Palm Sugar Braised Pork Belly

It’s World Cup time again for the beautiful game, and while my partner has taken off to Russia with some friends for a month, I have to to settle for watching the games on TV.  Needless to say, it’s kept me busy, so for my meals, I’ve been mostly throwing together salads or just keeping the cooking really simple.

Here’s a dish that’s really easy to make and super delicious.  When pork belly is braised, it just melts in your mouth!  The recipe calls for gula melaka, which I buy from Malaysia.  It’s a very dark palm sugar with a rich caramel flavour (you can read more about it here).  Unfortunately, I don’t believe you can get gula melaka outside of Malaysia.  I have seen Thai palm sugar sold in Asian supermarkets here, but I’ve never used it.  It’s a very light golden colour, so I’m not sure that you would get the same deep, smoky taste, although it could surely be used as a substitute.  Here’s a list of some other suggestions.

Eat this with plain rice and some stir-fried veggies, and you’ve got yourself some seriously good comfort food!  And if you like this, you may also want to try Braised Pork Belly with Hoisin Sauce.

Once the seasonings and water are added, let it simmer….


…until the water has reduced to a dark, thick liquid


All done and ready to be cut up!

(Recipe adapted from Yum Yum Magazine)



1 tbsp oil
1 tbsp garlic, roughly chopped
600 grams pork belly, cut into strips 6″ long and 1″ wide
4 tbsp light soy sauce
50 grams gula melaka
500 ml water


1. Heat oil in large pot over medium heat and saute the garlic until fragrant. Add pork belly, stir and cook for a couple of minutes.

2. Add soy sauce, gula melaka and water. Bring to a boil, then simmer on medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until only a thick, syrupy liquid remains. (This should take 35-45 minutes. Sugar burns easily, so keep an eye on it.)

3. Remove from heat and leave to cool. Slice pork belly into pieces of desired size and serve.


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