Braised Black Pepper Pork (Thit Kho Tieu)

This Braised Black Pepper Pork (Thit Kho Tieu) recipe is a classic Vietnamese dish. Tender marinated pork is cooked in a deliciously savory and sweet sauce. If you’re familiar with the robustness of Vietnamese braised/kho dishes, just thinking of these flavors should have you drooling. Braised Black Pepper Pork is a simple dish with just a few ingredients yet is so hearty and satisfying. The intoxicating combination of savory fish sauce and sweet caramel sauce is absolutely heavenly. Many recipes use a pre-made caramel sauce (nuoc mau). In my recipe, I share a shortcut caramel sauce and it’s really easy. If you’re craving Braised Black Pepper Pork–just like Mom use to make, give this recipe a try. You won’t be disappointed. Enjoy!

Braised Black Pepper Pork (Thit Kho Tieu) - Classic Vietnamese Dish | recipe from runawayrice.com

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Notes on the Braised Black Pepper Pork (Thit Kho Tieu) Recipe, Tips and Tricks

Use tender cuts of pork. I am using pork sirloin tip roast purchased from Costco. It’s super tender, inexpensive and doesn’t require a lengthy cook time. Another good cut is pork tenderloin. If you prefer fattier options, use pork butt or pork belly.

Braised Black Pepper Pork (Thit Kho Tieu) - Costco's Kirkland Pork Sirloin Tip Roast| recipe from runawayrice.com

Marinate the meat for at least 15 minutes. If marinating for more than 1 hour, store in the refrigerator.

If you’d like to use the bittersweet caramel sauce (nuoc mau), add 1 tsp to the pork and marinate with the remaining ingredients. During cooking, add sugar to your taste.

If you’re new to caramelizing sugar, here’s a trick: As soon as the syrup reaches a honey color, turn off the heat and let it slowly deepen in color. This gives you more time and helps to prevent the sugar from burning.

Adjust the water depending on how much sauce you like. This recipe yields about 1/3 cup sauce to spoon over rice, dipping vegetables, etc. Add 1 cup water if you like it saucier. Optionally, for a thicker sauce, cook uncovered for the last 5 minutes. This allows the liquid to evaporate yielding a thicker sauce.

Watch the video for instructions.



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Braised Black Pepper Pork / Thit Kho Tieu

Braised Black Pepper Pork (Thit Kho Tieu) - Shortcut Caramel Sauce | recipe from runawayrice.com

Ingredients

2 green onions
3 garlic cloves
1 small shallot
1 1/2 lbs pork sirloin tip roast
1 1/4 tsp salt, divided
1/2 tsp coarsely ground black pepper
2 Tbsp fish sauce
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
2 Tbsp sugar
3/4 cup water

Directions

Separate the green onion root from the stems. Chop the stems. Transfer to a plate and set aside for now. (Save the green onion root for another dish.)

Smash the garlic. Remove the skin and discard. Mince the garlic.

Peel the skin from the shallot and discard. Chop the shallots.

Sprinkle both sides of the pork with 1 tsp salt. Gently rub the salt onto the pork. Rinse with cold water washing away the salt. Transfer to paper towels and pat dry.

Cut the pork into strips about 2-3 inches wide. Cut the pork (across the grain) into slices about 1/2 inch thick.

In a large bowl, add the sliced pork, half the minced garlic and half the chopped shallots. Add the remaining 1/4 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp coarsely ground black pepper and fish sauce. Combine together mixing all ingredients well. Cover and let marinate for at least 15 minutes.

Heat a large pan over Medium High heat. When hot add the vegetable oil and sugar. Stir together. In 2-3 minutes, the sugar dissolves and turns a light honey color. In 3-4 minutes, the liquid turns an amber color. Swirl the caramel in the pan for a few seconds letting the color deepen. Don’t overcook or the sauce will burn and become bitter. Quickly add the remaining garlic and shallots and marinated pork. Combine together coating the pork in the caramel. Cover the pan and cook over Medium High heat until the liquid starts to boil, approximately 2-3 minutes.

Combine together making sure the pork is coated with sauce. Add the water. Arrange the pork so all pieces are touching liquid. Cover the pan and bring the liquid to a boil.

Once it comes to a boil, reduce the heat to Medium Low. Skim off the foam and discard. Mix everything together again. Partially cover the pan and cook for 10 minutes. Combine together every 5 minutes so the pork is well-coated with sauce.

Taste the sauce. Add more fish sauce or sugar as desired. This dish should be savory and a bit sweet. Combine together and cook for another 5 minutes.

Turn off the heat. Add the remaining 1/4 tsp coarsely ground black pepper.

To serve, transfer the Braised Black Pepper Pork to a large plate. Drizzle the sauce on top. Garnish with the chopped green onion stems. Serve the Braised Black Pepper Pork with cucumber slices or steamed vegetables and enjoy with white rice.

Yields: 4 servings

Braised Black Pepper Pork (Thit Kho Tieu) - Savory, Tender Braised Pork | recipe from runawayrice.com

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Braised Black Pepper Pork (Thit Kho Tieu) - Savory, Tender Braised Pork | recipe from runawayrice.com
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Braised Black Pepper Pork / Thit Kho Tieu

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Asian, Vietnamese
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4
Calories: 254 kcal
Author: Trang

This Braised Black Pepper Pork (Thit Kho Tieu) recipe is a classic Vietnamese dish. Tender marinated pork is cooked in a deliciously savory and sweet sauce. If you're familiar with the robustness of Vietnamese braised/kho dishes, just thinking of these flavors should have you drooling. Braised Black Pepper Pork is a simple dish with just a few ingredients yet is so hearty and satisfying. The intoxicating combination of savory fish sauce and sweet caramel sauce is absolutely heavenly. If you're craving Braised Black Pepper Pork--just like Mom use to make, give this recipe a try. You won't be disappointed. Enjoy!

