Caramelized Pork and Eggs (Thit Kho Trung) – Instant Pot Recipe

This Instant Pot recipe for Caramelized Pork and Eggs (Thit Kho Trung) is quick and easy to make and tastes just as good as the slow-cooked version. Coated with a homemade caramel sauce, meaty chunks of pork are pressure cooked with hard-boiled eggs in a sweet and savory sauce. Infused with coconut water and fish sauce, the pork is flavorful and fork-tender. The abundant eggs, my favorite part of this dish, are deliciously marinated and perfectly cooked. The best part about this recipe is everything can be done in the Instant Pot including making the eggs and parboiling the pork. I hope you give this recipe a try! 

Watch the video for instructions.

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Notes on the Instant Pot Caramelized Pork and Eggs (Thit Kho Trung) Recipe, Tips and Tricks

I am using the 8 quart Instant Pot. This recipe is suitable for the 6 quart Instant Pot as well. For the 3 quart Instant Pot, cut the recipe in half.

Instant Pot Caramelized Pork and Eggs (Thit Kho Trung) - Recipe Twist on a Classic Viet Dish | recipe from runawayrice.com

A combination of lean and fatty pork makes the dish really flavorful. I like to use pork sirloin tip roast (purchased from Costco) which is a lean yet tender cut. I use a 2:1 ratio of lean to fatty pork. Traditionally, this dish uses all pork belly but I prefer less overall fat. Feel free to adjust to your preference.

Instant Pot Caramelized Pork and Eggs (Thit Kho Trung) - Fresh Pork Sirloin Tip Roast and Pork Belly | recipe from runawayrice.com

The parboiling is an important step. It removes the dark foam (bits of blood and meat) common with boiling pork. This step helps to clean the pork and makes the broth clear and appetizing. If you’re short on time, you can skip this step. However, I recommend straining the broth to remove the impurities. 

Instant Pot Caramelized Pork and Eggs (Thit Kho Trung) All the Flavors of Slow-Cooked in Half the Time! | recipe from runawayrice.com

Parboiling is definitely faster on the stove-top. In the Instant Pot, it takes 15-20 minutes for the water to come to a boil and another 10 minutes to parboil the pork. On the stove-top, this step takes about 15 minutes. If your cooking options are limited, it’s awesome to know you can cook this entire Caramelized Pork and Eggs dish in just one pot.

Use a glass lid for the parboiling step. If you don’t have a lid that fits, cover the inner pot with foil. You can use the pressure cooking lid but do not cover completely, activating the sensor. The reason for this is when you remove the lid, the heating mechanism will turn off.

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Caramelize the sugar until it turns a honey color. This process takes 10-15 minutes. You do not need to stir the sugar while it’s cooking.

Instant Pot Caramelized Pork and Eggs (Thit Kho Trung) - Best One Pot Recipe! | recipe from runawayrice.com

Skip the step of caramelizing the sugar by using a Caramel Sauce (Nuoc Mau). Add 1 tsp caramel sauce (more if you want deeper color and flavor) to the parboiled pork along with the fish sauce and combine well. Sauté for a 3-5 minutes until the pork is golden. The remaining steps are the same.

Add flavor and color to your braised dishes with this unique caramel syrup.

Coconut water makes the pork tender and adds a delicate sweetness. For this recipe, use the water from two fresh coconuts. Optionally, buy coconut water or use coconut soda like Coco Rico. Keep in mind coconut soda has sugar, so you may want to add more fish sauce to balance the taste.

Instant Pot Caramelized Pork and Eggs (Thit Kho Trung) - Fresh Young Coconut | recipe from runawayrice.comLastly, the amount of fish sauce may seem like a lot but it’s really not considering there’s between 4 1/2 – 5 1/2 cups liquid. The traditional Vietnamese Caramelized Pork and Eggs dish is very savory with strong fish sauce flavor. Adjust the fish sauce to your preference. If you would like to cook down the broth for a more concentrated sauce, use the Sauté function. This will boil the liquid for 30 minutes. Repeat until the broth is at the level you like.
 

Instant Pot Caramelized Pork and Eggs / Thit Kho Trung

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Instant Pot Caramelized Pork and Eggs (Thit Kho Trung) - Authentic Flavors, Half Cooking Time | recipe from runawayrice.com
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Instant Pot Caramelized Pork and Eggs / Thit Kho Trung

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Chinese, Vietnamese
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Pressurizing & NPR: 20 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 35 minutes
Servings: 6
Calories: 744 kcal
Author: Trang

This Instant Pot recipe for Caramelized Pork and Eggs (Thit Kho Trung) is quick and easy to make and tastes just as good as the slow-cooked version. Coated with a homemade caramel sauce, meaty chunks of pork are pressure cooked with hard-boiled eggs in a sweet and savory sauce. Infused with coconut water and fish sauce, the pork is flavorful and fork-tender. The abundant eggs, my favorite part of this dish, are deliciously marinated and perfectly cooked. The best part about this recipe is everything can be done in the Instant Pot including making the eggs and parboiling the pork. I hope you give this recipe a try! 

