Melt in your mouth…Thịt Kho – Vietnamese Braised Pork with Eggs
Super tender pork, and seasoned hard-boiled eggs, thịt kho is really easy to make, and the comforting.
It’s savory, salty, and slightly sweet seasoned mainly with fish sauce and soy sauce paired with hard-boiled eggs. Traditionally served atop a large mound of steamed white rice, and a side of pickled mustard greens but I say you paire it with what you like best.
The pan-asian pork & egg dish
This dish is seen in very variated across other ethnic cuisines, not just Vietnamese. I’ve seen in Japanese food, Chinese food, and Taiwanese food.
Cuts of meat to use
If you can get pork belly with the bones, you’ll have even better results than just belly, but you can also substitute for whatever cut you prefer especially if you like it leaner.
The seasoning & sauce
seasoning brands: Rico coconut soda, Kikkoman soy sauce, and Three Crabs Brand fish sauce ost on Amazon or your local asian supermarket). The thick soy sauce is to be used in a pinch for color, but you really should be making your own simple caramel coloring.
- 4 tablespoons sugar
- 1/2 cup of warm water
- silicone spatula (I like that it’s non stick, but you can use anything, really. Just don’t scratch up your pan.)
Add slices of yellow onion too and it adds a nice layer of flavor to this dish. You can remove the onion at the end of the braise if you prefer since it will have given up all its flavor to the broth.
Adjust the seasoning again after the liquid has reduced to a consistency you like: tinker with the soy sauce, fish sauce, and salt again to taste and write it down so you know what to do next time. This dish scales very well too if you want to make larger quantities for the family.
This dish is commonly eaten with a side of pickled mustard greens which provides a fresh and crunchy balance. Any kind of salty meat like this pairs well with a pungent, vinegary pickle.
INGREDIENTS (4-6 ppl)
2 lb (907.2 g) pork I like 50% belly 50% shoulder
tap water for first boil
6 fl oz Rico coconut soda Coke or 7-Up works in a pinch
3 tbsp fish sauce
2 tsp salt
tbsp caramel color (nuoc mau) Depending on how dark your caramel sauce gets, you may not need to use all of it.
8 large hard-boiled eggs
1 yellow onion split into 8 large chunks
- Cut the pork into 1.5″ cubes. I like this size for ease of eating, and it cooks faster than 1 huge chunk of pork.
- Bring 2-3 quarts of tap water boiling on high, or enough to fully submerge the pork. When the water’s boiling, add the pork for 1-2 minutes just to clean it. Drain then rinse the pork under running water until the water is clear.
- Add the coconut soda, fish sauce and salt to the pot, then add filtered water so it just about covers the pork.
- Turn the heat to high. When boiling, lower heat to about 25% heat or until you still see a low boil. Simmer for about 1.5 to 2 hours total, leaving covered for the first 40 minutes. Check and stir the pot every 20 minutes. The longer you cook it, the softer the pork gets. After 40 minutes, remove the cover to let the liquid reduce so you get a more concentrated sauce later.
- Make the caramel color (nuoc mau) in a separate pot and add it to the pot of thit kho
- Make the hard-boiled eggs: add the eggs to a pot and cover the eggs with cold water by 1 inch. Bring to a boil on medium-high heat. Remove from heat and let it sit for 8 minutes. Cool under running water and peel the shells.
- During the last ~30-40 minutes of cooking add the peeled eggs and onions.
- The final goal is to reduce the liquid about 1/3 of the starting amount, but you can do it based your own taste of the sauce and pork softness. When the pork hits a doneness you like, re-season with salt or fish sauce, or add water to thin out to your taste. Remember you want it a bit saltier since it will dilute when eating with rice.