Thit kho tau: braised caramelised pork with eggs
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: Vietnamese
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
A hearty dish for winter.
  • 400g pork belly with skin on
  • 400g pork shoulder
  • 1 onion
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 3 tablespoons nuoc mau (caramel sauce)
  • 2 tablespoons nuoc mam (fish sauce) or to taste
  • 33 cL coconut water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • Sugar (to taste)
  • 4 eggs
  1. Boil the eggs and peel them (you need to do this in advance, but you can start at around the same time you start slicing the pork). Cut each egg in half lengthwise.
  2. Cut the pork into small, chopstick-sized chunks.
  3. In a cast iron pot or other thick-bottomed pan on medium heat, put the caramel sauce; add the pork, and turn for a few minutes until the meat is coloured. Then add the nuoc mam, onion, garlic, salt, pepper and the coconut water. There should be enough to cover the meat plus about 1 extra cm; add water or coconut water if not the case. Taste and adjust coconut water/nuoc mam/sugar if necessary--depends how sweet you want your meat.
  4. Lower heat to low. Cover, and braise for at least 1h (the longer the better; 2h30 if you have time to spare).
  5. Fifteen minutes before the pork is done, uncover, add the eggs--turning them around to make sure they're coated in the sauce. Leave on low heat for 15 minutes. The sauce should have thickened a bit (but should still be liquid).
  6. Serve over rice and with pickled vegetables.
Recipe by Aliette de Bodard at