Mum’s vinegar-braised pork belly and eggs

Mum’s vinegar-braised pork belly and eggs

Have You Eaten
Billy Law

What is your favourite dish that your mum cooks for you? My mum's vinegar-braised pork belly with hard boiled eggs is hands down my favourite dish of all time. Every time I go home to visit my family in Malaysia, I specifically put in a request for my mum to cook this for me. The slow-braised pork belly simply melts in the mouth and the star anise gives it a distinctive aromatic aniseed flavour. I like to cook this during the winter and on rainy days; it is so comforting and heals all my homesickness.


Quantity Ingredient
2 litres water
500g pork spare ribs, chopped into 2.5–5 cm pieces, (see note)
500g pork belly, skin off, cut into 3 cm cubes
5 cm piece ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
1 garlic bulb
10 star anise
5 dried chillies, (optional)
3 tablespoons white vinegar
3 tablespoons dark soy caramel
100ml light soy sauce
220g sugar
6 hard-boiled eggs, peeled, (extra for the egg lovers)


  1. Pour the water into a large non-stainless steel pot (such as a large Chinese claypot or enamelled cast-iron casserole dish), and bring to the boil over medium–high heat.
  2. Add the pork ribs and pork belly to the boiling water, then add the ginger slices, the whole garlic bulb, star anise and chillies (if using), and bring back to the boil. Scoop out all the impurities floating on the surface.
  3. Turn the heat down to a simmer, then add the vinegar, dark soy caramel, light soy sauce and sugar. Give it all a stir until the sugar has dissolved, then add the hard-boiled eggs. Braise the pork for at least 2 hours, or until the pork is meltingly tender, stirring occasionally.
  4. When the sauce starts to thicken, have a taste and adjust the seasoning accordingly. If it is too sour or too salty, add a little more sugar. If it is too sweet, add more light soy sauce. Do not add more water unless it dries out too quickly. Serve hot with a bowl of steamed jasmine rice.


  • You can buy pork spare ribs in major supermarkets. If not, ask your butcher to cut up a whole piece of pork belly with bones left in.
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