A Cottage Foods take on Thit kho tàu

A Cottage Foods take on Thit kho tàu

Thit kho tàu is a delicious and authentic meal, perfect for events like Vietnamese Lunar New Year.

A firm favourite here at Cottage Foods (Yorkshire) Ltd. Really easy to make and the flavours are perfect!

The fattiness of the pork belly, caramelization from the sugar in the marinade, and the coconut water makes this dish. At the same time, the fish sauce adds sharpness and the fresh garnishes prevent it from feeling too heavy.

Besides marinating the pork overnight, there aren’t too many steps beside waiting for the dish to braise, so it’s a stress-free dish to have on the stove amidst the usual holiday madness of a large dinner party.

The cooked dish also benefits from sitting overnight, so if you are particularly pressed for time, you can simply reheat it right before serving. 

The Cottage Foods rendition differs slightly from the traditional recipe, we think the braising liquid has enough depth and richness with the overnight marinade alone rather than a traditional caramel sauce. 

We also add the eggs to the braising liquid only 15 minutes before the dish is finished (many recipes instruct you to let them simmer together for at least an hour); this way the yolks remain slightly loose creamy. 

We would love to hear your thought’s…



2.5 pounds pork belly, skin on and boneless

1 teaspoon Triple Lion Chinese Five Spice

1 teaspoon Triple Lion Chilli flakes

2 tablespoons Tate & Lyle Soft light brown sugar

2 tablespoons Knorr Clear Fish Bouillon

2 tablespoons Lee Klum Light Soy Sauce

1 tablespoon Shibanuma Shiho Raw Soy Sauce

1 tablespoon Pomace oil

shallots, peeled and finely minced

tablespoons garlic puree

4 cups coconut milk

large free range eggs

Triple Lion Thai Jasmine Rice, cooked (to serve)

Cilantro (to serve)

Red chillies, thinly sliced (to serve)



Pat the pork belly dry with paper towels and cut into 1-inch thick slices. Transfer the pieces to a large bowl and rub in the Triple Lion Chinese Five Spice and Tate & Lyle Soft light brown sugar. Add the Knorr Clear Fish Bouillon, Lee Klum Light Soy Sauce & Shibanuma Shiho Raw Soy Sauce then mix with your hands to combine. Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and let marinate in the fridge overnight. 

Set a large cast iron (or heavy bottomed) pot over medium-high heat and add Pomace Oil. Sear the pork slices on both sides and then set aside (remember to reserve the leftover marinade). Lower the heat to a medium-low flame and gently sauté the shallots. After 2 minutes, add the garlic puree. Add a splash of the coconut milk, scraping the bottom of the pan to help deglaze and continue to sauté until the shallots are soft and translucent. 

Place the pork belly back into the pot in a single layer then add the reserved marinade and remaining coconut milk—but slowly, and in increments. The liquid level should not cover the pork completely—it should come up to a little more than half the sides of the meat. Increase the heat to medium-high and bring to a boil. Once this happens, lower to a simmer and skim the fat that has risen to the surface. Cover with a lid and simmer for about 3 hours, skimming occasionally, until the pork belly is very tender. 

While the pork belly is braising, place a large pot of water over high heat. When the water comes to a boil, add the eggs and lower the heat slightly (you don’t want them to be bouncing around too crazily in the water).

After 6 minutes, remove the egg and hold them under cold running water until they have cooled, then peel. Add the cooked eggs to the braising liquid for the last 15 minutes of cooking, nestling them amongst the pieces of pork belly. 

Serve over cooked jasmine rice, garnishing with fresh cilantro and red chilies & Triple Lion Chilli flakes.

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