Monday, January 30, 2012

Thit kho or pork stewed in caramel sauce

Thit kho
Thit kho, or pork stewed in caramel sauce and coconut juice with some hard boiled eggs, is one of the most traditional Vietnamese dishes for Tet, the New Year. But you can make it anytime - it's the ultimate Vietnamese comfort food. Make a pot with lots of sauce to pour over your rice, and to dip lightly pickled bean sprouts or cabbage in - so delicious!

This dish is not for the faint of heart when it comes to some fatty pork - it's a special occasion, or every once in a while, dish, not one you can have too often :)  You can pick off any big chunks of fat and skin and discard, but you really do need the fat to slow cook this down and have really rich, tender pork that has soaked up all the flavors of the caramel sauce, coconut juice, fish sauce and black pepper. Adding hard boiled eggs may seem strange if you're unfamiliar with Vietnamese food and with this dish, but they are delicious and it is always sad when the last of the eggs is gone. Serve this with rice and lightly pickled bean sprouts - click here for the recipe - or sliced cucumbers to help cut the richness and add a nice contrast.

  • 1-1/2 lbs. boneless pork leg or shoulder with a good bit of fat and skin attached
  • 6 eggs, hard boiled for 7 minutes, and peeled
  • 1 can coconut juice
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1/4 cup fish sauce
  • 1 tsp. black pepper, more to taste
Cut the meat into large chunks with some fat and skin attached.

In a large pot or enameled dutch oven, something light metal or enameled cast iron that is a light color, heat up the water over medium heat. Once it is simmering, add the sugar. Heat up the sugar carefully until it starts to darken until it's a dark caramel color. Add the coconut juice, fish sauce, pepper and the pieces of pork. Stir everything together well.

Cover and let everything simmer, turning the meat to make sure everything is covered in the caramel sauce. Let everything simmer about 1 hour, turning the meat a few times. Add the eggs and let them simmer with the pork for another 30 minutes or more until the meat is very tender. Taste the sauce, and add fish sauce or sugar to adjust the taste to your liking. Add more pepper if you like.

Thit kho simmering on the stove
Serve the pork and eggs with lots of sauce to dip pickled bean sprouts, or sliced cucumbers in and to pour over rice.

1 comment:

  1. Com Trang + Thit Kho Nuoc Dua + Dua Chua = :)