pork leg hoi sin stew

The one and only time I’ve tasted this Pork Leg Hoi Sin Stew (name given by myself) was during Chinese New Year when my mother-in-law cooked this. I was totally blown away by this dish as it is so delicious that even my 3 year old daughter was asking for seconds and third helpings. So, why is this dish so delicious? I mean, it is only pork leg stew!


Okay…the gravy is an interesting blend of sweet hoi sin sauce with salted plums. Add some dried chillies for spiciness and a touch of chinese cooking wine for the aroma. Stew it for at least an hour and you’ll get absolute melt-in-the-mouth layer of fat, smooth skin as well as soft and tender flavour infused meat. My! What a mouthful! Okay, it might sound that I was exaggerating but you’re missing out something really really tasty if you don’t try out this recipe!


This is my mother-in-law’s recipe for Pork Leg Hoi Sin Stew





  • 1 whole pork leg (preferably hind leg. Ask your butcher to cut into chunky pieces with skin intact)
  • 3 cloves garlic (chopped finely)
  • 5 pieces dried chilli (soaked to soften, say for 2 hours)
  • Large pot of water to boil
  • Warm water
  • 1 tablespoon palm oil


Seasoning (combine into a bowl)


  • 2 tablespoon sweet hoi sin sauce
  • 1 tablespoon oyster sauce
  • 4 pieces salted plum
  • 1 tablespoon dark soya sauce
  • 1 tablespoon chinese cooking wine
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons salt




Bring water in large pot / wok to boil. Add pork leg and allow the pork leg to cook in boiling water for 1 to 2 minutes. Remove pork leg from water and drain.


Heat up oil in wok on medium heat. Saute garlic till aromatic. Before the garlic turns dark brown, add pork leg and dried chilli and turn up heat to high. Add combined seasoning and stir well to coat the pork leg.


Then, either transfer pork leg into a smart cooker / rice cooker or suitable pot, fill up water to just cover the pork leg and allow it to stew on medium low heat for at least 1 hour. If you have charcoal stove, the better. Allow gravy to reduce to your prefered thickness.



technorati tags: pork leg stew recipe chinese food delicious
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  1. 1
    April 20th, 2007 at 2:42 am

    This is better than the tir kar that is used to fry bee hoon with. I hate to handle pig parts (eg belly, leg…) though coz my kitchen is too small to accomodate them :O
    Only can stare at your picture and day-dream from lunch to dinner, man!

  2. 2
    April 20th, 2007 at 4:56 pm

    Hi Pablo,
    Thanks for all the recipes. I’ve tried out some of the recipes and they always turn out great. Here’s an idea what you could do with green beans.
    Cut bacon into small pieces. Cook them on a skillet. Remove excess fat, leaving only a tablespoon full in the skillet. Add chopped onions. And then add the beans. Stir fry for a few minutes. Finally, add the bacon to the mix and give a good dash of soya sauce or salt and pepper.
    Hope you’ll find this useful.

  3. 3
    April 20th, 2007 at 5:08 pm

    tigerfish : This recipe leaves a more riotous sensation in the mouth due to the blend of sweet, sour, salty and spicy taste. Truly a cause for second helpings of rice. But er…are you sure your kitchen can’t even fit one pork leg???

    Frenchie : I am glad to hear that you’ve tried the recipes with success. It gives me great pleasure to know that. By the way, what sort of green beans were you referring to? I know bacon gives great flavour to food πŸ™‚

  4. 4
    April 21st, 2007 at 1:15 am

    I am always a little squirmish with handling pork leg and eating them. it must be their gelatinous layer of fat that can be quite overwhelming. I’m sure it’s good though, cos it looks good in the pic πŸ™‚

  5. 5
    April 21st, 2007 at 2:36 am

    No leh…only can fit my two legs ;p buahahahaha

  6. 6
    Rasa Malaysia
    April 21st, 2007 at 2:23 pm

    Pablo, I know what you like to eat, meat. Hehe. I think maybe I am from Penang, I don’t eat that much meat, more seafood than anything, LOL. It’s strange, my parents and my aunt, the older they get, they eat lesser and lesser meat and now my aunt doesn’t eat pork anymore, but they continue to eat seafood…must be Penang lah. πŸ˜›

  7. 7
    April 25th, 2007 at 5:57 am

    I will join you in the Association For Pork Lovers. I need to drink a cup of Chinese Tea to wash down the oil after eating this! I love the skin… ohhh so sinful!

    [I wonder if there is any blog out there which only has pork recipes…that will be out of this world! – PabloPabla]

  8. 8
    April 27th, 2007 at 11:36 am

    Yo! This will be my daddy’s ultimate comfort food. He is a porcine fanatics, its legs in particular. I have never like the gelatin quality of the leg nor the thick skin. But it sure looks good. I should try the recipe and make it for my daddy. Poor man! He misses his pig-ish Malaysian dish for too long now. Another good recipe from you. Keep up the good work.

