Chinese babi pangang, crispy pieces of meat with a delicious glossy sweet sauce, like you can get at a take-out at the Dutch Chinese. Who needs to order take-out when you've got this delicious recipe? Fast food, homemade and delicious.
Chinese Babi Pangang
A copycat Chinese take-out Babi Pangang recipe is always a good thing in my world. Like the Egg Foo Young (Chinese Omelette), crispy spring rolls, or the sweet Chinese tomato soup I make pretty often. But this recipe was quite a hard one which I had to try quite often to get the best result. First, get those crispy pieces of meat; then, prepare a delicious glossy sweet and sour red sauce.
Chinese Babi Pangang with a sweet tomato sauce is easy to prepare. Who needs to order take-out when you've got this delicious recipe?
Just as Quick as Take-out
A kind of take-out recipe. But is this recipe categorized as fast food if you make it yourself? In terms of preparation, it certainly is, because you don't have that much work to do.
To get that crispy meat, you should grill it for half an hour. But then you have a slimmer version (yet still very crunchy) than at the Chinese restaurant, where they deep fry the Babi Pangang. And drive up and down to the dinner, that takes half an hour too, right?
What is Babi Pangang?
This dish is an Indonesian recipe, which means grilled pork. That's how it's often prepared in Indonesia. But in the Netherlands, we can get it at our local Chinese, so the Chinese in the title.
Traditionally, the pork is hung over a wood fire and grilled until done. But that's not the usual way in our country. Here most often, pork belly and sometimes gammon ham steaks are used in the preparation of the Babi Pangang. These are first baked and then deep-fried. And afterward, the meat is topped with a sweet and sour sauce.
What do you need for Babi Panggang with Sweet and Sour Red Sauce?
To prepare this Indonesian Babi Pangang, you need the following ingredients. You can find the correct amounts in the recipe card at the bottom of the blog:
- Onion and Garlic - Add flavor to the meat.
- Pork - The best pork to use is Gammon Ham Steak or Pork Belly. I prefer the first because I find the Pork Belly too fatty.
- Sugar - Brown sugar is great because it's got a deep flavor. But you could also use white or light brown sugar.
- Kecap Manis - A sweet Indonesian soy sauce that is syrupy. It adds some sweetness and soy flavor. You can find it in (Asian) supermarkets or buy kecap manis online. But you can also make it yourself. Use ¼ cup soy sauce and ¼ cup brown sugar in a saucepan. Heat, while stirring, on medium until the sugar is dissolved. Let it simmer for a few minutes until the sauce becomes thicker (like honey). Then turn off the heat and let it cool to room temperature. It will thicken when it cools down.
- Sambal Oelek - A hot and spicy sauce for some extra heat. Sambal Oelek is available online. Or you can substitute it with sriracha or any other Asian Chili paste. Add more sambal to the sauce if you like spicy food. You also could spice it up with chili pepper flakes.
- Sherry - Fortified wine made from white grapes from Spain. If you can't get it, you could use sake, dry white wine, unflavored brandy, or a tablespoon of vinegar. Because of the small amount, you won't taste the difference.
- Ginger syrup - Sweet sugar syrup with a ginger flavor. You can find a delicious recipe here if you can't buy it.
- Curry sauce - Here, curry table sauce is used. It gives a tangy-sweet flavor to the sweet tomato sauce. It's also called curry ketchup or currygewürzketchup.
How to prepare this Indonesian Grilled Pork Dish with Sauce?
You can find a printable recipe with a step-by-step description at the bottom of this blog.
Step 1 - Prepare the marinade
- Add the finely sliced garlic and half the onion and ginger syrup to the bowl.
- Then add the Sambal Oelek and two tablespoons of Kecap Manis.
- Stir everything well.
- Slice the steaks into small strips (1 inch / 2 cm thick) and put them with the marinate. Mix everything, so the meat is coated. Let it stand for 15 minutes.
Step 2 - Fry the meat
- Heat the oil in a skillet until it's hot. Add the onion and bake until translucent (about 3 minutes on medium heat). Then add the meat, and include the marinate for even more flavor.
- Fry the meat until it's brown on all sites in about five minutes. Since you're going to bake it in the oven, it doesn't have to be done yet.
Step 3 - Grill until crispy
- Add the meat to a ceramic oven dish and put it in the preheated oven at 350 °F (180 °C). Bake for 20 minutes.
- Turn on the grill and grill for another 15 minutes until the meat is crispy and dark brown. Check every 3 minutes; if the meat gets too brown, take it out of the oven.
Step 4 - Prepare the sweet tomato sauce
- Pour oil into a saucepan. Add the remaining onion and tomato paste and bake for 3 minutes. The tomato paste won't taste sour anymore and becomes slightly sweet.
- Add the sherry, the remaining kecap manis, brown sugar, and vinegar.
