Thit Kho (Caramelized Pork Belly)


Thit kho tau (or thit kho for short) is a very popular dish in Vietnamese households for everyday eating, but it's also traditionally served during Tết, the Vietnamese Lunar New Year. The longer you cook the pork belly, the more tender it becomes. If you make this dish ahead of time, the fat will congeal on the surface, making it easier to remove and a little healthier! This also allows the flavors to meld a little more. Serve with rice.

Prep Time:
20 mins
Cook Time:
1 hr 15 mins
Additional Time:
10 mins
Total Time:
1 hr 45 mins


  • 2 pounds pork belly, trimmed

  • 2 tablespoons white sugar

  • 5 shallots, sliced

  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped

  • 3 tablespoons fish sauce

  • ground black pepper to taste

  • 13 fluid ounces coconut water

  • 6 hard-boiled eggs, peeled


  1. Slice pork belly into 1-inch pieces layered with skin, fat, and meat.

  2. Heat sugar in a large wok or pot over medium heat until it melts and caramelizes into a light brown syrup, about 5 minutes. Add pork and increase the heat to high. Cook and stir to render some of the pork fat, 3 to 5 minutes.

  3. Stir shallots and garlic into the wok. Add fish sauce and black pepper; stir until pork is evenly coated. Pour in coconut water and bring to a boil. Add hard-boiled eggs and reduce the heat to low. Cover and simmer, checking occasionally and adding a little water if the liquid evaporates too much, until pork is tender, about 1 hour.

  4. Remove from the heat and let stand for about 10 minutes. Skim fat from the surface of the dish.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

410 Calories
26g Fat
16g Carbs
27g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 6
Calories 410
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 26g 34%
Saturated Fat 9g 43%
Cholesterol 267mg 89%
Sodium 1832mg 80%
Total Carbohydrate 16g 6%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Total Sugars 6g
Protein 27g
Vitamin C 5mg 27%
Calcium 68mg 5%
Iron 2mg 12%
Potassium 669mg 14%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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