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Palm sugar braised pork belly

More often than not, palm sugar is normally used to make sweet desserts and seldom is it used in a dish.  Always willing to experiment and try out new recipes, I used palm sugar in this braised pork dish and it wasn't a disappointment.

This sweet and slighty tangy pork dish partners very well with piping hot white rice.

Recipe for Palm sugar  braised pork belly


  • 450 gm pork belly cut into bite size
  • 2 shallots, sliced
  • 2 chilli padi/bird eye chillies, cut
  • 1.1/2 tsp preserved bean paste (tau cheong)
  • 25 gm gula melaka/palm sugar
  • 1 tsp light soya sauce
  • 1/2  tsp dark soya sauce
  • 3 pieces tamarind skin
  • 1 cup water
  1. Marinate the pork belly with some seasalt for about an hour or so, set aside.
  2. Saute the bean paste with the sliced shallots and bird eye chillies with some oil, till fragrant.
  3. Add in the pork belly and stir-fry for a while. 
  4. Add in the water, palm sugar, sauces and tamarind skin,  bring to the boil, cover, simmer on low heat till meat is tender and cooked through.
  5. Fine tune to desired taste.
  6. Dish out and serve immediately with hot white rice.

I'm linking this post to  'Red Meat Feast' hosted by  MySpicyKitchen.


  1. I too hardly use any palm sugar for savory dish except when I cook rendang as I like darker color for the rendang. I like the idea of adding it to braised pork.

    1. Maybe you should try and see whether you like it.

  2. That dish of yours looks delicious, using palm sugar is a good idea, can substitute for the sugar and dark soya that I usually use to get the dark shade.

  3. said the magic word, pork belly! I am sure it tastes as good as it looks :)

    1. You'll like this dish if you like pork belly!

  4. My goodness, just look at those fat! My girlfriend would love it. haha....

    1. I won't take the fat, will discard it but if the meat is too lean, it'll be tough.

  5. Cheah, I would love to try this dish after trying your Tangy Pork Belly and BBQ Spare ribs which are really good. Again I must say I also like the ways you cook meat [I don't like to deep fry meat then adding the sauce].

    1. Thank you for trying out my recipes, Kimmy. So glad to hear that you like them. I never like to deep-fry food, too much oil and need to clean up the greasy kitchen. I go for fuss-free cooking, slow braising or steaming, that's
      my style.

  6. I can imagine how tasty this is with a bowl of rice! I think I will try this with chicken as my family prefers chicken more.

    1. This will work well with chicken too, Mich!

  7. Looks so delicious! Pork Belly is one of my guilty pleasures! Oh the calories, but double 'oh' for the deliciousness! I could eat two bowls of rice with just this one dish, very dangerous-loh!

    1. My family loves pork belly but will always discard the fat. Two bowls of rice, huh....mmmm

  8. Hi Cheah, your braised pork look delicious and so appetizing can I have extra rice? LOL

    Have a nice day, regards.

  9. This is so delicious! I need to get some more palm sugar.

    1. I was delighted with the result, rarely use palm sugar in dishes.

  10. i only tried making char siew with gula melaka but not this kind with tamarind and tou cheong, i want to try!

  11. This sound very similar like Nyonya dish Babi pongteh, yummy!

    1. I haven't tried the authentic pongteh dish, must try it in Malacca!

  12. Looks delicious.. I never cooked pork belly at home. Thanks for sharing the recipe and linking it to Red Meats event.

  13. Hi Cheah, finally I cooked this dish. Taste wise and method of cooking are what I like. I braised for 45 minutes and the meat is tender yet chewy. Very nice.

    1. Hi Kimmy.... thanks for trying out this recipe. Glad you like it!


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