  9. 9
    October 20th, 2007 at 1:29 pm

    i got my maid to cook this for dinner last nite and it’s totally scrumptious. my kids loved the melt-in-your-mouth jelly skin. next time i’d add twee bak to the pork leg.

  10. 10
    October 23rd, 2007 at 1:53 pm

    nancy : Thanks for the feedback nancy πŸ˜€ I’m glad it turned out great and that your kids loved the melty bits just like my daughter did.

  11. 11
    October 27th, 2007 at 2:37 am

    Would like to try out this dish but I see that u need salted plum. May i know is this the preserved salted plum that we always eat or they call it as “suan mei” in mandarin? Do u have the picture anyway on your website? Thanks for your help…

  12. 12
    October 30th, 2007 at 12:34 pm

    chocolate.zzz : Yes, it is the preserved salted plum sold in bottles.

  13. 13
    March 25th, 2008 at 5:47 am

    I just cooked this dish last week for lunch. My own recipe is more simple than this but anyway I’ll try it and check the taste. Thanks for the sharing.

  14. 14
    April 4th, 2008 at 10:31 pm

    Hi PabloPabla,
    I love your blog especially being far away from home. Sorry I know you already answered salted plum, is it that kind you eat – which is dry or the wet ones you add to ‘kiam chye’?

    Can you please let me know..

    Thanks alot!


  15. 15
    April 4th, 2008 at 11:33 pm

    sandrine : The salted plum is sold in bottles and soaked in brine. When cooking, only the plum is used and not the brine. It can also be added into kiam chye soup or even steamed fish ala teochew style.

  16. 16
    April 6th, 2008 at 10:26 am

    Thanks alot for the clarification! Tomorrow, I will head to Chicago Chinatown to get the salted plum soaked in brine.

  17. 17
    April 9th, 2008 at 10:19 am

    Sandrine : Have you got your salted plum? It should be available in Chinatown. Afterall, it is made in China πŸ˜€

  18. 18
    April 21st, 2008 at 11:05 pm

    Yes, I got the salted plum the next day after hearing back from you, and managed to make it. My hubby is scared of pork leg, went to the store he convinced me to use pork belly. It turned out GREAT! I love salted plum, I put in 1 piece too much. Should have followed your recipe to the Tee. I even have left over I froze them for 2 dinners. πŸ™‚ My husband loved it too. He is my food critique here in US. Thanks alot PabloPabla!

  19. 19
    April 23rd, 2008 at 3:30 pm

    sandrine : I am really glad it turned out great and your hubby loved it. Convince him to try pork leg the next round. He won’t regret it πŸ˜‰

  20. 21
    ViXiE PiXiE
    October 26th, 2008 at 9:52 pm

    i MaDe tHiS LaST niGhT fOr mY fRiEnDs… aNd fOLLoWeD yOuR rEciPe tO tHe T… aNd tHiS diSh tUrNeD oUt pErFeCtLy!!! ACtUaLLy, iNsTeaD uSiNg pOrK LeG, i uSeD pOrK riBs aNd pOrK fiLLeTs, wHicH i cUt iNtO cuBes… aNd eVeRyOnE oF mY fRiEnDs LoVeD iT aNd kePt hELpiNg tHeMsELvEs tO sEcONd rOuNdS… ThaNks fOr tHe rEciPe, PaBLoPaBLa!!! pLeAse keEp oN iNsPiRiNg uS iN tHe kiTcHeN wiTh yOur mOuTh-wAtErinG rEciPeS!!!

  21. 22
    October 30th, 2008 at 4:03 pm

    Vixie : Wow! I Am gLaD yoU TrIeD iT OuT aNd LovEd iT! πŸ˜€

  22. 23
    November 17th, 2008 at 7:59 pm

    Pablo, this is our favorite recipe so far. My boyfriend and I have cooked it probably 10+ times this year. LOL. It’s so good each time we see pork leg in the supermarket we buy it to cook this at home. πŸ˜€

  23. 24
    March 8th, 2009 at 4:52 pm

    It’s simmering gently in the pot as I write… have had a little taste and omg, I was surprised at how good it tasted considering how little seasoning it had. I’d actually made it before reading the comments so I used sng buay (dried preserved plums, the kind that makes your mouth water at the mention of it) and it was still shiok. Next time I will try the one in brine. Thanks for sharing your recipe with us.

  24. 25
    August 2nd, 2012 at 1:35 pm

    PORK is my favourite meat………….I am surely trying something this weekend.

  25. 26
    March 3rd, 2013 at 10:16 am

    I have made this dish a few times now and always beautiful and loved by all. I have only had access to dried salted plums so have used these. It seems good to me. Thanks for sharing the recipe.

  26. 27
    March 4th, 2013 at 5:06 pm

    Katrina : Glad to know that your family love this πŸ™‚

  27. 28
    October 25th, 2013 at 9:40 am

    Tried this recipe and it was a hit! I put a bit too much water in the crockpot and I substituted salted eating plums instead of cooking plums but the taste is still pretty amazing. Thanks for sharing!

  28. 29
    October 26th, 2013 at 1:48 pm

    Cocolatte : I am glad you liked it.


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