Chef Time!

Chef Time!

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Vietnamese Cooking: My Favorite

This is a classic kho dish from Southern Vietnam. Thit heo kho trung or also known as thit kho to, thit kho tau, thit kho trung or thit heo kho nuoc dua is pork and hard boiled egg simmered in nuoc mau (Vietnamese caramel sauce) and coconut juice. It is a sweet, savory pork dish with rich and deep dark-colored thick sauce. The meat is tender and the eggs are pleasantly chewy with buttery yolk. This braised pork is similar to Chinese red-cooked pork (hong shao rou) or Indonesian babi hong (pork cooked in soy sauce).
Here is how to prepare Vietnamese Thit Kho at home. It's important to use pork cuts with fat intact or use pork belly for richer kho. For Vietnamese true flavor, always use fresh coconut juice and duck eggs.

Braised pork in caramel sauce

Vietnamese Braised Pork and Egg in Caramel Sauce
(Thit Heo Kho Trung)
2 lbs. Pork Belly
8 hard boiled eggs, peeled
2 c. coconut juice
5 ½ tbsp. caramel sauce
4 tbsp. fish sauce
4 tsp. sugar
Cut the pork belly into 3-inches long and 1 inch thick. Make sure each piece have fat attached.
In a medium saucepan, combine pork, fish sauce, caramel sauce and sugar. Stir to coat the meat with sauce. Marinate the pork about 1 hour. Turning the meat every 20 minutes.
Heat the saucepan over medium heat and bring to a simmer. Stir the pork to coat with sauce. Simmer for 5 minutes or until the pork is golden brown.
Add the eggs. Then pour in coconut juice to cover. Add some water if the coconut juice is not adequate to cover. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Skim off and discard any floating foam and scum.
Lower the heat, cover partially, and simmer for about 90 minutes. Occasionally stir and turn the eggs. Uncover and simmer for 5 minutes or until the pork is tender and the sauce is thickened. Taste and adjust the flavors. Add extra sugar or fish sauce to get a deeper flavor.
Remove from the heat. Then use a spoon to skim off any floating fat on the surface.
Transfer the pork and egg with some sauce to serving bowl.

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