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Thursday, July 2, 2015

[Vietnamese Recipes] Thit Kho Trung - Braised Pork Belly and Hard Boiled Eggs

Thit Heo Kho Trung is one of my favourite home cooked dishes. What makes a dish a home cooked dish? When I eat out at Vietnamese restaurants with my parents, I would note that a lot of the dishes I love to eat and I always have at home are not on the menu. I ask my mum why [insert name of dish here] was not on the menu and she would tell me that everyone knows how to cook that dish at home, so it’s not something that people would order when they eat out. So this is how I define a home cooked dish – a dish that people often cook at home so you won’t find it in restaurants, otherwise restaurants would be competing with every mum’s recipe and you know who would win out of that right? 


Thit Kho Trung - Braised Pork Belly and Hard Boiled Eggs | Vietnamese Recipes


Thit Heo Kho Trung is one of those home cooked dishes that you will rarely find on restaurant menus but every Vietnamese family cooks it and would have their own recipe for it. I can see why Thit Heo Kho Trung would be a popular home cooked dish. My mum comes from a family of nine children and this would be a perfect one pot meat for such a big family – a large amount of pork and eggs are simmered in coconut juice, soy sauce and fish sauce, and served with bowls of rice. A really simple dish to cook that produces a delicious result with sweetness coming from the coconut juice, saltiness from the soy sauce and savouriness from the fish sauce.

When I cook a dish I am always intrigued by how other people cook it, and I will scan cookbooks and the internet for recipes to see how the way my mum cooks it compares with others. I’ve seen other ingredients added to this dish such as shallots and garlic, and other spices such as star anise or five spice. Some recipes do not use any soy sauce and only use fish sauce. Some recipes prepare a caramelized sauce made up of water and sugar first to cook the pork and eggs in. My mum’s recipe is relatively simple and uses few ingredients.


Thit Kho Trung - Braised Pork Belly and Hard Boiled Eggs 2 | Vietnamese Recipes


Here’s my mum’s Vietnamese braised pork and eggs (Thit Heo Kho Trung) that I have turned into my own take on Momofuku inspired steamed pork buns.

I used a pressure cooker to cook the pork and included the process for cooking with a pressure cooker and a pot over the stove.

Ingredients

• 1 kg pork belly, chopped into 2-3cm cubes
• ~ 3 cups of coconut juice (from 2 young coconuts)
• 5 small red chillies, deseeded
• 6 whole hard boiled eggs, shelled
• fish sauce (2 ½ tablespoons)
• light soy sauce (1 ½ tablespoons)
• dark soy sauce (2 tablespoons)
• salt to taste

To make Momofuku style buns – buy steamed buns from Asian supermarket, cucumber and coriander.

Thit Kho Trung - Braised Pork Belly and Hard Boiled Eggs 3 | Vietnamese Recipes


Young coconut

Thit Kho Trung - Braised Pork Belly and Hard Boiled Eggs 4 | Vietnamese Recipes


I do not shy away from the layers of fat in pork belly, fat is what makes food taste good!

Method

Par-boil the pork – put the pork pieces into a pot of boiling water and simmer for 1-2 minutes until partially cooked. Rinse pork under cold running water and drain well.

Add the coconut juice, chillies and 1 ½ tablespoon of fish sauce into a pot/pressure cooker and bring to a simmer. Then add in the pieces of pork. 

Thit Kho Trung - Braised Pork Belly and Hard Boiled Eggs 5 | Vietnamese Recipes

Thit Kho Trung - Braised Pork Belly and Hard Boiled Eggs 6 | Vietnamese Recipes


(1) Bring to a boil and then simmer on low heat for around an hour, stirring occassionally or pressure cook for 10 minutes.


Thit Kho Trung - Braised Pork Belly and Hard Boiled Eggs 7 | Vietnamese Recipes



(2) Then add in 1 ½ tablespoons of light soy sauce, 2 tablespoons dark soy sauce and 1 tablespoon fish sauce. Simmer on low heat for another hour, stirring occassionally or pressure cook for 10 minutes.


Thit Kho Trung - Braised Pork Belly and Hard Boiled Eggs 8 | Vietnamese Recipes


(3) Test the flavour and adjust with fish sauce or sugar if required and add in a pinch of salt to balance. Add in the hard boiled eggs and simmer for another 30-45 minutes to flavour the eggs and for the sauce to reduce.

Note: I pressure cooked this dish for a total of 20 minutes, divided into two 10 minute periods. The last step of cooking does not require pressure cooking.

This recipe and image sources are referred in website: Blueapocalypse.com.Thanks so much!

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