Pork n' coconut: flavor of the Mekong Delta

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Thit kho nuoc dua is one of the most popular Tet dishes in southern Vietnam.

During the holidays, a lot of people travel and Thit kho nuoc dua (braised pork with boiled egg and coconut juice) is a dish that can keep for days. So before Tet, mom or grandma usually prepares several kilograms of pork, a dozen eggs and some coconuts to make this dish for the whole Tet holiday, traditionally celebrated for two weeks.

In the south, thit kho nuoc dua is also a popular daily dish and usually served with boiled vegetable and steamed rice.

Thit kho nuoc dua has the subtle but distinguishable taste of coconut juice that brings out the rich flavor of the pork and boiled eggs.

But it is a time consuming dish to make. The best pork to make this dish from is the pig's leg. Firstly, the pork must be cut into small cubes around 3cm2 and then marinated with fish sauce, a bit of sugar and ground shallots for 30 minutes. 

After that, the eggs are boiled and separated from shells. The best coconut juice is from Xiem coconut, which is mixed with water (the same amount as the coconut juice).

Then the marinated pork is cooked with the coconut juice and water mixture for one hour before adding the boiled eggs. The mixture will be cooked for around two hours more before serving.

When the dish is done, it has delicious yellow brown color of caramel, coconut water and egg.

Visit any southern household for Tet, and one will certainly have the chance to taste different thit kho nuoc dua dishes. Nowadays, the dish is available at many traditional Vietnamese restaurants in Ho Chi Minh City, as well as at every streetside rice stall.

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