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Vietnamese Caramelized Pork (Thit Ko) - Instant Pot Version

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“Sweet and salty braised pork with eggs. If you can't find coconut soda, you can use coconut water instead. You can also mix in or sub pork shoulder for a leaner version. There are many versions from different families. This is what we like coming from a half Lao/half Viet home.”
1hr 30mins

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Place eggs into the instant pot on a wire rack. Pour in 1 cup of water and set on high pressure for 5 minutes. Do a quick release and put the eggs in an ice bath. Peel and set aside.
  2. Combine the pork with garlic, shallot, salt, black pepper, msg, soy sauce in a large bowl. Let this marinate while you make the caramel sauce. You can also do this step ahead of time and just let it sit overnight in the fridge.
  3. Set the pot to Saute mode on high. Add in the marinated pork and saute for 5-7 minutes until the garlic and shallots are soft and the pork has some color. Deglaze with 1 cup of water making sure to scrape up all the bits. Turn off the pot.
  4. Time to make the caramel sauce! In a separate small frying pan, caramelize the sugar until it reaches a dark golden brown. Careful not to burn it. Watch it carefully! Slowly pour in ¼ cup of water and stir to make a sauce. Add to the instant pot. (You can also caramelize the sugar while your meat browns.).
  5. Add the hard boiled eggs, coconut soda, star anise pods and (if needed) just enough water to cover the pork. It should not take more than 2 cups. Cook it on high pressure for 30 minutes and NPR for 15 minutes.*.
  6. Add the fish sauce and salt to taste (if needed). Serve with rice and pickled vegetables!
  7. *OPTIONAL - Once you remove the lid, set it to Saute mode on high for 15 minutes to reduce the liquid by 1/3. You don’t have to worry too much with the instant pot overboiling or over reducing because it will maintain the heat level and switch to “keep warm” when the timer shuts off.

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