5 from 1 vote
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Pork in Tamarind Sauce (Babi Assam)

Course: Dinner, Lunch, Main Course, Main Dish
Cuisine: Asian, Chinese New Year, Straits Chinese
Servings :4
Prep Time: 30 mins
Cook Time: 1 hr
Total Time: 1 hr 30 mins
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  • 4 candlenuts
  • 90 g shallots, peeled
  • 1 tbsp shrimp paste (belacan), toasted


  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 chicken seasoning cube
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp preserved or salted soy bean paste
  • 570 g pork belly, cut into thick strips
  • 30 g tamarind pulp, squeezed in 285 ml water, strained
  • 8 green chillies, slit halfway lengthwise, seeds removed
  • 6 red chillies, slit halfway lengthwise, seeds removed
  • 4 tbsp oil


  • Using a mortar and pestle or blender, pound or blend (A) till fine. Add a little oil to grease the blades if necessary.
  • Heat up oil in a wok over medium heat.  When hot, add (A) and fry till fragrant and light brown. Add preserved or salted soy bean paste, ingredients (B), and stir over low heat for a short while.
  • Put in pork slices with 1/3 of tamarind juice.  When pork begins to change colour, add in the green and red chillies and the remaining tamarind juice. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer till pork is tender, about 45 minutes to an hour. While cooking, add a little water if gravy gets too thick or reduces too quickly before pork gets tender. Serve hot.
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