This classic dish (a favorite for Tet/Lunar New Year) is typically made by caramelizing sugar into a thick syrup and then cooking the pork and eggs slow and low until the pork is super tender. My recipe shortcut is to use Coca-Cola in place of the caramel which can be a bit tricky to make. (I’ve burned my share of sugar making this in the past.) Coke adds the perfect sugar and color substitute and you’ll love the taste and time-savings!
In my house we make a big batch a few days before New Year’s day. The process of refrigerating and reheating makes the pork really soft and the longer everything marinates in the delicious caramel sauce the tastier it becomes. My favorite part of this dish is definitely the eggs. I love eating the caramel-coated eggs with rice and often double the eggs in the recipe so I have some extras to enjoy. (They go fast!) I have to admit–I am not a fan of cooking with fatty pork but this dish would not be the same without it. The fat helps to keep the meat juicy and broth flavorful. So friends, don’t dismiss this awesome recipe because of the fatty pork, do what I do–peel it off and don’t eat it!
A Quick Tip: If you have the time and want the meat and pork to be infused with the delicious caramel flavor, every hour or so, put the dish back on the stove (with the lid on) over medium heat. As soon as the broth starts to boil, turn off the heat. Turn the meat and eggs each time. Repeat this step several times and you’ll be amazed at how flavorful the pork and eggs are.
Watch the video below for instructions.
1 lb pork butt with skin
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup fish sauce
1 cup Coca-Cola
1 cup water
5 hard boiled eggs
1/4 small onion
Cut pork pieces into thick chunks.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Salt the water. Drop pork pieces into water and boil for 3-4 minutes. Remove pork and place in a large bowl. Rinse pork pieces several times with water and drain well.
Drizzle half of fish sauce on pork. Turn pork over and drizzle remaining fish sauce.
Add Coke and water to saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Add pork. Using a spoon, skim bubbles from the broth and discard. Continue skimming until most of bubbles are gone. (This helps to keep the broth clear.) Add peppercorns. Cover pot, turn heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes.
Turn pork over. Add eggs and immerse in the broth. Separate onion into pieces and add on top. Cover and simmer over low heat. After 1/2 hour, gently turn the eggs and meat making sure everything is evenly coated with the caramel liquid. Cover and simmer for another 1/2 hour. The pork should be tender when pricking with fork or chopstick.
Yields: 4 servings