I have to give my BF a lot of props for putting up with my cooking.

  1. He’s the official dish washer, and when I cook, there’s a mess that follows.
  2. He’s a particular eater.  He prefers to eat certain things more often than others.

So, I have to pace myself sometimes and remember, I’m not just cooking for myself, but for him, too.  I can’t rely on his sister and mom to cook his favorite meals forever… right? 😀

Thit Heo Kho Trung w/fresh cucumbers and garnised with green onions

One of the go to favorites is Thit Heo Kho Trung.  My mom used to make this all the time for us kids growing up, but I never took the time to watch and learn from her.  Instead, years later, when my BF and I were both craving this, I had to pull my resources together to perfect my Thit Heo Kho Trung.  My mom came over one day to cook me dinner and lunch for the next day.  I watched her and took the best notes I could, but let’s face it, she does it by muscle memory these days.  So I also took a look at Wandering Chopsticks and Ravenous Couple, to see how much of what they put in, and what tips and tricks I could learn.

So here we go…

Thit Heo Kho Trung [serves 6]

  • 8 tbls sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 2.5lbs pork belly, cut up in about 1-2 inch pieces
  • 7 hard-boiled eggs
  • 3 shallots, sliced
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 can of Coco Rico
  • 2 tblsp Nuoc Mam (fish sauce)
  • 1 tsp salt, or to taste
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper, or to taste
  • 1/2 cup green onions, chopped – greens and whites
  1. Start by hard-boiling the eggs, peel shells, and set it aside for later use.
  2. Then start making the “Nuoc Mau” (Vietnamese Caramel Sauce), by heating the pot to medium-high and add sugar and water to the pot.
  3. Stir until mixed and the sugar has dissolved
  4. In about 10 minutes, the sugar/water mixture will start to turn brown.
  5. When it turns a nice golden brown add the pork belly and stir until the caramel has covered it
  6. Add the shallots and the can of Coco Rico, and enough water to just cover the meat by about 1 inch.  Add the fish sauce, salt, black pepper, and about 2/3 of the green onions. Mix everything together to get it all incorporated
  7. Turn the heat down to medium-low and let simmer for about 1 hour.  If you like it sweeter, the pork belly will be ready after 30 minutes.  I prefer it fall-of-the bone tender and that deep caramel flavor.
  8. Add the hard-boiled eggs in the last 20 minutes before you’re ready to serve.  Mix the sauce over it, and let it absorb the color and flavor of the caramel sauce

Serve over rice and sprinkle some garnish right on top.  Don’t forget to spoon some of the sauce over it.