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Mom’s Tamarind Sweet Pork

by Kelly
Moms tamarind sweet pork, a one-of-a-kind unique recipe from my mom

Growing up in Malaysia, my mom always cooked this Tamarind Sweet Pork dish for the family, but I didn’t really appreciate it until adulthood when I realized that it’s not sold in restaurants anywhere! After asking my mom, I realized that she created this one-of-a-kind recipe on her own by experimenting countless times to get the taste just right, and it’s been something I’ve unknowingly had the pleasure of enjoying all through my childhood. And now I’m sharing this one-of-a-kind recipe with you guys 😁!

Soft bone pork, prized for its tender meat, forms the foundation of this dish. You can also use spare ribs if you prefer that. The sweet and savory dance of minced shallots, garlic, and ginger in the pan sets the stage for an aromatic experience.

After sautéing the shallots, garlic, and ginger, we incorporate a hint of fermentation through the addition of bean paste (taucu/豆醬) and chilli bean curd (furu/腐乳) to elevate the dish, infusing it with layers of complex umami flavors. These fermented elements not only enhance the overall taste but also introduce a unique depth of flavor that is hard to replicate.

Central to the dish’s character is tamarind, a tropical fruit renowned for its tangy profile. The tamarind juice acts as the bridge that brings together all the flavors, imparting a delightful tartness that balances the sweetness of brown sugar, and a dash of pepper is added too.

The pork mixture is brought to a boil and allowed to simmer before letting the sauce thicken. This slow-cooking technique allows the flavors to meld and envelops the pork in a luscious coating that’s both savory, sweet and tangy, while your kitchen is filled with the delicious aroma as it simmers to perfection. So let’s get to it!

Watch How To Make It

Mom’s Tamarind Sweet Pork

Sweet, savoury and tangy, my mom created this one-of-a-kind recipe that can't be found anywhere else, and now I'm sharing the secret with you 😁!
Course: Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine: Asian, Chinese
Keyword: dinner, easy recipe, lunch
Servings: 2


  • 500 g soft bone pork
  • 8 shallots minced
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 inch ginger minced
  • 1 piece chilli beancurd (furu/腐乳)
  • 1/2 tsp bean paste (taucu/豆醬)
  • 3 tbsp brown sugar
  • some pepper
  • 1/2 cup tamarind juice
  • chilli for garnish
  • spring onion for garnish


  • Stir fry minced shallots, garlic and ginger over medium heat until fragrant.
  • Add bean paste, chilli bean curd and brown sugar. Mix them together.
  • Increase the heat and add in pork. Coat the pork well and let them cook for 1-2 minutes.
  • Add in tamarind juice and a dash of pepper. Mix well and let it cook until it boils.
  • When it boils, cover the lid, reduce the heat and let it simmer for 25 minutes.
  • After 25 minutes, open the lid and crank up the heat to thicken the sauce over 5-8 minutes.
  • Garnish with chilli and spring onions, then serve!

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Mariza Reinoso 23 August 2023 - 10:21 am

What is furu?

Kelly 23 August 2023 - 4:57 pm

Furu is fermented beancurd, and this recipe calls for the chilli version of fermented beancurd, which should be available in Chinese or Asian grocery stores


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