Vietnamese braised pork is slightly difference from the usual Chinese braised pork. The nice golden and brown colour is not provided from the usual soy sauce but caramel sauce (Nuoc mau). There is no soy sauce is added in this recipe but still given nice colour. Anyway, I didn't prepare Nuoc mau ahead, instead I followed the way that my mother taught me when braise pork, also similar like Nuoc mau, cook sugar and oil till caramelized.
Another interesting ingredient in this recipe is using coconut juices (not coconut milk) to replace water. But frankly we couldn't detect any coconut smell from this dish.
Anyway the gravy was deeply rich in flavour even though the taste was slightly in sweet side (even i have reduced sugar)..
Thit Kho (Vietnamese Caramelized Braised Pork Belly and Eggs) 越式卤肉
500g pork belly, cut into 2-3” pieces4 hard-boiled eggs
1 tofu, slice into 4
2 cloves garlic, sliced2 shallots, sliced
1/2tsp green peppercorns
2tbsp cooking oil1tbsp brown sugar or to taste
1tbsp fish sauce or to taste
1tsp salt or to taste
1/4tsp Five-spice powder
1 cup fresh coconut juices
- Using a pestle and mortar, pound garlic, shallots and peppercorns till fine paste.
- Heat cooking oil in a pot over medium low heat, add the brown sugar and stir until it melts. Cook the sugar until it turns caramel and deep golden brown.
- Add in the pork and cook for 3-5 minutes on medium-high heat until the meat is evenly coated with the caramel, but not cooked through. Add in garlic shallot paste, mix to combine.
- Add in coconut juices and eggs, the liquid should be generous enough to cover both the pork and eggs to caramelize evenly, if not, add a bit more water or additional coconut water if you still have some left. Add in fish sauce, salt and five-spice powder.
- Turn to medium high heat and bring to rolling simmer and cover lid, reducing heat to low. Braise for at least 1 hr (add in tofu after 30mins). The natural sugars of the coconut juice and fish sauce will caramelize the pork and eggs. Taste sauce and adjust with additional fish sauce or sugar to taste.
Recipe reference: here, by Sonia aka Nasi Lemak Lover