Ingredients

  • 2 green onions
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 small shallot
  • 1 1/2 lbs pork sirloin tip roast
  • 1 1/4 tsp salt , divided
  • 1/2 tsp coarsely ground black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 3/4 cup water

Instructions

  1. Separate the green onion root from the stems. Chop the stems. Transfer to a plate and set aside for now. (Save the green onion root for another dish.)
  2. Smash the garlic. Remove the skin and discard. Mince the garlic.
  3. Peel the skin from the shallot and discard. Chop the shallots.
  4. Sprinkle both sides of the pork with 1 tsp salt. Gently rub the salt onto the pork. Rinse with cold water washing away the salt. Transfer to paper towels and pat dry.
  5. Cut the pork into strips about 2-3 inches wide. Cut the pork (across the grain) into slices about 1/2 inch thick.
  6. In a large bowl, add the sliced pork, half the minced garlic and half the chopped shallots. Add the remaining 1/4 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp coarsely ground black pepper and fish sauce. Combine together mixing all ingredients well. Cover and let marinate for at least 15 minutes.
  7. Heat a large pan over Medium High heat. When hot add the vegetable oil and sugar. Stir together. In 2-3 minutes, the sugar dissolves and turns a light honey color. In 3-4 minutes, the liquid turns an amber color. Swirl the caramel in the pan for a few seconds letting the color deepen. Don't overcook or the sauce will burn and become bitter. Quickly add the remaining garlic and shallots and marinated pork. Combine together coating the pork in the caramel. Cover the pan and cook over Medium High heat until the liquid starts to boil, approximately 2-3 minutes.
  8. Combine together making sure the pork is coated with sauce. Add the water. Arrange the pork so all pieces are touching liquid. Cover the pan and bring the liquid to a boil.
  9. Once it comes to a boil, reduce the heat to Medium Low. Skim off the foam and discard. Mix everything together again. Partially cover the pan and cook for 10 minutes. Combine together every 5 minutes so the pork is well-coated with sauce.
  10. Taste the sauce. Add more fish sauce or sugar as desired. This dish should be savory and a bit sweet. Combine together and cook for another 5 minutes.
  11. Turn off the heat. Add the remaining 1/4 tsp coarsely ground black pepper.
  12. To serve, transfer the Braised Black Pepper Pork to a large plate. Drizzle the sauce on top. Garnish with the chopped green onion stems. Serve the Braised Black Pepper Pork with cucumber slices or steamed vegetables and enjoy with white rice.

Notes, Tips & Tricks

Use tender cuts of pork. I am using pork sirloin tip roast purchased from Costco. It's super tender, inexpensive and doesn't require a lengthy cook time. Another good cut is pork tenderloin. If you prefer fattier options, use pork butt or pork belly.

Marinate the meat for at least 15 minutes. If marinating for more than 1 hour, store in the refrigerator.

If you'd like to use a bittersweet caramel sauce (nuoc mau), add 1 tsp to the pork and marinate with the remaining ingredients. During cooking, add sugar to your taste.

Adjust the water depending on how much sauce you like. This recipe yields about 1/3 cup sauce to spoon over rice, dipping vegetables, etc. Add 1 cup water if you like it saucier. Optionally, for a thicker sauce, cook uncovered for the last 5 minutes. This allows the liquid to evaporate yielding a thicker sauce.

Nutrition Facts
Braised Black Pepper Pork / Thit Kho Tieu
Amount Per Serving
Calories 254 Calories from Fat 54
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 6g 9%
Saturated Fat 3g 15%
Cholesterol 105mg 35%
Sodium 1522mg 63%
Potassium 730mg 21%
Total Carbohydrates 7g 2%
Sugars 6g
Protein 39g 78%
Vitamin A 1.2%
Vitamin C 2.2%
Calcium 2.1%
Iron 8.7%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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4 Responses to Braised Black Pepper Pork (Thit Kho Tieu)

  1. Taylor Lu April 9, 2018 at 6:59 pm #

    Hi Trang,

    I love the shortcut caramel sauce. It’s easy once you get the timing for the sugar right. It took me 2 tries to get the caramel color just right. By the way, this tastes like my Mom’s recipe but with a little less fish sauce which I like. Thank you so much!

    • Trang April 10, 2018 at 10:23 am #

      Hi Taylor,
      I am glad you like this recipe. You’re right making the caramel is not difficult and takes just a bit of practice to time the color. Depending on your taste, feel free to adjust the fish sauce and sugar. 🙂

  2. Nick April 7, 2018 at 7:41 am #

    Hi co Trang,
    I think if you do braised black pepper pork and using pork belly will be tastier. I will use coconut water instead water. I love this recipe. I remember when I was a little boy my mom cooked Thit Kho Tieu for me when I was sick. She put in lots of ground black pepper.
    Thanks co Trang for a good memory recipe!

    • Trang April 9, 2018 at 5:52 pm #

      Hi Nick,
      Pork Belly is deliciously fatty! The pork sirloin tip roast I use is lean but still very juicy and tender. Coconut water is a wonderful substitute for water. I am glad you like this recipe. Thanks for stopping by! 🙂

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