Mui Choy Bak

Mui Choy, which is preserved mustard cabbage, comes in two variants – salty type as well as the sweet type. It is normally sold in sundry shops and wet market grocers (unsealed) or in sealed bags in supermarkets. In Malaysia, it is usually sold in wet market grocers. Whichever type you use, make sure you wash and soak them (especially the salty type).

This dish is great eaten with mantou (a type of bun) or with plain white rice. In fact, it even tastes better overnight as the meat would have soaked all the exquisite sweet-salty taste from the cabbage.

This is my recipe for Mui Choy Bak (Mui Choy with Pork Belly)


  • 1/3 piece salty mui choy (washed thoroughly, soaked for 30 minutes and chop to small pieces)
  • 2/3 pieces sweet mui choy (washed thoroughly, soaked for 15 minutes and chop to small pieces)
  • 500 grammes pork belly without skin (also known as three-layered pork, cut to small cubes)
  • 2 whole garlic (smash it a bit with the side of a cleaver / chopper)
  • 1/2 tablespoon cooking oil (preferably palm oil)
  • Warm water


  • 2 to 3 tablespoons of dark soya sauce (or more if you prefer)
  • Sugar and salt to taste (if necessary)


Heat oil in pot and stir-fry pork belly till beginning to brown. Add mui choy and garlic and continue stir frying for another 1 to 2 minutes. Add water to cover all the ingredients by at least 1 cm and seasoning.

Simmer for at least 1 hour or more till meat is flavourful and slightly soft, checking that the dish does not dry out occasionally. You can also add dried chillis at the stir-frying stage if you want a little spiciness to this dish.

For picture of mui choy and a quite similar method of cooking, click here.

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  1. 1
    February 2nd, 2009 at 3:00 am

    Hi Pablo, will try your recipe for tau yu bak – I’m sure it’s good. If I want to cook this dish in advance, how long can it be kept in the fridge? Hope to receive your reply soon.

  2. 2
    June 19th, 2009 at 5:06 pm

    Mui choy bak is my fav.. esp. for cantonese like me.. hehe.. miss my mama’s cooking šŸ™

  3. 3
    February 15th, 2011 at 9:31 pm

    I read ur recipe of Mui CHoy Pork, have to put some old ginger? When to put the dried chilies?

  4. 4
    February 16th, 2011 at 11:15 am

    Nicole : This is a slightly different recipe but you can also put ginger and dried chillies to spice it up a little. No problem with that.

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