O-bak – Pork Belly stewed in spices

I have been lazy to post. Have collected too many food and cooking photos in my iPhone and have yet to sort them out and put on some new recipes.

During these none posting period, I was back in Malaysia for 5 weeks, eating all I could from Malaysia to Singapore. Pay more attention to my mother’s cooking, helped out in the kitchen asking questions on why and how. I have since made my own chicken in Chinese rice wine (the one that we used back home was “chinese red rice wine”), tried my first briyani mutton and cooking more soups.

I can also proudly announce that I am finally doing something about my “health”. Health here means my belly. For more than two weeks, I been on the cross training machine 5 times a week, 30-50 minutes each session, while watching my new found favourite series – Rome. I am not sure if it means I can eat more but we certainly watching the calories on the food we cook and amount of oil we use in stir frying. So you will probably see more “healthy” recipes than pork belly recipes these days. Having said that, I have also found “Chitosan” which is supposed to be a fat absorber!

With the fat absorber, I hope to be able to continue eating the pork bellies and pork ribs as much as I like!

O-bak in Hokkien means “black meat”. This dish has been stewed in spices and dark soy sauce and the dark soy sauce causes the dish to turn dark in colour therefore O-bak.


Ingredients (for 2):

  • 250gram pork belly
  • 1-2 cinnamon sticks
  • 3 star anises
  • 3 cloves
  • 1 whole garlic
  • 1 dried chili
  • Water
  • 1 table spoon dark soy sauce
  • 1 table spoon light soy sauce
  • 1/2 tablespoon oyster sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 tablespoon cooking oil

Heat the pot with the oil. Stir fry the cinnamon, star anises cloves and garlic until fragrance. Add the whole pork belly, let it lightly fried on each surface (about 20 seconds each). If you managed to get the sliced pork belly, just quickly stir fry in the pot.

Once all sides are lightly fried, add hot water to just covering the pork belly. Choose a suitable pot that fits the pork belly, too large pot will need more water to cover the belly therefore dilute the taste.

Add the dark soy sauce, light soy sauce, oyster sauce, dried chili and sugar, bring the water to boil and then lower the heat to let it simmer for minimum 40 minutes. Bear in mind if you let the pork belly boiled for too long, it will harden and you will not have tender meat.

After the pork belly is in the pot for about 15 minutes, take it out and slice it about 5mm thick. Some people like it thicker, it’s entirely up to your personal preference. Put them back into the pot to continue simmer.

Taste the sauce if it’s salty enough. Otherwise add more light soy if needed.

If you do have the time, turn off the heat after 40 minutes of simmering. Let it cool down a little you will see the oil from the pork belly floating on top of the sauce. Personally i like to scoop them off the surface as much as possible so that i consume less of the unhealthy oil. You can easily do this by using a ladle or a spoon, slowly dip into the surface of the oil and the oil will flow into the ladle. Repeat until you are fed up (!) or you see significantly less oil on the surface.

Turn on the low heat for a little longer, you can simmer this dish up to 3 hours if you like, the meat will get more and more tender. If you have the heat too low, the meat will not be tender in 40-60 minutes, if you have the heat too high (boiling constantly), your meat will be harden. On my induction cooking top, i usually have them on number 3-4 for 45 minutes. If you are using gas fire cooking top, you probably need it to be on the lowest flame possible.





About MyTasteHisTaste

Love eating and wine drinking.
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2 Responses to O-bak – Pork Belly stewed in spices

  1. This looks seriously incredible. This dish is right up my street. Nothing better than meat cooked for a long time.

    • Let me know if you like it! When we have the time, we let it simmer up to 3 hours with some chopped carrots, celery and onions in the base. If you choose to have the lid closed, watch the heat so the meat does not secretly being over boiled in the pot! 🙂

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