Babi kecap is a familiar dish in many Chinese families living in Indonesia. Cure your homesickness by learning how to prepare this classic Chinese dish in your home.
Every Chinese Indonesian is familiar with Babi Kecap, or pork in soy sauce. My family version has fried tofu and hard-boiled eggs, and my brothers and I all grow up eating plenty of this dish. Please share with me if your family has a different version.
I believe this dish is known as Tau Yew Bak in Malaysia and Singapore, but we have always just called this dish Babi Kecap in Indonesia. We use three kinds of soy sauce (light soy sauce, dark soy sauce, and sweet soy sauce), a bulb of garlic, and a tablespoon of white peppercorns. Again, if you have a different version, I would love to learn and give your version a try.😊
Ingredients for babi dan tahu kecap
The main ingredients for this dish are pork, fried tofu cubes, and hard-boiled eggs.
You can omit the eggs if you wish, but I highly suggest either use double the amount of pork, double the amount of tofu, or increase both the pork and fried tofu cubes by 50%.
Pork belly is the most common cut for this dish, but you can also use pork shoulder or pork loin portion that is closest to the shoulder.
For the sauce, we will need garlic, white peppercorns, light soy sauce, dark soy sauce, sweet soy sauce (Indonesian: kecap manis), and sugar.
Prepping the main ingredients
If you start with a block of firm/extra-firm tofu, drain the tofu and cut it into 8 pieces. Heat a little oil in a non-stick frying pan, or a well-seasoned cast-iron pan, fry the tofu until golden brown and set aside.
If you start with a packet of fried tofu cubes, heat a pot of water and blanch them to remove excess oil. This extra step ensures our final dish will not be oily.
Place eggs and cold water in a pot. Turn on the heat and bring the pot to a rapid boil. Turn off the heat, cover the pot, and wait for 12 minutes. Drain the eggs and place them in a pot of cold water. Peel the eggs once they are cool enough to handle.
Cut the pork into bite-size pieces. Boil a pot of water and blanch the pork for 3 minutes, drain and set aside. This step reduces the strong porky aroma, and our dish will have a clear broth.
Cooking the dish
Once we finish with the prep works, we are finally ready to cook the dish.
Start with boiling water, pork, garlic, and white peppercorns. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes.
Add tofu, light/regular soy sauce, sweet soy sauce, dark soy sauce, and sugar. Cover the pot, reduce the heat, and simmer for 30 minutes or until the pork is tender.
Add hard-boiled eggs and simmer for another 15 minutes. Adjust the seasoning (salt and sugar) as needed.
Turn off heat, served immediately with steamed white rice.
Babi dan Tahu Kecap - Pork and Tofu in Soy Sauce
- 500 gram pork (use pork belly, pork shoulder, or pork loin closest to the shoulder), cut into bite-size pieces
- 1 block (450 gram/1 lb) firm/extra-firm tofu, cut into 8 pieces and pan-fried
- 8 hard-boiled eggs, peeled
- 1 head garlic, peeled and lightly bruised
- 1 tablespoon white peppercorns, cracked
- 4 tablespoon light/regular soy sauce
- 3 tablespoon Indonesian sweet soy sauce (Indonesian: kecap manis)
- 1 tablespoon dark soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- Blanch pork (optional): Boil a pot of water and blanch pork to remove scum. Drain and set aside.
- Blanch fried tofu (optional): Blanch tofu in another pot of boiling water to remove oil. Drain and set aside.
- Cook pork: Boil water, pork, garlic, and white peppercorns. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes.
- Cook tofu: Add tofu, light/regular soy sauce, sweet soy sauce, dark soy sauce, and sugar. Cover the pot, reduce the heat, and simmer for 30 minutes or until the pork is tender.
- Add egg: Add hard-boiled eggs and simmer for another 15 minutes. Adjust the seasoning (salt and sugar) as needed.
- Serve: Turn off heat, served immediately with steamed white rice.