Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Mom's Recipe: Thịt Heo Kho (Braised Pork)

A standard Vietnamese dish eaten with rice is thịt heo kho (braised pork). I've mentioned before that when I lived at home we ate rice every day. I don't do that anymore and there is only a handful of dishes that I really miss. This is one of them. I love the pieces of pork that break easily and the eggs that easily soak up the sauce. We also usually boil cabbage (it doesn't sound appealing... but I love it!) and dip it in a mixtured of mashed up eggs and sauce.

I have never made this dish and have only eaten it. Only when I started reading blogs, specifically Wandering Chopsticks' recipe and Gastronomy's, that I learned the traditional ingredients for this dish. This is because my mom does not use coconut juice and does not make a caramel. My mom takes shortcuts and just uses dark soy sauce. It's still good though and it's the version I grew up eating!

This was a standard lunch dish in Vietnam. The lady who sold lunch in my alley had this every day. I would try to get lunch early so I could request one egg. If you came too late, you risked her running out. However, I never ate pork once. To say it was fatty is an understatement; the meat was pretty much pieces of fat!

Thịt Heo Kho (Braised Pork)

* 5 cups water
* ½ tsp pepper
* 1 tbsp salt
* 4 tbsp sugar (or honey if you have some)
* 1 onion, chopped finely
* 1 tbsp dark soy sauce
* 1 kg fatty pork butt, cut into 1-2" sections
* 6 eggs, hard boiled and peeled

Bring water to a boil.
Add chopped onion, soy sauce, pepper, salt and sugar.
When water is boiling, add meat.
Add eggs.
Cook on medium for about 1-1/2 - 2 hours - the meat should be fork tender.
Taste the sauce and season accordingly.

Piece of pork butt - ideally with a piece of fat attached (that I never eat).

Cut into pieces.

Adding onion and seasoning to the water makes a great base for a sauce.

Throw in the eggs and meat.

After cooking for close to two hours, the pork is so tender!

Serve with
cooked cabbage

boil cabbage, cut into 2" sections.
Mash two eggs and mix with some of the sauce from the dish and a dash of fish sauce to taste.
Dip cabbage in sauce.

Mashed eggs.

Eggs mixed with fish sauce and the sauce from the dish.

Cooked savoy cabbage.

Dip the cabbage. So good!


Gastronomer said...

My all-time favorite Vietnamese dish :-) I'd like to come stay at your mum's house.

Miss.Adventure said...

All-time favourite, eh? That's a BIG statement!! I don't know if it's my favourite, but I do enjoy it! Do try it with boiled cabbage, it's the only instance you'd like it!

Hedgehog said...

mmmm thit heo kho never fails to make my mouth water. I usually make this once every other week and take the leftover to work with me. Gosh, last time I read your blog you were in Vietnam. It has gone quick (since my plan to go to Vietnam went pearshape I missed checking your blog). Anyway keep up the good work, I really enjoy your blog :D

Miss.Adventure said...

Hedgehog: I have to say, it makes my mouth water also! Thanks for sticking with my blog!

Nate @ House of Annie said...

How interesting. We just did a braised pork dish very similar to yours. Although we don't mash the eggs up into the sauce. Have to try that next time!

Miss.Adventure said...

Nate-n-Annie: It's a great way to eat vegetables!