Thursday, January 27, 2011

Vietnamese Caramelized Pork Belly Recipe (aka Thit Kho Trung)

I have been very busy with midterms so I'll just post a recipe that I'm very familiar with. This dish is one of common dishes we Vietnamese eat along with boiled rice for regular meals. With that being said, this dish mostly can't be found at most Vietnamese restaurants since it's nothing fancy yet the taste is still guaranteed.  There are several styles to make this dish from the Northern to Southern Vietnam; however, the basic are still the same with pork belly, caramelized sugar, shrimps and boiled eggs. The coconut juice (soda can) can be used to replace water but it is not required. Because I'm so used to cooking it, I barely keep track with all the measurements just like the way I learned to cook. My taste buds have to do all the work so this time, I have to borrow the measurements from the ingredients listed from Almost Bourdain's blog with the changes.

Enjoy ! =)

Ingredients (for 6)

2 lbs pork belly

1/2 lbs medium shrimp
3 tbs of cooking oil
1/2 cup of sugar
5 cups of water or coconut soda for flavor
125 ml (4 fl oz / 1/2 cup fish sauce
2 cloves of  shallots
1 tsp salt
2 tsp black pepper
5 hard-boiled eggs, peeled (I'm an egg lover so I always cook up to 10 eggs =)
1/2 tsp of red chilies (optional)


  1. Cut the pork belly into 2 x 4 cm (3/4 x 1 1/2 in) pieces and set aside.
  2. Cut the tails and the legs of shrimps but leave the shells and set aside.
  3. Heat up the oil in the pot, put in the shallots for the flavor.
  4. Then put the meat in for around 2- mins until it is slightly cooked on the surface then add the shrimp in.
  5. Stir often for evenly cook then add all the ingredients (fish sauce, pepper, salt, chillies) and water to the pot. Turn the heat to medium. 
  6. Add the boiled eggs carefully.
  7. To make the caramel, put the sugar a saucepan and place over high heat. Cook without constantly stirring until sugar becomes a rich golden colour, then carefully add to the cooking pot.
  8. Stir quickly to get the color covered all the meat, shrimp and egg but be careful not to crack the eggs.
  9. Reduce the heat to a simmer and Cook for 20-25 minutes or until the most of the sauce get thicken and bound to the meat, shrimp and eggs (caramelized).

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Dessert of the week - Pound cake

It's finally Thursday night when Michelle and I tried on new recipe. This pound cake recipe came out really nice, moist and tasty, but I have to say the time baking varies based on the Watt of your oven and the thickness of your bundt cake.  Just make sure to set the time around 5-7 minutes less, and check the cake with toothpick all the time during the last minutes. 
Also, have some fun designing on top of the batter if you have some chocolate syrup.

Good luck and have fun baking.

Pound cake recipe (Sources: Food network)
Recipe courtesy Paula Deen
Prep Time:
15 min
Cook Time:
1 hr 30 min
16 to 20 servings
·         1/2 pound (2 sticks) butter, plus more for pan
·         1/2 cup vegetable shortening
·         3 cups sugar
·         5 eggs
·         3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pan
·         1/2 teaspoon fine salt
·         1/2 teaspoon baking powder
·         1 cup milk
·         1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
With a mixer, cream butter and shortening together. Add sugar, a little at a time. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating after each addition. Stir dry ingredients together in a bowl and add to mixer alternately with milk, starting with the flour and ending with the flour. Mix in vanilla. Pour into a greased and floured tube pan and bake for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.