Thịt Kho Recipe – (Vietnamese Braised Pork with Eggs)

This thịt kho recipe is a braise so the meat is going to be reeeeally tender. You can use country style pork ribs but get the one with bones if you can find it. You can also use pork belly for this for a fattier broth. For me, there’s no point in eating chewy pork skin, but the fattier broth is nice.

What you need:
-2.2 lbs. (1 kg) of country style pork ribs (or shoulder)
-6 chicken eggs

-1/2 (6 oz.) can coconut soda
-1.5 tablespoons soy sauce
-1.5 tablespoons fish sauce
-2 teaspoons salt
-4 tablespoons sugar for the nuoc mau (caramel). This is to add color and a hint of sweetness. Depending on how dark your caramel sauce gets, you may not need to add all of it to the pot. If you don’t want to make the nuoc mau, you can replace the soy sauce in the recipe with dark soy sauce for color.

Side Notes:
I have tried adding slices of yellow onion and garlic too. It adds another complementary layer of flavor. A note on the seasoning for this thịt kho recipe: you can tinker with the soy sauce, fish sauce, and salt after the liquid has finished reducing also, to fit your taste. Do this by aiming to slightly under-season before boiling the pork, then adding more after the liquid reduices.

Approximate prep time: 5 minutes
Approximate cook time: 2 hours 10 minutes

Get about 2-3 quarts of water boiling on high heat. You want enough to cover the pork when it is added.


Cut the pork into about 1″ x 1.5″ (2.5cm x 3.8cm) pieces.

After the pot of water is at a boil, add the pork for about 1-2 minutes to rid it of impurities. We’re not trying to cook it all the way through here. Then, pour out the water and rinse the pork and pot under running water. Use your hands! Drain the water.

Add to the pot: 1/2 a can coconut soda, 1.5 tablespoons soy sauce, 1.5 tablespoons fish sauce, 2 teaspoons salt.

Then fill up the pot until the water just covers the meat. Turn the stove back on high heat. When it hits a boil, lower to about about 50% heat and set the timer for 2 hours. The longer you cook it, the softer the pork gets. If you’re in a hurry, 1 hour could do. Leaving it slightly uncovered lets the liquid reduce so you get a nice broth/sauce later.Make the Nuoc Mau (caramel) and add to the pot.

Next, boil the eggs.

When they are ready, remove the shells and cool.

When there are about 30-60 minutes left on the timer, add the eggs. Eventually we want the liquid to reduce to half of the original. So when the timer shows 15 minutes left and you have too much liquid, turn the heat up to evaporate the water faster. If you don’t want to overcook the other ingredients, reduce the liquid in another pot.

Serve with rice.

When I was a kid, I enjoyed this by mashing up the yolk and mix it with the rice, then adding some broth. Well…nothing has changed except I’ve stepped up my game with freshly ground pepper on top. Oh and some dua chua on the side too.


  1. SK says:

    Good job :) A good food in Tet’s Days at Vietnam, however, eating it in normal days is ok ! ^^

  2. Huy Vu says:

    Thanks! Just wish I had some Dua Cai Chua to go with this. =]

  3. daisy says:

    its so hard to find vietnamese recipes i understand and use online. more more more.

  4. Huy Vu says:

    =] sure thing.

  5. Jessica says:

    This reminds me of a Korean side dish called “Jang Joh Rim.” I wonder if they taste similar!

  6. jason says:

    Huy, do i cover the pot with a lid? or leave it open?

  7. Jennifer says:

    Really great recipe, the step by step pictures are really appreciated. Thank you for sharing, and keep them coming!

  8. Jen says:

    Similar to adobo in the philippines:) ill try this recipe..

  9. Shay says:

    A friend made this as a comfort meal for me once and I loved it!
    Now I can try making it for my family. Wondering if this needs to be simmered covered with a lid or left open to boil? Thanks

  10. LT says:

    This is way better than the Filipinos’ adobo.

  11. Eric says:

    looks similar to adobo but taste way different to adobo trust me this dish is heaps tastier

  12. steve says:

    make sure you use good fish sauce, like the one pictured above.

  13. Linda says:

    I love the pictures and the steps are very similar to my notes from my mom’s cooking lesson to me. The only thing is I just cooked it today with the country style boneless ribs and I compared it to the pork belly meat. Somehow the rib meat was more tough. Is there a way to make it more tender? I cooked 2hrs as your recipe dictates.

    Also, many people asked & I wonder also, do you cook your pot covered or uncovered?

    • Huy says:

      I cook it uncovered so the liquid can reduce (evaporate) to an amount I like. If you see it reduces too much you can put the lid back on or add some water.

      As for toughness of the meat, different cuts will vary in amount of connective tissue. Just cook it longer if its still too tough. At first I was afraid to overcook it, but giving it more time has always resulted in tender results. Just check it every 8 minutes or so.

  14. Alicia says:

    Isnt the broth suppose to be thicker?

    • Huy says:

      You can concentrate it more by reducing the water, making it darker but pretty much the same consistency. This is the way I usually see it made–have you seen this dish prepared with some thickener?

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