Hong bak is one of the rare dishes that are hard to find outside. It is a traditional Nyonya dish that is mostly found in Nyonya homes. This is a braised pork belly dish with a distinctive flavour due to the use of sand ginger (cekur) in the recipe. It is a dish often reserved for special occasions and celebrations. 

Hong Bak

Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 45 mins
Total Time 1 hr
Course Main Course
Cuisine Chinese, Nyonya
Servings 4 people


Blend into paste

  • 1 inch sand ginger (cekur)
  • 10 shallots
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 tbsp preserved soy bean paste [tau cheong]

The remaining ingredients

  • 3 tbsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp  nutmeg powder
  • 700 g pork belly, cut into 2 inch-thick slices
  • 4 potatoes, cut into wedges
  • 1 tbsp cooking oil
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp dark soy sauce
  • 600-750 ml water


  • Mix the spices (coriander powder, pepper and nutmeg power) into the blended paste.
  • Heat oil in a pan/ work and sauté the mixed spice paste over medium heat until fragrant.
  • Add in the pork slices and stir it into the paste, making sure each slice is coated in the paste and the meat is almost cooked.
  • Pour in water and stir until it is well mixed.
  • Add the potatoes and seasoning and bring to a boil. 
  • Lower the heat, cover the pan/work and let it simmer for about 40 minutes or until pork pieces and potatoes are tender.
  • Check on the ingredients and stir occasionally to ensure it is evenly cooked and prevent the ingredients from being burnt. 
  • Once the ingredients is cooked, remove the lid and turn the heat up. Let it boil while stirring regularly. This is to thicken the gravy. Turn off heat once the gravy reached the desired consistency. 
  • Add in extra seasoning according to taste.
  • Best served hot.
Keyword Hong Bak, Nyonya cuisine, Nyonya dish, nyonya hong bak