  • Cut up the meat and place it into a pot.
  • Add all remaining ingredients to the pot (except spring onion).
  • Bring to the boil, stirring occasionally, then reduce heat. Simmer for 1 hour.
  • Add the eggs. Simmer for another 10 minutes.
  • Remove from heat and add spring onion.


  • This is an easy one to do in the crock pot but you need to use less water because you don’t get as much reduction of the liquid in a crock pot and you will end up with a sauce that is too diluted. Put it on in the morning on high and turn it down to low or auto before you leave the house.
  • You can add more eggs. The reason I use two is because hubby and I are the only two who will eat them. Aristotle and Hercules don’t like eggs. Go figure…

About the author

Dr Shen-Li Lee Dr Shen-Li Lee is a freelance writer and mum to two boys who have been the inspiration for her ongoing study in child development and education. She searches for the balance in child development methods and educational philosophies that will encourage the nurture of happy, confident and successful children. She shares her views and findings at Figur8.