There’s only one thing better than caramelized pork belly. Juicy tender caramelized pork that’s been braised in a savory, garlicky, umami-filled sauce. Has this Vietnamese braised pork got you drooling yet?
What is Thit Kho?
Thit Kho is a traditional Vietnamese dish. Sweet caramel coats the pork, then a rich savory sauce braises the tender meat and eggs.
The sauce is addictively good and made of just a few ingredients - coconut water, soy sauce, fish sauce, and star anise.
Making the Most Irresistible Vietnamese Braised Pork
The first step to prepping your pork belly is to cut the meat into even pieces. This will ensure equal cook time and texture.
Next, blanch the pork to remove the impurities. Don’t worry, you aren’t losing any flavor in the water!
Pork belly typically gets SUPER tender from cooking for a long period of time. OR, if you have the magic of Instant Pot, a mere 30 minutes. You won’t believe how juicy they are too, they just melt in your mouth!
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Vietnamese Braised Pork | Thit Kho Recipe
- 1 pound pork belly cut into 2-inch pieces
- 2 shallots minced
- 7 garlic cloves minced
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon water
- ¼ cup fish sauce
- ¼ cup low-sodium soy sauce
- ¼ cup coconut water
- 2 star anise
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 4 eggs*
- 1 tablespoon white vinegar
- 3 green onions thinly sliced
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil on high heat. There should be enough water to cover the pork belly. Add in pork belly and boil for about 3 minutes to release the meat’s impurities. Drain and run meat under cold water. Set aside.
- Pre-heat Instant Pot on Saute mode. Once it’s hot, add about a tablespoon of oil. Add in shallots and cook for about 2 minutes, or until lightly golden. Toss in the garlic and cook for a few more seconds.
- Add in the brown sugar and mix until it begins to melt, then add in 1 tablespoon of water. Combine until caramel sauce starts to form, then quickly add in pork belly and toss in the sauce until well coated.
- Add in fish sauce, soy sauce, coconut water, star anise, and ground black pepper. Mix together then switch Instant Pot to Manual mode and cook for 30 minutes on high pressure with the vent sealed.
- In the meantime, bring a pot of water to a boil - enough to fully submerge the eggs. Pour in white vinegar and eggs. Cook uncovered for about 8 minutes, then drain and soak in ice water to cool for 10 minutes. Remove shells from the eggs, then set aside.
- Release the vent from the Instant Pot. Switch the cooking mode back to Saute and add eggs in. Coat the eggs in the sauce and cook for another 3 minutes, stirring occasionally so the eggs are evenly coated. Turn off Instant Pot, top with green onions, and serve with a bowl of steamy rice or cauliflower rice.
- Pork: For a leaner version, you can also use pork shoulder, however, I do recommend still having some fat on the meat because it'll help tenderize it while cooking.
- Eggs: I'm using regular eggs in this recipe since it's more accessible, however, quail eggs are also typically used. If you'd like to substitute regular eggs for quail eggs, boil the eggs for about 3 minutes, then follow the rest of the recipe steps.
Nutrition information is calculated by software based on the ingredients in each recipe. It is an estimate only and provided for informational purposes. Nutrition may vary based on product availability, methods of preparation, origin, and freshness of ingredients, etc. For the most accurate nutritional information, use your preferred nutrition calculator, actual ingredients, and quantities used for the recipe. Please consult with your physician or registered dietitian if more precise nutrition calculations are needed for health reasons.
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