Tender and juicy braised pork with pickled vegetables, fluffy rice and a gooey egg!
If you haven't noticed yet, Vietnamese food is one of my favorite cuisines! I love the savory, sweet, sour flavors and fragrant herbs.
If I had a signature dish, this would be it. This rice bowl is inspired by thịt kho, a traditional Vietnamese braised pork and egg dish made with pork belly. The pickled vegetables were inspired by bánh mì sandwiches which include cucumber, pickled carrots and daikon, and cilantro.
After assembling the bowl I realized that it resembled bibimbap!
I have a weakness for comfort food and this savory dish is the ultimate comfort food, balanced with lots of veggies.
This recipe uses three types of sauces: Three crabs fish sauce, soy sauce and oyster sauce. A caramel sauce is also created by melting sugar in oil until golden brown. The sugar balances out the saltiness of the savory sauces.
Cut of Meat
Thịt kho is traditionally made with pork belly but I prefer to use pork shoulder or butt since it has more meat and just the right amount of fat to melt in your mouth. For the ultimate richness, feel free to use pork belly!
If using pork butt or shoulder, make sure you pick a piece with generous fat to keep the meat tender and moist.
You can also combine pork belly with pork shoulder for the best of both worlds!
I used a combination of daikon and carrots to pickle, which is traditional in bánh mì sandwiches. Daikon is a white radish that can be found in Asian grocery stores.
I also pickled some thinly sliced red onion for some sharpness.
The pickled vegetables pair really well with the richness of the pork and the cucumbers provide a nice crunch.
Garnish this dish with scallions and cilantro for some freshness.
I love topping this rice bowl with a fried egg with crispy edges and a gooey yolk. Thịt kho is made with hard boiled eggs so you can add peeled hard boiled eggs in the last hour of cooking to soak up the golden sauce. This dish would also be really good with a six minute jammy egg.
Tips to Make the Best Braised Pork Bowl
- Use a cut of meat like pork belly or shoulder with generous marbling to ensure tenderness.
- Sear the meat on both sides for extra flavor.
- Scrap the bottom of the pan when deglazing to ensure all the browned bits are incorporated.
- Make the pork a day ahead so the flavors can meld and the fat in the sauce can solidify and be easily removed.
- Adjust the seasonings according to your taste. The pork is very salty but is balanced out when mixed with the vegetables and rice.
- Drizzle extra sauce over the rice and pork to serve.
I usually make this in the Instant Pot on high for 30 minutes but wanted to share a recipe that requires no special equipment. If you make it in the Instant Pot, use one cup of water instead of two.
This rice bowl is on our regular rotation. It's easy to make, but looks fancy and tastes like you put in a lot of effort.
If you like braised recipes, you'll also love chicken adobo!
Vietnamese Inspired Braised Pork Rice Bowl
- 3 pounds pork shoulder
- 2 tablespoons oil
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1/4 cup oyster sauce
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 1/4 cup fish sauce
- 2 cups water
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 cup daikon shredded
- 1 cup carrot shredded
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1/4 cup vinegar
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 red onion thinly sliced
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- 1/4 cup vinegar
- 1/4 cup water
- Steamed white rice
- Fried egg
- Pickled vegetables
- Cucumber julienned
- Cut the pork shoulder into two inch pieces. In a pot on medium high heat, add 2 tb oil and sear the pork about 3-5 minutes on each side. Set the pork aside in a bowl and add two tb sugar and caramelize the sugar.
- Mix oyster sauce, soy sauce, fish sauce, water, garlic and bay leaves and carefully add to the pot to deglaze. Add pork back in, bring to a boil then simmer with the lid on for 1 1/2 hours.
- While the pork is braising, prepare the pickled vegetables. In a bowl, mix daikon, carrot, sugar, vinegar and water and set aside. Repeat for pickled onions.
- Remove the lid and let the sauce reduce on medium low heat for 30 minutes. Prepare the rice, fried egg, cucumber, scallions and cilantro. Drain and squeeze the pickling juice from carrots and onions.
- To serve, assemble bowls with rice, pork and vegetables. Skim off the fat and drizzle extra sauce on the pork and rice. Happy nomming!
- I usually make this in the Instant Pot on high for 30 minutes. If you make it in the Instant Pot, use one cup of water instead of two.