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The Hirshon Malaysian Peranakan Tamarind Pork - Babi Assam

The Hirshon Malaysian Peranakan Tamarind Pork – Babi Assam

  • Total Time: 0 hours


Units Scale
  • 800g (28 ounces) pork belly or shoulder (with skin if you like the gelatinous texture, skin also helps to thicken the sauce), cut into chunks
  • 2 lemongrass, trimmed, left whole and bruised
  • 50g (a bit less than 2 ounces) peeled garlic
  • 2 Tbsp. fermented yellow bean sauce or if unavailable, try 1 1/2 Tbsp. miso
  • 50g (about golf ball size) tamarind paste + 1 cup of boiling water
  • 3 Tbsp. palm sugar or normal sugar (TFD strongly prefer palm sugar)
  • 1 tsp. dark soy sauce
  • 2 tsp. oyster sauce (TFD change, original recipes used dark soy sauce)
  • ***
  • Peranakan spice paste:
  • 3 shallots, peeled
  • 1 chunk peeled galangal (about 25g) (if unavailable, use peeled ginger)
  • 1 chunk peeled ginger (about 25g)
  • 5 macadamia nuts
  • 2 tsp. shrimp paste (belacan) – wrapped in foil, and dry toasted in a very hot pan
  • 1 small red bell pepper, chopped into pieces
  • 1 large jalapeno, chopped into pieces with seeds
  • 1 Tbsp. red pepper flakes
  • 2 Tbsp. water
  • ***
  • 1 Tbsp. Chinese 5-spice powder (optional but recommended)
  • 3 Tbsp. peanut oil
  • Cilantro sprigs for garnish


  1. Cut galangal, ginger and shallot into small pieces. Put all the spice paste ingredients into a blender with water and blend to a smooth paste.
  2. Soak the tamarind with boiling water, let it cool for a bit then squeeze with fingers to release the pulp then strain.
  3. Stir and cook the spice paste with oil for 2 – 3 minutes, then add the yellow beans lightly crushed the beans with the back of the cooking spoon or spatula. Add lemongrass and whole garlic cloves and continue stirring for a little bit longer until fragrant.
  4. Add pork and stir for 3 minutes, then add soy sauce, 5-spice (if using), oyster sauce (if using) and tamarind juice. Let the liquid boil then turn the heat to the lowest possible setting, cover and simmer until the pork is tender, about 1 hour. Add sugar and stir.
  5. If the sauce is too runny: raise the heat, uncover the pot and reduce to the thickness you prefer. Don’t reduce the sauce too thick, since as it cools the sauce will get thicker.
  6. Garnish with cilantro and serve immediately.
  • Prep Time: 0 hours
  • Cook Time: 0 hours
  • Category: Recipes


  • Calories: 1318.39 kcal
  • Sugar: 19.93 g
  • Sodium: 562.4 mg
  • Fat: 119.96 g
  • Saturated Fat: 41.03 g
  • Trans Fat: 0.0 g
  • Carbohydrates: 38.48 g
  • Fiber: 4.05 g
  • Protein: 23.34 g
  • Cholesterol: 147.36 mg