- Pour the curry sauce and water into the pan and mix well. Bring to the boil on high heat while stirring. Then turn the heat to low.
- Mix the cornstarch with the leftover water until it's dissolved. Add to the sauce and mix well. Let the sauce simmer for a few minutes until it becomes thicker and glazy. Turn off the heat. When the meat comes out of the oven, pour the sauce on top of the flesh.
Deep-Fried - If you want a more crispy variety, just like Dutch Chinese Babi Pangang, which is deep-fried, you can achieve it as follows. Use for this method as meat pork belly, bacon, or pork neck:
- Cut the meat into thick slices.
- Marinate the meat for at least 2 hours (in the marinade, you can find in the recipe). After that, you cook the meat for 40 minutes in vegetable stock, adding the marinade.
- Heat the deep fryer to 350 °F (180 °C) and fry the beef for 2 to 3 minutes until crispy.
- Drain on kitchen paper and serve topped with the sauce.
The meat is Babi which means pork meat. It can be made of gammon ham steak, pork belly or Pork neck. The meat is cooked and deep-fried or, as in this recipe, baked and grilled to get a crispy meat. They're served in a glaze sweet and sour ginger tomato sauce.
Yes, it is. It was made in the early 1900s in Indonesia. They brought the recipe to The Netherlands where it became a take-out favorite.
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Chinese babi pangang recipe
- oven dish
Grilled babi pangang meat
Sweet babi pangang sauce
- 1 tablespoon oil vegetable or canola
- 1 onion finely chopped
- 2 ounces tomato paste
- ¼ cup kecap manis sweet soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon dark brown sugar white or light brown sugar is also ok
- 2 tablespoons sherry dry white wine, sake or dry Bourbon will do
- 1 tablespoon white vinegar white vinegar or Chinese vinegar
- 4 tablespoons curry sauce curry table sauce
- ¾ cup water
- ¼ cup water
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
Ingredients you need per step are listed below the step in Italic
Preparation and marinade pork
- Make a marinade with onion, garlic, ginger syrup, sambal oelek, and kecap manis.1 onion, 1 clove garlic, 3 tablespoons ginger syrup, ½ teaspoon sambal oelek, 2 tablespoons kecap manis
- Rub the meat with the marinade. Let it marinate for 2 hours.1 pound gammon steaks
- Preheat the oven to 350 °F (180 °C), half an hour before start roasting.
- Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a pan and fry the meat until brown. It doesn't have to be done yet.2 tablespoons oil
- Put the meat in a baking dish and place it in the oven. Let it bake for 20 minutes.
- Then turn on the grill to medium and grill the meat for 15 minutes. If you don't have a medium grill option, turn it on high and put the casserole dish at the bottom.
Sweet and sour ginger tomato sauce
- Meanwhile heat the oil in a pan and fry the onion and tomato paste. Stir for two minutes until it begins to smell sweet.1 tablespoon oil, 1 onion, 2 ounces tomato paste
- Add sherry, soy sauce, brown sugar, vinegar, curry and water and mix well.¼ cup kecap manis, 1 tablespoon dark brown sugar, 2 tablespoons sherry, 1 tablespoon white vinegar, 4 tablespoons curry sauce, ¾ cup water
- Bring to the boil.
- Whisk the cornstarch with the water to a paste and mix that into the sauce.¼ cup water, 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- Let the sauce simmer for a few minutes. It will thicken slightly.
- Remove the meat from the oven and pour the sauce over the meat.
- Serve with fried rice, bami, or noodles.
- Add ¼ cup soy sauce and ¼ cup brown sugar to a saucepan.
- Heat, while stirring, on medium until the sugar is dissolved. Let it simmer for a few minutes until the sauce becomes slightly thicker (like honey).
- Then turn off the heat and let it cool to room temperature. It will thicken when it cools down.
- Cut the meat into thick slices.
- First, marinate the meat for at least 2 hours (in the marinate that you can find in the recipe).
- Then you cook the meat for 40 minutes in vegetable stock, adding the marinade.
- Next, heat the deep fryer to 350 °F (180 °C) and fry the beef for 2 to 3 minutes until crispy.
- Drain on kitchen paper and serve topped with the sauce.
- Marinating - Make the marinade and marinate the meat in it. This can be done up to 1 day in advance.
- Refrigerator - Store the meat and sauce separately. You can keep the babi pangang covered in the fridge for up to 2 days. You can make the sauce up to 3 days in advance. Keep it covered in the refrigerator.
- Frozen - Store the meat and sauce separately. Freeze the meat in a freezer box or bag for up to 2 months. If you have leftover sauce (without meat), you can freeze it for up to 2 months in an airtight container in the freezer. Let thaw in the refrigerator.
- Reheat - Warm the meat in the oven at 390 °F (200 °C) for 20 minutes. Heat the sauce over medium heat, stirring occasionally.