Monday, August 15, 2011

Thit Heo Kho Trung - Pork and Eggs Braised in Caramel Sauce

When I was growing up, not a week went by when my mom did not make a pot of Thit Kho for lunch. But i'm sure Thit Kho is a weekly regular in most Vietnamese household. Because it is easy and cheap to make, Thit Kho is categorized as "com binh dan" or meal of the commoners. In Vietnam during lunch time, you can find many stand that sells meal for the working person which includes Thit Kho.

Thit Kho is made by braising chunks up fatty pork such as pork belly in a caramel sauce made of caramelized sugar and fish sauce. The pork is braised in the sauce until it becomes so tender you can cut it with your chopsticks. Since I do not always have access to pork belly, I often use Boston pork butt instead. I suggest using any pork cut that has some fat because fat is flavor.

As much as I love eating tender and fatty pieces of pork, my favorite part is the egg. I eat my Thit Kho Trung a certain way since I was a little girl. I break the egg in half and take out the yolk and mix the yolk bits into the rice. I then drizzle a lot of the caramel sauce on top and mix everything together. My favorite part is the egg whites so I always eat that last. Some things just can never change, and i'm OK with that!

Thit kho is often link to the Lunar New Year celebration 'Tet'.  Every year our family welcome the new year with a big pot of braised pork and egg along with pickled bean sprouts.  I especially love to at thit kho with rice paper rolls and dipped the delicious caramel sauce we cook the pork and egg in! 


1.5 lbs of Boston pork butt
1 shallot finely sliced
2 tablespoon of fish sauce
1/2 tablespoon of mushroom seasoning
2 tablespoon of sugar
1 teaspoon of salt
9 eggs
1 can of Coco Rico
1/2 tablespoon of cooking oil
Thai chili (optional)

1. Cut pork into 1-2 inch cubes.
2. Marinade pork with 1 shallots sliced, 2 tablespoon fish sauce, 1/2 tablespoon cooking oil and 1/2 tablespoon mushroom seasoning. If you like it spicy you can add Thai chili for heat.  Let pork marinade in the fridge for at least an hour.

3. Begin cooking marinated pork on low heat in a large pot.

4. In a separate smaller pan, cook  1 tablespoon of sugar until it turns dark brown turn.  Add 1/2 tablespoon of water which will cause it to bubble vigorously mix the mixture.  This will be the coloring for your pork.

5. Pour caramelized sugar to the pot of pork.  Mix pork into the caramel sauce, make sure every pork pieces is coated with the sauce.

7. Add 1 can of coco rico,1/2 cup of water, 1 teaspoon of salt.    Let pork simmer in liquid on medium heat.

8. At this point you can begin preparing your eggs. Boil as much eggs as you would like or fit in the pot. I try to under cook the eggs so it won't over cook when I add it to the pork. So cook it to the point where the egg whites are firm but the yolk is still runny. Cooking time will depend on however many eggs you'd like.

9. Once the eggs are prepared, peel and then add to the pork.

10. Once eggs turn color, your pork is done and ready to eat!



Kim said...

My all time Vietnamese comfort food.

Unknown said...

Thuy, I can't wait to try this! Thit kho always makes me think of my mom. :) Your recipe looks delicious!

Thuy said...

Thanks I appreciate the comments :)

Jennifer I think of my mom when I make Thit Kho too, nothing compare to our mom's recipe :p

PFx said...

I wish I'd have that meal weekly like you. It's super awesome and inspiring. I like how you call it 'caramel', very Vietnamese indeed.
As per coco rico? I haven't heard that for 20 years now, it didn't last long in the Indonesian market nor the rest of the world..?

50 pound bag salt said...

This is my favorite 'go to' quick lunch or sometimes dinner meal. You are right about the smell of the grilled meat, and combined with a good dousing of nuoc cham, it's simply a wonderful meal

lai-laaa-lai said...

oh my! i'm going to have to try this out! talk about comfort food ;) btw, love your website!!

Thuy said...

Thank you for taking the time to post a comment Lai, really appreciate it :)

Aiccenboy said...

First I just want to say that you have a wonderful blog. Thank you for the delicious recipe.

I was following your recipe but somehow I can't seem to get my meat as dark as your picture. Also, when I added the meat the caramel started to clump up, am I doing this right?

Thuy said...

Hi Aiccenboy,

I guess calling it a caramel sauce is a little misleading. When you are caramelizing the sugar, you want to end up with a dark color. I found a picture of what it should be like on the internet.
When you add the pork to the caramelized sugar it will clump up. Just mix the pork and the sugar together as much as yo can, once you add a liquid(for my recipe the coconut soda),it will eventually melt. Hope this help and thank you for visiting my blog :)

Anonymous said...

What is mushroom seasonings? Do you have a photo of it to share?

Thuy said...

That's the kind I use. I use it sparingly in place of msg.

Thuy said...

Mushroom seasoning is a flavor enhancer like msg, but it's made with mushroom extract and salt. A lot of of Asian cuisine use msg to bring out a wholesome flavor, however there's always been a stigma with msg. I don't really mind using msg if you use it in moderation, and when I say moderation I mean very little. I just prefer the flavor or mushroom seasoning over msg. If you are against using flavor enhancer you are welcome to omit them from the recipe. You can check out the link to a blog entry below that will have more information about msg and mushroom seasoning. Thanks for stopping by.

ab machines said...

Looking so delicious. I want to eat such type of food.

Anonymous said...

thanks for sharing.

Unknown said...

Can you use something else beside coco rico? Do they sell it at walmart?

Thuy said...


You can replace the coco rico with half a can of coke, the carbonation will tenderize the meat.

Jessica said...

I eat my thit kho the same way! :P

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