Friday, May 13, 2005

Hong Bak

Hong Bak is in hokkien and the nyonya will call it Babi Hong. It used to be the family favorite when my mother in law was alive. It is delicious served with plain rice or crusty bread like the french baguette.

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  • 1 kg shoulder pork with skin
  • 6 tbsp cooking oil
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • salt to taste
  • 225 ml water
  • 5 hard boiled eggs(optional)

Spice paste
  • 285 g shallots
  • 60 g garlic
  • 3 tbsp roasted coriander seeds or 2 tbsp coriander powder
  • 2.5 cm cukor(kencur) or 1 tsp kencur powder(more info refer
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 2 tbsp tau cheo(brown soya bean paste)


  1. For convenience, prepare spice paste first. Grind or poujnd all ingredients for spice paste. If powdered substitutes are used, blend into paste.
  2. Cut pork into 5 cm cubes.
  3. Heat oil, lower fire and fry spice paste until fragrant and soft.
  4. Add pork and stir fry. Add sugar and salt to taste.
  5. Add water and allow to simmer, stirring at regular intervals. Dish is ready when pork is soft and gravy is thick. Add the hard boiled eggs.
  6. There should be a separation of oil and gravy.



Anonymous said...

What is Kencur/cukor? BTW the pic looks mouth watering!

lilyng said...


if you know cantonese it is called 'sar keong'. It is a ginger and the leaves look like the hosta plant. It is available in the chinese medicinal shops in malaysia. it can be omitted.

Yeni said...

Hi Lily,
Your recipes all look scrumptious & I can't wait to try many of them. Being a new mother, I like to learn to make new dishes. But so many ingredients are overwhelming sometimes... for example the pork meat. I don't know which part is good for what dish. Like this recipe, I only have pork butt without skin, do you think it will work too?
Thanks alot,

Anonymous said...

Hi Lily,
Thank you for your recipes! Now some help on the kencur:

lesser galangal = lesser galangale = kencur root = kentjur root = zedoary Notes: This Indonesian rhizome looks a bit like ginger, only it's smaller and darker. It's hard to find in the U.S., but your best bet is to look in Asian markets. It's sold fresh, frozen, pickled, dried, or powdered. Used the dried or powdered versions only in a pinch. One teaspoon powdered = two teaspoons fresh minced. Substitutes: fingerroot OR galangal (sharper flavor) OR ginger

lilyng said...


thanks for the info

lilyng said...


i am so sorry i did not reply to your question until now as i just manage to locate it.

you can use any pork meat and if it is very lean, cook it until very soft - you would have to add more liquid.

n. said...

This looks SO GOOD! Especially for wintertime!

J.C. said...

In Malaysia, we called kencur as 'cekur'.

It can either be found in Chinese medicine shop as dried form or in powder. The dried pieces of cekur can be grinded with a blender to powder form. The fresh cekur can be purchased from any stall in the wet market that sells herbs or ulam.

I love the smell of cekur and use it in cooking chicken dishes. Learnt how to use it when I was living in Guangzhou, China. It's used a lot there.

pingmouse said...

hi lily, i tried making this today using thin pork chop slices. I love the taste but how come mine doesnt turn out like your. Yours looks so red and dark. Mine is brownish in color, I had to add a bit of dark soy sos to darken it. Did you add any chilli? Also when you said pepper, does that mean black peppercorns or just white pepper powder?

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