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Vietnamese Braised Pork and Eggs in Coconut

Friday, 8 April 2011

Thit heo kho nuoc dua, thit kho tau, thit kho riu, thit kho trung or simply thit kho is a Vietnamese classic pork dish. As you can tell, I'm not entirely sure what is its original name as they all refer to the same dish - a dish that involves pork, eggs, coconut juice, caramelised sugar and long hours of cooking. As far as I know, thịt heo means pork, nước dừa means coconut juice and trứng means eggs (hope I'm right). Whatever it is called, it's delicious - melt-in-your-mouth pork fats, tender meat, sweet-savoury sauce...YUM.

Vietnamese Braised Pork and Eggs in Coconut  2

This dish requires caramelised sugar, which adds a nice sweet caramel flavour to the dish, and also gives the meat a nice reddish brown colour. I used canned coconut juice, remember to use those without any added sugar, fresh is of course preferred and best. Instead of braising the meat for hours, I used the pressure cooker then left it to simmer uncovered to reduce the sauce.

Vietnamese Braised Pork and Eggs in Coconut

Vietnamese Braised Pork in Coconut

Printable recipe
By Pig Pig's Corner

Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 1 1/2 hrs


Ingredients:
For caramelised sugar:
  • 1 tbs oil
  • 4 tbs sugar
  • 1 tbs hot water
Other ingredients:
  • 1.8 kg pork (use fattier cut, I used boneless shoulder joint) - chop into medium chunks
  • 5 hard-boiled eggs (more or less, up to you) - peeled
  • 2-inch ginger - sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic - peeled and crushed
  • 2 cans (2 1/2 cups) unsweetened coconut juice/ water (NOT coconut milk/ cream)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp freshly ground peppercorn
  • 2 tbs fish sauce (more or less to taste)

Directions:
To caramelise the sugar:
  • Heat up 1 tbs oil under medium heat. Add in sugar and leave it to melt.
  • Reduce to low heat when sugar starts to melt. Will be a bit clumpy at first, don't worry.
  • Keep stirring when sugar is fully melted.
  • Cook until dark brown/ brownish red. At this point, large bubbles will form. Add ~1 tbs boiling water.
caramelised sugar

The rest:
  • Add pork pieces into caramelised sugar. Stir to coat.
  • Add in ginger, garlic, coconut juice, salt, black pepper and 1 tbs of fish sauce.
  • Cook under pressure for about 20 mins.
  • Cool it down, remove lid, add eggs and leave to simmer for a further 30 mins or longer to reduce the sauce. [Cooking in the pressure cooker produces a lot of liquid, so this step is to reduce the liquid as I personally prefer thicker sauce. If you don't have a pressure cooker, leave it to simmer for at least 1 hr. The longer the better.]
  • Season to taste with more fish sauce.
Vietnamese Braised Pork and Eggs in Coconut

I'm sending this to Anh who is the host of this month’s Delicious Vietnam, which was founded by Anh of A Food Lover’s Journey and Kim and Hong of Ravenous Couple.

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