Friday 21 January 2011

Babi Pong Teh - Braised Pork with Salted Bean Paste

Nyonya Cuisine reflects the cultural mix of the community from Malay ingredients such as lemongrass, glangal, and chilies with Chinese pork in basic style of food preparation. In modern society we could easily prepared authentic traditional Nyonya cuisine from those ready packed spices or using a food blender to blend the spices instead of pestle or grinding stone.

To be frank as a Teochew and my Granny being a Nyonya I have never appreciate most of her Nyonya dishes during the days when she was around. And in this case, I don’t really have deep impressions on how she prepares her signature dishes. From my memories, I only remembered her  “Acar”, “Belacan Stuffed Fish”, “Pengat” and this “Babi Pong Teh”.

If you have watched MediaCorp drama "Little Nyonya (小娘惹)" which is very popular in year 2008 till now, you would be familiar with this "Babi Pong Teh" dish which is being prepared by one of the leading actress in the drama. Although the ingredients might various from each recipes but the key ingredients would be more or less the same using Pork Belly and Salted Bean Paste.

These are the basic ingredients for preparing this homecook Nyonya Braised Pork Belly dish.

Ingredients: (Serves 2 - 4)
350g Pork Belly, cut into 3cm pieces
100g Shallots
50g Garlic
30g Salted Bean Paste
1/2 Tablespoon Dark Soy Sauce, for colour
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
300ml Hot Water

20g Sugar
1/2 Teaspoon Chicken Stock Powder
Salt and Pepper To Taste

1. Remove the outer skin of the shallots and garlic then blend them together with salted bean paste till it form a smooth paste.
2. Heat 1 Tablespoon of oil in small saucepan, add blended paste and fry over medium low heat till fragrant and slightly golden brown.
3. Add pork belly and dark soy sauce and continue frying for 1 minute and pork is evenly coated with the bean paste.
4. Add in hot water to cover pork belly, stir in seasoning and simmer over low heat for 1 hour or until pork is tender.
5. Serve hot with steamed rice.

This is a very authentic dish that can be easily found in every Nyonya household or even in the menu of any Nyonya restaurant. The taste of this dish should be slightly sweet with a hint of saltiness from the salted bean paste and it gives out a great aroma braising this dish with these blended ingredients. For a healthier version you could also replace the pork belly with chicken pieces or chicken wings.


  1. this dish looks so mouth-watering, I need a bowl of rice now!

  2. I love the look of this dish, it must be full of flavours!

  3. Thanks Jess :)

    Hi Leemei, thanks for the compliment :)

  4. You can also use Chicken and add potatoes and carrot w/o black sauce, it tastes good as well.


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