Recipe : Secret recipe of khau yoke (yam with belly pork)

I have tried making woo-thau khau yoke but failed miserably. After asking around, I got the secret recipe. Hahaha, it is a family secret so I shall just give the basics stuffs because I swear to keep the family secret, secret.

The photo doesn’t look too yummy because the yam was wayyy too floury and sort of melted.

Tips :

  • Avoid the Thailand yam which is fatter and roundish because they are really fluffy and floury and not suitable for steaming with belly pork.
  • Buy a thick slice of belly pork, with width about 2-3 inches wide to make things easier to work with
  • Don’t make the same mistake like I used to do. I used to use a deep plate to place my pork and yam alternately. Use a bowl and place the pork and yam in layers.


  • 1 kilogramme of pork belly with 3 inches width (don’t cut)
  • 1 small yam, skin and cut into huge, thick slices
  • 1 onion, 1 piece ginger and 1 bulb garlic – pound
  • 2 tablespoon taucheo
  • 1 piece namyue (the red coloured preserved beancake)
  • Flavourings like five spice powder, pepper, oyster sauce, fish sauce, dark soya sauce, sesame oil, shao hsing wine in small quantities (don’t use any salt ‘cos the namyue and taucheo are salty enough)


  1. Rub the whole slice of meat with dark soya sauce and pan fry till turn colour – remove from pan
  2. Rub the yam slices with dark soya sauce and pan fry – remove from pan
  3. Heat more oil and stir fry the pounded ingredients and the rest of the flavourings

When the meat is cool, cut into thick slices. Aha, no wonder I can never get nice slices of pork because it is hard to cut a raw meat but easy to slice semi-cooked meat. 🙂 Rub the stir fried ingredients on the yam and pork. Lay them in layers in a deep bowl. Leave to season for a while. Steam over high heat for at least an hour. I used the pressure cooker. The pork was very soft but the yam was over cooked. Maybe local yam will be harder to turn into floury stuffs like that?

The taste of the khau yoke is exactly like those sold in restaurants. The quantity I gave above is very big. So, what I did was to keep half of the seasoned meat and yam in the freezer and will cook them another day. I am making a mental note to add some water into the bowl because there wasn’t enough gravy.

Yummm…the secret ingredient stays with me. Hehehe, sorry folks, I swear to secrecy!

Post Author: lilian

Used to be PenangFaces, now known as Food Haven, for all oink-oink foods

15 thoughts on “Recipe : Secret recipe of khau yoke (yam with belly pork)


    (August 23, 2006 - 2:11 pm)

    I have a recipe using siew yoke instead of fresh pork belly. Maybe you can try that.


    (August 23, 2006 - 8:01 pm)

    thanks for the recipe. been looking for it for a long time. can’t cook this till saturday cos that’s when hubbi return from singapore with my dark soya sauce. yep, can’t find any in Jkt.


    (September 2, 2006 - 9:15 am)

    Hi Lilian,
    Thanks for sharing this recipe. I had tried cooking it and it taste good.. although i had not try this dish b4. 🙂


    (September 2, 2006 - 3:03 pm)

    Hijackquee: According to my mom, those who uses siu yoke are lazy, and using siu yoke in that portion is gonna be more expensive …

    This is the dish my father and the mens in his family are very good at, dunno why only the men knows how to do it … maybe my grandpa only teaches the boys …

    Normally when we have it, its gonna be like 10k at least of pork … and like 5k of yam

    The way you sliced the pork is lame … hahaha – the one my dad does is like at least 3/4 of an inch … so u take one piece its like a piece of steak … hahaha

    Its been a long long time since my father prepared one of this ….


    (September 2, 2006 - 3:07 pm)

    err u left out one step, or wat that also a secret step u not telling people?

    haha, its poking the pork with a sharp toothpick or anything sharp to allow the pork to absorb in the flavour …


    (September 2, 2006 - 3:13 pm)

    earl-ku – LOL, my blogger fren never tell me. Now I know another secret. Wuah…10kilo of pork? But hor, I hate the yam la, it melts before the pork softens.

    Ellena – Tks, it taste good as it is without the one more secret ingredient ah? Hahaha.


    (September 4, 2006 - 3:43 pm)

    Hahaha.. Lilian,
    Although i don’t know what is the last secrete ingredient but i think with it added it sure taste much more better than what we had now… but overall we are glad to have this recipe… 🙂 Thanks

    KY Foong

    (November 17, 2006 - 9:55 am)

    I happen to stumble upon this blog. If I am welcome (I am a man and am a complete stranger to you folks), I can write a bit about this recipe on Khau Yoke. My family is hakka and my uncle was a cook for any village (back in M’sia) for any occasion. We pestered him to give us the recipe. He did before he went to the other world. I am afraid to tell much less I break into other people’s secret. However I am prepared to discuss (so I said about the welcome thing).

    shila kaur bajoy

    (December 18, 2006 - 6:19 pm)

    Shila says:

    Wow I am so greatful to your Khau yoke recipe.Back in time when we were young and stayed with our Ah Mah (granny)this is one fav dish but ever since she’s away we never tasted the dish and I am thankful to you lilian eventhough the secret ingredient is not in.

    […] Khau Yoke […]


    (December 19, 2008 - 11:32 pm)

    I won’t divulge the possible secret ingredient as our has been passed down from my grandmother….
    However I recommend doing this dish over coal fire (I use to get up @ 5 in the mornings to catch the coals on fire – to which we would use one of the old oversize woks with to steam 4 or 5 bowls) for 6 hrs! no less, everything will come out cooked properly and soft – the pressure cooker will make things too runny as per your experience with the yam (which don’t have to be too thick, i.e. about 1/4″ to 1/3″ in thickness is all that is required), trust me – 6hrs is a long time to be over a coal stove but it is more than worth it, as the best restaurants still can’t get it right – time is a major factor for this dish.

    rose imbun

    (April 14, 2009 - 5:29 pm)

    becos the elderly people are selfish and always claim to keep as family recipe…refusing to share with others.. therefore the taste of the new generation’s recipes have changed and there’s no more of the old nice taste day those recipe will just disappears…….


    (September 15, 2009 - 5:21 pm)

    I once had a colleague who also tells me her that her angkoo recipe was passed down by her nenekmoyang. Cannot share!, I could not believe my ears ‘coz i love sharing what i cooked whether good or not. I take pains to explain like a grandma. When I share a recipe with a friend and if she tells me that hers did not turn out good I feel sad and will find out why. Sharing is part of caring too. Edith of precious moments shared a recipe with me. God bless her. Thanks Edith, if you happen to view this blog.


    (January 9, 2010 - 1:13 am)

    Hey i think you forgot to mention the star anisee…or is that the secret ingredient? Cause i have had it on many occasions and the star anisee really gave it a kick


    (January 21, 2010 - 5:11 pm)

    Yes, agree with Roselle and Rose. Sharing is caring. We Human Beings need more sharing and caring than selfish jelousy or secrets in our comminity. A candle will not be extinguised by being lighted by another one.

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