Braised Pork Belly with Quail Eggs - Vietnamese Thit Kho

Tender, caramelized pork belly braised in a sweet and savory sauce. This deliciously rich dish is best paired with freshly steamed rice and pickled mustard greens!


Braised pork belly with white rice and pickled mustard greens.


Caramelized braised pork belly also known as thit kho in Vietnamese and kaw sach chrouk in Khmer. This is one of my favorite dishes and I often make this on Sundays to meal prep for lunch during the week.


Generally, this dish usually has boiled chicken eggs but I prefer using quail eggs since it's similar in size to the pork belly and the egg yolks are much creamier. Many might prefer to use fresh quail eggs but canned quail eggs are a quick alternative. Another substitution I made in this recipe is that I use water as opposed to the usual coconut soda or fresh coconut juice simply because I don't usually have these on hand. This recipe is very forgiving. Use whatever you have on hand. This recipe is perfect for the filling weeknight meal where you just want to use limited ingredients and a lot of extra pork belly to spare.

You can add bamboo shoots, shiitake mushrooms or fried tofu to this dish to add extra texture and richness to your meal. It’s absolutely amazing with a steamy bowl of rice and crunchy pickled mustard greens.


Ingredients:

2 lbs pork belly, cut into 1 in cubes

3 tbsp fish sauce

3 tbsp soy sauce

3 tbsp palm sugar or brown sugar

3 tbsp minced garlic

1 shallot, minced

1 tbsp coarsely ground black pepper

1 can of quail eggs OR 6 hard boiled chicken eggs

2 cups of water OR coconut soda/juice

Optional

Dried shiitake mushrooms

Bamboo shoots

Fried tofu slices

Thai chili peppers


Visual Directions:

Step 1: Fill a pot with cold water and add pork belly to parboil.


Step 2: Boil the pork belly for 10 mins on high heat to remove the impurities.


Step 3: Strain and rinse the pork and set aside while you prepare the caramel.


Main ingredients: fish sauce, soy sauce, palm sugar, minced garlic, black pepper, minced shallot (not pictured)


Step 4: Melt the sugar on medium heat until it caramelizes, stir continuously and break up bits until it fully melts as pictured. Be careful not to burn the caramel.



Step 5: Add the pork into the pot and stir until it's fully coated in the caramel. Turn the heat up to medium high heat and allow the pork to caramelize for about 5 mins then add shallots, garlic and black pepper and continue stirring for another 5 mins.


At this point, the pork should look like this while you prepare the eggs.


Step 6: Strain and rinse the quail eggs and set aside


Step 7: Pour the water/coconut juice or coconut soda into the pot and bring to boil.


Step 8: Add the quail eggs into the pot and gently mix then bring the heat down to a simmer and cover the pot for 30 mins.


Step 9: After 30 mins, remove the lid then allow it to simmer for another 40-45 mins until tender. Stir once in a while and skim off excess oil. After it's fully cooked, taste for seasoning and add kosher salt to taste if necessary.



Directions:

  1. Parboil the pork for 10 minutes to remove the impurities then rinse under cold water and strain. Set aside.

  2. In a Dutch oven pot, melt the palm or brown sugar on medium heat. Stir continuously and break up the sugar while it slowly melts.

  3. Once sugar has melted, add in the pork and stir until fully coated. Turn the heat up to medium high.

  4. Add shallots, garlic and black pepper into the pot and continue stirring for another 5 mins.

  5. Add fish sauce and soy sauce to the pot then continue to stir until the liquids start to evaporate, about 10 mins.

  6. Pour the water/coconut juice/coconut soda (up to preference) then lower the heat to low to simmer the pork.

  7. Add the quail eggs or chicken eggs into the pot then cover to cook for 30 mins.

  8. After 30 mins, remove the lid and allow it to simmer for another 40-45 mins. Stir once in a while and skim off any excess oil.

  9. After approx. 45 mins, the pork should be fully tender. Taste the braising sauce and add any kosher salt if needed.

  10. Serve with rice and mustard greens and enjoy!