During the early 19th century, many Chinese people from Canton immigrated to Vietnam and set up large Chinese communities around the Vietnamese’s fishing ports. Because of this, Vietnamese refereed to Chinese immigrants as Nguoi Tau, meaning “boat people”. Nearly 100 years later, Vietnamese immigrants fleeing as the Vietnamese War were known as “boat people” as well to the Western world.
Chinese immigrants introduced braised pork, and it quickly become a popular dish throughout Vietnam. The dish was named “thit kho tau”, meaning “boat people’s braised pork”.
Recalling all the good meals my grandma cook, Thit Kho Tau is the dish I miss the most. I miss the cold winter days going home from school, there are available a bowl of thit kho tau with steamed rice. My customers on Hanoi food tours sometime asked for its recipe, hence I’m writing this post. Following is the recipe I learn from my grandma, which will show you how to cook Vietnamese braised pork at home.
- 1lb (500 grams) of pork belly
- 4 hard boiled eggs
- 1 can of coconut soda
- 1 ½ tbsp of fish sauce
- 1 ½ tbsp of soy sauce
- 1 tsp of salt
- ½ yellow onion
- 2 tbsp of sugar
- Cut the pork belly into 1.5 in cubes.
- In a large pot, add 3 quarts of water. Boil on high. Once the water is boiling, add the pork for 2 minutes. Drain and rinse the pork under running water.
- In the emptied pot, add 1 can of coconut soda, 1 ½ tbsp of fish sauce, 1 ½ tbsp of soy sauce, and 1 tsp of salt. Fill up the pot until the water covers the pork. Turn the heat to high.
- When the water boils, lower the heat to medium. Cover the pot and leave it slightly ajar. Let simmer for 1 hour. Stir the pot every 20 minutes. Leaving it slightly uncovered to let the liquid reduce for a concentrated sauce.
- Make 4 heard boil eggs. Boil a pot with enough water to cover the eggs. Add the eggs, turn to medium heat, and cook for 2 minutes. Removed the eggs and add to a cold-water bath. Cool the eggs tin the bath for 5 minutes. Peel the eggs and set aside. Chop half of a yellow onion. Set aside.
- After the pork has stewed for 1 hour, turn the heat to low. Add the eggs and onions.
- Let the pot stew for another 10 minutes. Stir evenly until the liquid has reduced. Ideally, the liquid reduced to 1/3 of the original. Taste and add fish sauce as needed.
There you go. That’s how to cook Vietnamese braised pork for 4 persons, with total 10 minutes preparation and about 55 minutes cooking. We hope you enjoy cooking Vietnamese braised pork at home, and please contact us if there is anything we can help.