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Vietnamese with Tram – Caramelized pork – Thit Kho Tieu

serves 4

INGREDIENTS: ts = teaspoon tbsp = tablespoon

600 gr Pork shoulder – Nakkekotelett
2 Finely chopped shallots
4 dl Coconut water (not coconut milk!) without sugar
1 tbsp Soy sauce
2 tbsp Peppercorns – crushed coarse with mortar
1 tbsp Lemon juice – added just before serving

Marinade :

3 tbsp Fish sauce
1 tbsp Brown sugar or honey
½ ts Salt
1 tbsp Finely chopped garlic

Caramelization :

2 tbsp (x2 ) Oil for cooking (for ex canola oil)
2 tbsp (x2) Sugar

Garnish :

1 tbsp Finely shredded spring onion (the white part and a bit of the green)
1 tbsp Sesame seeds (preferably black and white)
3 cm Fresh ginger  (finely shredded)

Side dish :

1 Kai Lan ( green cabbage – kind of  chinese kale)
1 tbsp Sesame oil
1 tbsp Cooking oil
1 tbsp Fresh ginger (cut in thin strips)
1 tbsp soy sauce


About 50 gr (dry) per person  – Use Jasmine rice of a good quality



  • Cut meat in cubes 2×2 cm (keep the fat) and put in a bowl or plastic bag
  • Add fish sauce, sugar, salt and garlic
  • Mix well and let sit for 15 min
  • Wash and cut all veg, put in different containers
  • Prepare for caramelization

Caramelization (important step for the end result) & braising

  • Use a thick and deep bottom casserole / deep wok pan, add sugar and oil to the pan/casserole
  • Have meat and coconut water readily available
  • Put casserole/pot with oil and sugar on high heat (not max) – wait until sugar melts
  • Soonest sugar melts, it burns fast so add the meat immediately (avoid splash), spread the meat on one layer and wait 3-5 minutes, stir to turn and fry 3-5 min until nice brown colour – the less you stir, the better caramelization
  • Add shallot – stir fry everything for 2-5 min
  • Add coconut water and bring to a boil, then reduce to medium heat
  • Simmer/ cook with NO lid on until the liquid is reduced to 1/3 – stir occasionally to avoid sticking to the bottom
  • Add cracked peppers and simmer another 5 min
  • Add lime/lemon juice just before serving (gives nice freshness)

Greens (10 min before serving) & rice

  • Boil / steam rice as per instructions – keep warm
  • Boil greens in salt water – 2 min (kai lan) – drained
  • Heat a pan with sesame oil and regular oil on medium-high heat, add ginger and stir fry, add kai lan, soy and stir fry


  • Individual bowl, add rice on the bottom, add meat, add cabbage, pour sauce over. Garnish with spring onion, fried onion, chili slices, black and white sesame (optional)
  • For sharing, garnish meat w spring onion, chili, and serve separately

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