Bak Sio

Peranakan Braised Pork with Assam & Gula Melaka

I first tasted this dish at a reunion of school mates. My friend who prepared this dish, said it was a peranakan dish called bak sio. The taste was so unique and memorable. I could taste the assam but what surprised me was the addition of gula Melaka. I was so impressed with the taste of this peranakan dish that I couldn’t wait to try making it myself. So here’s my version of Bak sio which is pork braised in assam and gula Melaka sauce. The pork is tender and flavoursome and the sweet and sour taste is unique. Very very tasty.


500 gm pork belly with skin (cubed)
Marinate pork belly with:
1 tbsp dark soya sauce
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground black pepper

Make a paste with:
1 Tbsp fried onion (pounded)
1 clove garlic (grated)
Thumb size ginger (grated)
1 tsp coriander powder
1 tsp taucheo (fermented soya bean paste (mashed)

1 Tbsp assam (mixed in 1 Tbsp of water)
2 Tbsp gula Melaka syrup
2 fresh chillies
1 Tbsp oil


1. Heat oil and add the paste. Fry till fragrant.

2. Add the marinated pork cubes and fry till the pieces are fully coated with the paste.

3. Add in the assam water,  chillies, gula Melaka and water. Ensure there is sufficient water to just cover the pork. Bring to the boil.

4. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer for about an hour or until the pork is tender.

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