This braised pork belly (and eggs, any kind of egss) is the most famous comfort food in every Viet household. Most likely each family would cook this dish at least once a month. Chances are if you're a closed friend with a Viet family, you've already tasted this.
There are two versions of this braised pork belly. One is marinated in dark soy sauce to enhance its color to become reddish. That reddish braised pork belly version is found quite a lot in Chinese cuisine. I The other one is marinated in fish sauce, cooked in coconut water for hours to acquire the tender texture at the end. This is the version I am writing about.Jump to Recipe
Traditionally, the recipe is called for 100% of coconut water. However, that way is too sweet for me so I prefer half coconut water and half chicken stock or regular water. It can be canned coconut juice or fresh juice, whatever you have in hands.
I did mention up there it can be any type of eggs that you like: chicken eggs, duck eggs, or even quail eggs. There are no limitation when it comes to eggs and braised pork belly. Or it can be no egg at all if your goal is to keep your cholesterol level low these days. If you decide to use eggs, this how-to guide about boiling the perfect egg is very handy at the moment.
Last but not least, just as any soup-like family (chicken pho or bun rieu-crab consomme soup), this recipe tasted best after a good amount of resting. It means when you are done with the cooking process, you should let your braised pork belly pot rest for 3 to 4 hours. The process will help to develop more in-depth flavors for both pork belly and cooked eggs. Oh not to mention the braised liquid would also be tastier after this resting time.
Braised Pork Belly in Fish Sauce
- 1.5 lb pork belly and/or pork butt, skin on cut into double bite size
- 5 shallots minced
- 10 clove garlic minced
- 3 oz fish sauce
- 1 oz sweet soy sauce
- ⅛ tsp white pepper
- ⅛ tsp ground coriander
- ⅛ tsp garlic powder
- ⅛ tsp onion powder
- 0.5 oz dark brown sugar
- ¼ tsp cayenne pepper optional
- 3 Thai chilies optional
- 6 egg cooked, peeled, set aside, optional
- 4 c coconut water
- In a large mixing bowl, put all ingredients together (except the eggs and coconut water) and mix well. Let the pork belly marinade for at least 4 hours or over night.
- In a medium cooking put, add 2 tbsp of cooking oil, add the marinated pork belly and saute for 5 minutes (or until every piece of pork has already browned on all sides).
- After that, add 4 cups of coconut water and extra water enough to cover the entire pork belly in the pot (keep in mind the liquid will be reduced by half at the end). If you want more delicious sauce for your rice, you can add more water at this point. After this, DO NOT add any more water. Bring the whole pot to boil.
- Reduce the heat to medium-high and let the pot simmer for 45 minutes. Uncover.
- After 45 minutes, add the boiled eggs and simmer for another 30 minutes. Uncover.
- The braised pork belly is ready to eat at this point or let it rest for another 3-4 hours in order to develop more in-depth flavors. Enjoy with your bowl of hot white rice!