If you ask anyone about their favorite home cooked Vietnamese dish, braised pork belly with eggs or thịt kho trứng will be among the top of that list. There is something very satisfying about diving into a bowl of pork belly and pouring the sweet and salty sauce all over the rice. This recipe is a guaranteed home run for any meal and is very simple to make. The tricky part is making sure the caramel turns the right dark color without burning. Once you get the hang of it, it is as simple as waiting for the pork belly to fall apart before you dig in.
1.5 lb of pork belly (approximately 3 pieces)
6 hard boil eggs
2 cloves of garlic minced
1 peeled whole shallot
4 large slices of ginger
¼ cup of sugar
½ tablespoon of rock sugar
1 teaspoon of sesame oil
3 cups of coconut water
1 tablespoon of soy sauce
2 teaspoons of chicken bouillon powder
¼ of cup of fish sauce
2 tablespoons of vinegar
1-2 stalks of scallion, julienned for garnish
a handful of cilantro for garnish
In a pot, cook six eggs until they are hard boiled. This will take approximately 10 minutes. Once the eggs are cooked, remove them from the pot and rinse in cold water to allow for the peel to separate from the egg. Peel the eggs and set aside.
Cut the pork belly into 1 inch sections.
In a pot, add 2 tablespoons of vinegar, 1 teaspoon of salt and enough water to cover the pork belly.
Bring the liquid to a boil. Add the pork belly and let it blanch for 5 minutes.
Remove the pork belly from the pot and rinse with cold water. Let the pork belly dry off.
In a dry pot, make the caramel by heating ¼ cup of sugar with 2 teaspoons of water on high heat. This whole process takes only a few minutes so you must be vigilante. Otherwise, you will have burnt caramel.
Slowly stir the sugar while watching it carefully as the sugar will caramelize and burn quickly. When the caramel starts to turn into a dark coffee color, add the minced garlic.
Once the caramel turn into a dark brown/black color, quickly add the pork belly and stir to incorporate the sauce.
Add 3 cups of coconut juice right away to stop the caramelizing process. Add ¼ cup of fish sauce, 2 teaspoons of chicken bouillon powder, 1 teaspoon of sesame oil, 2 teaspoons of regular white sugar, ½ tablespoon of rock sugar, 1 tablespoon of olive oil, 1 tablespoon of soy sauce, 4 large slices of fresh ginger and 1 whole peeled shallot. Let the pork simmer on medium heat. Stir to incorporate the ingredients.
Cook the pork on medium high heat. Add the eggs when the liquid have been reduced by a quarter. Let it continue to simmer.
When the liquid has been reduced by half of the original amount and the pork belly meat falls apart, turn off the heat.
Add the cilantro and the scallions and serve with warm rice.