Monday, March 28, 2011

Recipe:Thịt Heo Kho Trứng (Braised Pork Belly In Pear Cider, Coconut Juice & Egg)

By Leluu (@loveleluu)
This is one of my favourite dishes, it can be cooked and left on the stove to be demolished throughout the week for lunch over some steamed rice. Its also a very traditional new year (tet) dish. Commonly, a peasant meal as it uses all the cheap cuts of the pork and people on farms usually have eggs from their chickens.

As this can be left on the stove for a few days (you should heat it up twice daily in hot weather so that it doesn't go off), the more you heat it, the more the meat falls apart and you can stretch out the meat to last you. You can always use the delicious broth to flavour your rice which means you can make this your meal for days and days to come which is really useful if you are poor in Vietnam (or anywhere).

In this dish, you can use quail's eggs, which are slightly posher but they are bite sized and do not look as intimidating as a large chicken's egg when you serve them to people who've never eaten this before. I normally use quail's and chicken's eggs for the variety.

This is a sweet, savoury and hot dish, seasoned with fish sauce and is a warm, hearty paradise for the soul. You should serve this with many fresh stir fried greens such as pak choi, choi sum or even with a green leafy soup to balance out the hot and cold elements, the ying and yang of a meal.

Seves 8

1kg Pork Belly, sliced and chopped into inch or less cubes
1 (50g) Disc Palm Sugar or (70g Brown Sugar Piece)
5 Small vietnamese Shallots or Medium Onion
Half Bulb Garlic - Finely chopped
6 Birds Eye Chillis, Deseeded - Finely chopped
1 Bottle of Pear Cider (or ordinary cider)
1 Can of Coconut Juice
150ml Coconut Milk (Optional - to thicken sauce, to make creamy)
24 Quails eggs or 8 chicken eggs
Three Crabs Fish Sauce to season
Pinches of Black Pepper
Cut the pork pieces (remove skin but leave some fatty bits) and marinate in the blended shallots or onions, garlic and chilli and fish sauce. Leave for at least half an hour.

Melt the palm sugar or brown sugar piece in a big pot. Watch that you don't burn it, however, a slight burning gives the whole thing a lovely smoked flavour. Add in the pear cider and the coconut juice. Bring to a gentle boil. Then add the meat. Once it comes to the boil, cook on simmer. Season with Three Crabs fish sauce to taste. (Do not use cheap fish sauce like Squid - it will make all your food taste like yuck)

Meanwhile hard boil and peel the eggs. Add this to the pot and simmer for at least 2 hours. 4 hours is better. If you want to have a creamy texture to this, add coconut milk. Make sure you have a good balance of sweet and savoury, add some black pepper.

Serve with steamed rice. it is also really nice when you serve it with a fried egg.


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