Braised Pork Belly with Eggs (Thịt Kho)

This dish has comfort foods written all over it!

 If you ever grew up in an Asian household, you probably would have your own twist of this. Regardless of what you called it; we all pretty much followed the same baseline ingredients. I’m sure we all had our versions of this because it was so cheap to make! I often make a good amount of this and put it in my fridge to eat it for the rest of the week. It is slowly cooked and braised in a sweet caramelized coconut sauce. The pork belly with fat is what gives it such a rich broth like sauce. We often use pork belly in this dish, but if you can’t find that anywhere you can substitute it with pork butt or pork riblets. 

For those who don’t know me, I am actually Vietnamese and Chinese born American but was raised in a Chinese household. 

We did not eat this dish, but we ate something very similar called Mei Cai Kou Rou (steamed Pork Belly with Preserved Mustard Greens). The first time I had this dish was when I visited my mom (she’s Vietnamese.) She would always have this as leftovers in her refrigerator. When my sister and I visited her, she always made us more hard labor dishes. Though I would enjoy it, I found myself preferring the simpler traditional food. My mom showed me a few times how to make it, but I never was hands on. When I would go back home to my dad’s, I often thought about this dish. One day I had enough of daydreaming about this dish and decided to call my mom to teach me once again how to make it. I was 13 when I first learned how to make “Thit Kho.” You don’t know how many times I burned the sugar or over and under cooked my meat. I would say it took me maybe 3 years to finally get it to the right consistency of flavor. Don’t worry this will not take you 3 years to master I’m sure it had something to do with me being a teenager. I make so many different versions of this meal. This meal can be tweaked in many ways to adjust to your likings. What I’m going to show you is just one of the many versions out there. 

Get this pot here

Ingredients for the meat:

  • 2 lbs. pork belly cut in ¾ inch thick (or your desired size)
  • 1 lb. pork stew meat
  • 3 tbsps fish sauce
  • 2 tbsps light soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp dark soy sauce (What is this?)
  • 1 tbsp sweet soy sauce (What is this?)
  • 2 tbsps oyster sauce (What is this?)
  • 2 tbsps brown sugar 
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tbsp chicken bullion (What is this?)
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • 2 cloves of chopped garlic
  • 2 large shallots 

Caramelized Browning:

  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil

Liquids:

  • 12 FL Coconut Soda or Coconut Juice (What is this?)
  • 2 cups of water 

Additional Toppings: 

  • 8 hard-boiled eggs 
  • Sliced spring onions
  • Thai Chili Peppers
Serves approximately 3-4 servings

Directions:

1. Combine all the ingredients for the pork and let it marinate in the fridge for at least 1-3 hours. 
2. To make the caramelization turn to a medium – high heat and add oil and sugar. Stir it constantly till it turns golden brown. DO NOT WALK AWAY FROM THIS! The process is going to go by quick, and it will burn if you don’t keep an eye on it. As soon as it gets to a golden-brown color, immediately add pork and cook till it runs clearly from being pink. 
3. Pour in coconut soda and water. Let it reach to a boil and turn to a medium – low heat. Let it simmer for about 2-3 hours or until fork tender. Toss in boiled eggs (optional) The pork belly should still keep its shape but soft enough for you to break the meat. Occasionally skim off the scum that will rise at the top. This will help to keep your broth clear. Taste broth and add additional ingredients to adjust to your likings.
4. Top with sliced spring onions and Thai chili peppers. 
5. Serve with Jasmine Rice or Vermicelli noodles with fresh vegetables. 

Notes: 
I like to serve this dish with sour mustard greens vegetables, cucumber, or a nice salad. The freshness of the vegetable’s pairs well with the richness of the dish. I also provided a link to certain items that might be hard to find. 🙂 Happy eating food family!

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