Hakka Steamed Pork Belly with Taro – 客家芋頭扣肉

Originating from Hakka, this traditional Chinese delicacy may seem to take a bit of time to prepare but it’s easier than you think. The simple trick to achieving that gorgeous bubbly crisp layer is to prick lots of holes in the skin without puncturing the meat itself. Slather on dark soy sauce and submerge it in hot oil, watch as the delicate layer of skin slowly puff up into that perfect golden brown coating.

Using taro adds that slight nuttiness while soaking up the sweet flavours of the marinade. Usually known for its striking purple appearance, taro can also come in pink or white. However, note that this harmless looking ingredient can be toxic when eaten raw. But as long as they are cooked thoroughly, you can be rest assured and savour that starchy sweetness with no worries.

Lastly, douse all that dark earthy tasting sauce onto the pork belly meat and taro before steaming. There you have it, your alluring plate of crispy moist pork belly and soft fried taro slices soaked up in rich brown sauce – utterly ravishing.

#themeatmensg #simple #delicious

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  • Servings: 4 - 6

  • Time: 4 hrs

  • Skill: Hard


  1. 900g pork belly with skin

  2. 900g taro

Pork marinade:

  1. 20g red fermented beancurd

  2. 3 tbsp Shaoxing wine

  3. 3 tbsp oyster sauce

  4. ½ tsp five-spice powder

  5. ¼ tsp white pepper

Taro marinade:

  1. 25g fermented red beancurd

  2. ¼ tsp five spice powder

  3. 1 tbsp Shaoxing wine


  1. 20g shallots (minced)

  2. 15g garlic (minced)

  3. 50g fermented red beancurd

  4. 2 tbsp Shao xing wine

  5. 300ml chicken stock

  6. ½ tbsp sugar

  7. 2 tbsp oil

  8. Oil for deep frying


  1. Blanch 900g pork belly in boiling water for 5 minutes to remove odour and impurities.

  2. Using a meat tenderiser, prick the skin. Pat dry the meat and rub ¼ tsp dark soy sauce on the skin. Set aside for 15 minutes to dry.

  3. Heat oil for deep frying

  4. Fry the pork belly till golden brown and the skin puffs up.

  5. Soak in water bath to remove oil and soften the skin.

  6. When it’s cool enough to handle, remove from water bath and pat dry. Slice it 1½ cm thick.

  7. For the pork marinade, mix 20g fermented red beancurd, 3 tbsp Shaoxing wine, 3 tbsp oyster sauce, ½ tsp five-spice powder, and ¼ tsp white pepper.

  8. Marinate the pork slices in the meat marinade for 1 hour.

  9. Slice taro into 1½ cm slices. Season the taro slices with the taro marinade.

  10. Deep fry marinated taro in hot oil for a minute.

  11. Make sure it is fully submerged in oil during the deep frying process. This prevents the taro from disintegrating during the steaming process.

  12. Assemble into a loaf tin or steaming bowl by alternatively sandwiching a slice of pork with a slice of taro. Set aside

  13. Heat up 2 tbsp oil. Stir fry 20g minced shallots and 15g minced garlic until fragrant. Add in 50g fermented red beancurd, 2 tbsp Shao xing wine, 300ml chicken stock, 1 tbsp sugar and the leftover pork marinade.

  14. Pour the sauce until it reaches ¾ of the bowl.

  15. Cover with aluminium foil

  16. Steam on moderate heat for 3 hours or until the meat is melt in your mouth tender.

  17. Unmould onto a plate before serving. Garnish with coriander leaves.

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