Recipe by Tuan

Braised pork with egg in coconut juice (Thit heo kho)

Braised pork with egg in coconut juice (thịt heo kho) recipe

As one of my favourite meals when I was growing up as a child (and as a teen!), this is something I’ve always missed since moving out of home. The slightly sweet caramel sauce infuses with the slow cooked egg and pork, turning plain (and cheap) ingredients into something special. Drizzle, or drench in my case, the sauce over the rice and you’ll be hard pressed not to gobble it down faster than you can chew. This is classic Vietnamese comfort food at its best.

My mission to replicate mum’s masterpiece came to fruition after I got my hands on a fresh coconut. She doesn’t actually use coconut which you’re apparently supposed to use, and armed with a recipe I found on the SBS website, I thought maybe I could top her version.

So making the most of the public holiday yesterday I put my plans into motion and slowly simmered the pork over the course of the afternoon. I paid special attention to skimming the fat and impurities off the top as this dish has plenty of the former. I used pork spare ribs which were a bit too fatty for my liking, I would suggest using a leaner cut of meat if you are to try this yourself.

So after filling the house with the beautiful aromas of this dish, what was the verdict? Pretty good, darn good in fact. But nobody can beat their mother’s cooking.

Braised pork with egg in coconut juice (thịt heo kho) recipe

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 2 hours

Yield: 6-8 people


  • 1 kilogram Pork (belly, shoulder, leg), cut into 4cm cubes
  • 2 cloves Garlic, finely chopped
  • 4 Asian shallots, finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons Fish sauce
  • 3 tablespoons Light soy sauce
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons Dark soy sauce
  • 4 Star anise
  • 1/2 teaspoon Cracked black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons Palm sugar
  • 2 Green shallots
  • 1/2 Onion, finiely diced
  • 3 cups (750 millilitres) Coconut juice (From the actual coconut, not cream)
  • 1 1/2 cups (325 millilitres) Water
  • 8 hard boiled eggs, peeled
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil

Cooking directions

  1. Combine pork belly, garlic, shallot, fish sauce, soy sauces, pepper, star anise and palm sugar. Finely chop the green shallots and add to the marinade. Marinate the pork for at least 3 hours or overnight.
  2. Heat vegetable oil in heavy based pan and brown onion. Remove the pork from marinade and add to the pan and seal over high heat. Add coconut juice, marinade and water.
  3. Bring pan to the boil and then reduce heat and simmer for 1 hour on low heat (skimming fat and impurities occasionally) and then add eggs. Simmer for a further hour.
  4. Serve with steamed Jasmine rice.

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