Ingredients

  • 9 large eggs
  • 2 lb pork sirloin tip roast , or pork shoulder or butt
  • 1 lb pork belly
  • 2 Tbsp salt , for cleaning the pork
  • 2 Tbsp vinegar , for cleaning the pork
  • 1/4 cup fish sauce
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 large garlic cloves
  • 1/2 medium brown onion
  • 2 1/2 cups coconut water
  • 2-3 cups hot water , adjusted as needed
  • 1/2 tsp black peppercorns , about 20-25 peppercorns

Instructions

Making the Hard-Boiled Eggs

  1. Transfer the eggs into the inner pot placing them on top of an egg rack or steamer basket. Add 2 cups hot water (1 cup if using the 6 or 3 quart Instant Pot).
  2. Cover with the pressure cooker lid and set the steam release handle to "Sealing".

  3. Press the "Manual" button and set the cook time for 5 minutes on High Pressure. When the cook time is completed, allow for a 5 minute natural pressure release. Release the remaining pressure.
  4. Transfer the eggs into a bowl of ice water. Let rest for 5 minutes.
  5. Peel the eggs and set aside for now.

Parboiling the Pork

  1. Fill the inner pot halfway with hot water. Place into the Instant Pot and cover with a glass lid. Press the "Sauté" button to start heating the water.
  2. Sprinkle salt and vinegar all over the pork. Gently rub the solution onto the meat. Wash the pork well under cold running water. Pat dry with paper towels.
  3. Trim off an excess fat. Cut the pork sirloin and pork belly into chunks, approximately 2 inch cubes.
  4. Once the water comes to a boil, add the pork pieces and gently stir together. Cover with a glass lid and let the water come to a boil again.
  5. Transfer the pork into a large colander. Rinse the meat under cold running water, washing away any loose bits of meat and residue. Drain well and transfer into a large bowl.

  6. Drizzle fish sauce on the pork. Allow to marinate while continuing with the next steps.

Making the Caramel Sauce

  1. Wash the inner pot with soap and water and dry well. Put the inner pot back into the Instant Pot.
  2. Press the "Sauté" button to heat the inner pot. Sprinkle sugar into the inner pot coating it evenly.
  3. Cook the sugar until it caramelizes and becomes a honey color, approximately 10-15 minutes. Let the sugar cook while continuing with the next step.

  4. Peel and smash the garlic cloves. Cut the brown onion into thick wedges.

Putting Everything Together

  1. Add the pork and quickly combine together, coating it in the caramel sauce. Press the "Keep Warm/Cancel" button to stop the "Sauté" mode.

  2. Add the hard-boiled eggs along with the coconut water and 2 cups hot water. Rearrange everything making sure the eggs are covered with liquid. Add more hot water if needed.
  3. Add the onions, garlic and black peppercorns. Add any remaining fish sauce from the marinade.
  4. Cover with the pressure cooker lid and set the steam release handle to "Sealing". Press the "Manual" button and set the cook time for 30 minutes on High Pressure. When the cook time is completed, allow for a 15 minute natural pressure release. Release the remaining pressure.

  5. Serve the Caramelized Pork and Eggs with Pickled Bean Sprouts (Dua Gia) or Pickled Mustard Greens (Dua Cai Chua) and hot white rice.

  6. Store any remaining portions in the refrigerator and enjoy within the week.

Recipe Video

Notes, Tips & Tricks

  • I am using the 8 quart Instant Pot. This recipe is suitable for the 6 quart Instant Pot as well. For the 3 quart Instant Pot, cut the recipe in half.
  • The parboiling is an important step. It removes the dark foam (bits of blood and meat) common with boiling pork. This step helps to clean the pork and makes the broth clear and appetizing. If you’re short on time, you can skip this step. However, I recommend straining the broth to remove the impurities.
  • Use a glass lid for the parboiling step. If you don't have a lid that fits, cover the inner pot with foil. You can use the pressure cooking lid but do not cover completely, activating the sensor. The reason for this is when you remove the lid, the heating mechanism will turn off.
  • Adjust the fish sauce to your taste.

Nutrition Facts
Instant Pot Caramelized Pork and Eggs / Thit Kho Trung
Amount Per Serving
Calories 744 Calories from Fat 450
% Daily Value*
Fat 50g77%
Saturated Fat 18g113%
Cholesterol 464mg155%
Sodium 1089mg47%
Potassium 1151mg33%
Carbohydrates 14g5%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 11g12%
Protein 53g106%
Vitamin A 460IU9%
Vitamin C 3.6mg4%
Calcium 94mg9%
Iron 3.5mg19%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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2 Responses to Caramelized Pork and Eggs (Thit Kho Trung) – Instant Pot Recipe

  1. Lindsey K. February 12, 2019 at 1:16 pm #

    Hey girl,
    I was just thinking about how to make this in the Instant Pot and you beat me too it LOL Good thing, your recipe is better and more thorough than mine. Made this over the weekend and it was a hit. My family loves the eggs so I added a full dozen. Everything was nicely marinated. Color is beautiful and I added a bit more fish sauce because my family likes it really savory. Yum Yum recipe! Thanks!

    • Trang February 12, 2019 at 2:34 pm #

      Hi Lindsey,
      Awesome! I am thrilled you like my recipe. I agree with you, the more eggs the better! Thanks for stopping by. 🙂

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