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Thit Kho (Pork Belly and Eggs)

Food

It’s our final instalment from Michael Pham of Phamily Kitchen today, and he leaves us with a favourite dish from his Mum’s kitchen.

Thit Kho is braised pork belly and eggs, in a rich brown caramelised sauce.  It is SUPER flavoursome and moreish, and is best served over rice with a few tangy pickles on the side. Perfect warming comfort food for wintery weather.

MASSIVE thanks to Michael Pham for a stellar month of mouth watering food and turquoise tabletops.

31st March, 2015
Michael Pham of Phamily Kitchen
Tuesday 31st March 2015

My mother makes heaps of great dishes that take me right back to being that fat, dorky mathlete kid who was no good at sport. Must have had something to do with being well fed. I could name a heap of dishes that take me back to childhood in an instant; pork stuffed tofu in tomato, crab and egg soup, hairy melon soup with dried shrimp, those stuffed baos with chinese sausage and steamed egg, but as far as family favourites go, this is by far the hands-down winner.

Nothing says welcome home like this pork belly and eggs dish. Sweet, sticky, chunks of pork belly, stewed until dark brown and swimming in a thick pool of gravy with boiled, dark brown eggs. Amazing. Throw it down with steamed rice, cucumber, pickles and I’m all yours. Mum thinks my addition of Coca-Cola™ is pretty unorthodox, but it adds just that bit more caramel sweetness and lime zestiness to the dish that makes it god damn magic. DELICIOUS. Enough said. Let’s cook.

Ingredients (Serves 4-6)

For the pork

  • 1kg pork belly off the bone
  • 2 x 425mL cans Chef’s Choice coconut juice
  • 1 cup Coca-Cola™
  • 4-6 Tablespoons Fish Sauce – get the best quality you can find – Three Crabs brand is pretty widely available
  • 1 brown onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 clove garlic, thinly sliced
  • 2 Tablespoons cracked black pepper
  • 4-6 boiled eggs, peeled
  • 2-3 tablespoons of dark soy sauce for colour

For the garnish

  • Continental or lebanese cucumber, sliced
  • 2 carrots, grated
  • 1/2 white daikon, grated
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • Water to cover

To serve

  • 2 cups jasmine rice, steamed
  • 1 small bunch coriander, cleaned and picked
  • Fried shallots

METHOD

Boil eggs in lightly salted cold water for 7-10 minutes, then run under cold water and submerge in ice water.

Bring a pot of water to the boil (for the pork). Cut pork belly side down (this way is easier) into 2.5cm squares, then drop it into the pot of boiling water for three minutes.

Drain pork, clean the pot, return pork to pot and add coconut juice, Coca-Cola™, onions, garlic, fish sauce, peeled eggs, and pepper. Heat on high heat, then turn down once almost boiling to a low simmer with the lid off for around 2-3 hours.

About an hour before the pork is ready, cook the rice. Now there’s a very specific way to do this and you can’t mess around too hard with it. You have to wash it, so place your rice cooker pot into the sink and with your clean hands, massage it, clean it, give it your love! This cuts the white residue off the rice and cleans it. Drain the water off, do this 2-3 times. Then shake the rice until flat in the pan and measure the height of your rice with your index finger. Then add that same height of water above and hit cook (on your rice cooker, if you don’t have one get one – they’re less than a twenty from Kmart), or on medium heat with a lid over it in a saucepan if you must. Perfect rice.

Make some quick pickles. Grate the carrot and daikon, and let soak in the fridge in vinegar, water and sugar for at least ten minutes.

Once the pork is soft, the gravy nicely caramelised you’re ready. Cut the eggs in half, then serve over perfectly steamed white rice along with sprouts, pickles and sliced cucumber and fried shallots.

Michael Pham at Phamily Kitchen, photo – Sean Fennessy for The Design Files.

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