This is one of my favourite dishes, it can be cooked and left on the stove to be demolished throughout the week for lunch over some steamed rice. Its also a very traditional new year (tet) dish. Commonly, a peasant meal as it uses all the cheap cuts of the pork and people on farms usually have eggs from their chickens.
As this can be left on the stove for a few days (you should heat it up twice daily in hot weather so that it doesn’t go off), the more you heat it, the more the meat falls apart and you can stretch out the meat to last you. You can always use the delicious broth to flavour your rice which means you can make this your meal for days and days to come which is really useful if you are poor in Vietnam (or anywhere).
In this dish, you can use quail’s eggs, which are slightly posher but they are bite sized and do not look as intimidating as a large chicken’s egg when you serve them to people who’ve never eaten this before. I normally use quail’s and chicken’s eggs for the variety.
This is a sweet, savoury and hot dish, seasoned with fish sauce and is a warm, hearty paradise for the soul. You should serve this with many fresh stir fried greens such as pak choi, choi sum or even with a green leafy soup to balance out the hot and cold elements, the ying and yang of a meal.
500g pork belly, sliced and chopped into inch or less cubes
5 shallots or Medium Onion
4 cloves garlic – finely chopped
4 whole birds eye chillis
250ml pear cider (or ordinary cider)
350ml coconut water
12 quails eggs and/ or 4 chicken eggs
1 tbs coconut caramel
4 tbs Three Crabs fish sauce to season
pinch of black pepper
Hard boil the eggs and peel off shell.
Cut the pork pieces (remove skin but leave some fatty bits).
Sweat off the shallots, add the meat to colour off then add garlic. Pour in the pear cider and the coconut water and coconut caramel. Bring to a gentle boil. Remove scum and then cook on simmer with the lid on. Season with Three Crabs fish sauce, a generous pinch of pepper, whole chillies and add the hard boiled eggs to the pot.
Simmer for at least 2 hours.
Serve with steamed rice. it is also really nice when you serve it with a fried egg.