Caramelised Pork & Eggs (Thit Heo Kho Trung)

  • 1 kg (~2 lbs) pork belly cut in 2.5 cm (1″) cubes, or pork shoulder/butt for less fat
  • about 6-8 small eggs, boiled and peeled
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 Tablespoons oil
  • 2 Tablespoons fish sauce
  • 360 ml (1 1/2 cup) water (start with 1 cup first, add more if needed) 
  • fresh ground black pepper to taste

For the Vietnamese caramel sauce (nuoc mau) : 
  • 3 Tablespoons sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons water

  1. In small heavy bottom pan, combine sugar and water. On medium heat, allow sugar to melt. Stir occasionally to help sugar and water to combine evenly. Once the sugar melts completely, the mixture will slowly start to turn a golden brown color. Continue swirling the pan until the caramel becomes a light brown color. Immediately remove from heat and put aside.
  2. In another, large heavy bottom sauce pan, heat over medium heat. After the pan warms, add oil and garlic. Stir until garlic becomes light brown and fragrant.
  3. Add pork and cook for about 10 minutes. Add fish sauce .
  4. Slowly pour about 3 Tablespoons of the caramel into the pan first. The more caramel added to the braise, the sweeter the pork. Add additional or less caramel to your personal taste.
  5. Allow pork to cook in caramel for about 5 more minutes, until pork becomes cooked around the edges. Then add water and turn heat to low. Continue braising the pork for about 1 hour, or until meat is tender. About 15 minutes before the meat is finished, add the boiled eggs. Be careful when tossing the eggs to the pork to avoid breaking the eggs.