Monday, September 22

Vietnamese caramelised pork belly (thit kho)

Over the weekend, we resurrected our cook-out, thanks to our lovely hosts Zhu and TF. It was a smaller-than-usual gathering but the laughs and good fooding just made me feel incredibly lucky to have such good friends. 

I made Vietnamese caramelised pork belly (thit kho) based on this recipe by Luke Nguyen. The only couple of tweaks I made were replacing caramel sauce with kecap manis and fresh coconut water with CocoMax coconut water. 

It was really good! I love the heady pungence from the fish sauce and garlic. I have so much respect for chefs who are more than just TV personalities. And if you are looking for a fresh spin off the usual kong bak pau, this is a recipe you need to have and hog.

Caramelised pork belly braised in young coconut juice (thit kho) 
Adapted from Luke Nguyen's Cabramatta Tour

500g pork belly, sliced thinly
1 cup coconut water
4 tablespoons finely diced red Asian shallot
4 tablespoons finely diced garlic
1 teaspoon black pepper
4 tablespoons sugar
5 tablespoons fish sauce
4 teaspoon kecap manis
2 tablespoon oyster sauce
1 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons vegetable oil (or eyeball)
1 fresh chilli, sliced (optional)

  • In a bowl, combine salt, sugar, fish sauce, oyster sauce, caramel sauce and half of the red shallots and half of the diced garlic. Mix well until sugar dissolves. Coat the pork belly with the sauce and marinate for one hour. When marinated, drain the pork reserving the marinade sauce.
  • In a hot saucepan or clay pot, add oil, then fry the remaining red shallots and garlic until fragrant. Add the pork belly and brown both sides, for about 1 minute per side. Now add the reserved marinade and stir well.
  • Add 1 cup of young coconut juice and bring to the boil, then reduce to low and simmer for 10 minutes or until the liquid has reduced to half.
  • Turn off heat, then add black pepper and stir.
  • Transfer to a serving bowl and garnish with sliced chilli.

Have a great week ahead, folks!

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