Braised pork and eggs in…pressure cooker!

Another pressure cooker post! This will be my last one for a while since I’m heading to ATX to get fat off food trucks and Franklin’s BBQ 🙂

I had a couple of friends over tonight for dinner and a movie and one of my friends requested I try and make Vietnamese Thit Kho (Caramelized Braised Pork with Eggs) in the pressure cooker. I was happy to oblige; but as soon as I got started, I had a craving for Chinese braised pork instead. After improvising and following my nose, the dish morphed into a Vietnamese-Chinese pork stew that I was pretty happy to share with my friends.

Recipe at the bottom.

Sauteed chopped yellow onion, crushed garlic, sliced ginger, star anise, cinnamon, and whole red dried chilies in a little oil until fragrant.

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I was planning on making the traditional Vietnamese caramel sauce to coat the pork, but I experimented with Indonesian Kecap Manis (a sweet thick soy sauce that is already seasoned) and this Chinese braising sauce that my best friend’s mom gave me (another sweet thick soy sauce that already has added spices for dishes such as Chinese braised pork belly). Using these sauces saved me another 15-20 minutes of time and I think all of the additional spices and seasonings gave the dish an added dimension.

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Instead of pork belly, I used a fatty cut of pork butt that I browned in the sauces above plus freshly grated five spice.

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Filled the pot with 3 cups of unsweetened coconut water and a couple tablespoons of fish sauce. Pressure cooked on medium for 20 minutes and the meat was falling apart. Strained the excess oil and scum that floated to the top with a fine mesh sieve. Took out the cinnamon sticks and star anise. Added in my hard boiled eggs and simmered uncovered for another 20 minutes to reduce the sauce and season the eggs.

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Adjust with more fish sauce, salt, and pepper to taste. Serve with steamed veggies over rice.

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Ingredients

  • 6 peeled and crushed garlic cloves
  • 2 inch sliced ginger
  • 1 medium yellow onion chopped
  • 6-8 whole dried red chilies (however many you can handle)
  • 6 star anise
  • 3 small or 2 large cinnamon sticks
  • 4 lbs fatty pork (either pork belly, pork butt, or pork shoulder) chopped into medium 2 inch chunks
  • 1 tsp Chinese five spice
  • 2 T kecap manis + 2 T Lee Kum Kee brown braising sauce (or 4 T of Nuoc Mau – Vietnamese Caramel Sauce)
  • 6-8 hard boiled eggs peeled
  • 3 cups unsweetened coconut juice
  • freshly ground black pepper and salt to taste
  • 2 T fish sauce + more to taste
  • 2 T oil

Directions

Heat oil and saute the first 6 ingredients until fragrant. Add pork, sauce(s) and five spice and cook until pork is browned on the outside. Add coconut juice, 2 T of fish sauce and if needed, top with water until the pork is just covered. Cook under medium pressure for 20 minutes. Release steam. Remove scum and extra oil on the top with a fine mesh sieve. You can also remove the cinnamon sticks and star anise if you see them floating at the top. Add eggs and simmer for another 20 minutes to reduce the sauce. Season to taste with ground black pepper, salt and more fish sauce as needed.

Serve over steamed jasmine rice.

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