Braised pork with young coconut (Thịt kho tàu)
Thịt kho tàu
Recipe notes: Thịt kho tàu is a southern Vietnamese recipe, popularly sold on the streets of Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon)
This recipe is from Hanoi-based Chef Didier Corlou, owner and chef behind La Verticale and the recently-opened Madame Hiên. Chef Corlou, born in Brittany and who first arrived in Vietnam in 1991, is a master of mixing combining French and Vietnamese ingredients and techniques.
- 1 ½ lb (750g) boneless pork shank, leg or shoulder, cut into 1 inch (2.5cm) cubes
- 1/3 cup (3oz/90g) sugar
- 2 coconuts, preferably young coconuts, or about 4 cups (32fl oz/1l) coconut water
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2/3 cup (5 fl oz/ 150ml) fish sauce
- 6 hard-boiled eggs, shelled
- 1 fresh long red or green chili, seeded and thinly sliced
- 1/3 cup (1/2 oz/15g) coarsely chopped Chinese (flat/garlic) chives
- 6 scallions (spring onions) including green parts, cut into 1-inch (2.5cm) pieces
- Place pork in a medium casserole dish. Sprinkle with sugar and refrigerate for 1 hour. Traditionally, any rind is retained to enrich the juices, but discard if preferred.
- Pierce the tops of the coconuts and drain the coconut water. Cut away the tops. Scoop the gelatinous flesh from inside shells and cut into small cubes.
- Heat oil over a medium heat, cook pork, stirring, until lightly golden on all sides for 3-5 minutes. When the meat begins to brown because of the sugar, add 1-2 tablespoons of coconut water, fish sauce and the coconut meat.
- Bring to a low boil, immediately reduce to a low heat, partially cover, and simmer very gently until pork is tender and liquid is reduces by half, about 2 to 2.5 hours. Add hard-boiled eggs during the last 30 minutes.
- Garnish with chili, chives and scallions.
Serving Size: 2-4
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Preparation Time: 30 minutes