Sunday, February 19, 2012

cách kho thịt

rửa thịt sạch xắc ra thành cụt vuông ; bầm tỏi + ớt+ nước mắm + đường + bột ngọt , trộn với thịt để khoảng 20 phút bắt nồi lên bếp bỏ vô ít đường saò cho vàng rồi, đổ thịt vô nấu sôi đê lửa nhỏ đền khi thịt mềm

we made this last week. the recipe was handwritten and given to us by aunt number 5. it means:

wash the meat well and cut into cubes; add garlic, chili, fish sauce, sugar, msg, let marinade for 20 minutes. put a pot on the fire and add a little sugar until it gets dark, then put in the meat, cook on a low fire until it's tender.

Supplementary notes
The recipe is very traditional because it is so vague about the ingredients. Here is the extra information you need to actually prepare this.
1. "a little sugar" means enough sugar to melt and make about a quarter cup of caramel
2. the meat to use is pork belly. i used about a two pound portion of a pork belly with ribs attached. add just enough water to cover and simmer it with the top off.
3. after bringing the meat to a boil you will spend a good hour skimming off the foam that rises to the top. this is important to do so that you have a clear sauce at the end.
3a. After skimming you will want to adjust the seasoning by adding fish sauce (for saltiness) and granular sugar. The broth should be very sweet and salty. You are not supposed to drink the broth, just add a spoon or so on top of your rice, so you should not be too concerned. Also the broth needs to be strong in order for the dish to keep preserved.
4. once you have been skimming for a while, add in about a dozen boiled eggs. the eggs are supposed to absorb the sweet and salty sauce. duck or quail eggs are most traditional, but chicken eggs will also work.
5. in most recipes like this they use fried garlic rather than fresh garlic. to make fried garlic just mince a good amount of garlic and fry it in oil until golden, then let it cool and harden.
6. msg ("sweet powder") is of course optional. i put about a teaspoon. if you are skeptical, here is a simple experiment:
Rinse well a handful of spinach leaves. Heat a bit of peanut oil in a skillet, add some minced garlic to brown, then add the spinach, sprinkle about a teaspoon of sugar and a teaspoon of soy sauce. Cook a minute or two until wilted. Now do the same with another handful of spinach leaves, but add a quarter teaspoon of msg with the sugar. Can you taste the difference?
7. You should not eat this dish alone, but serve it on the side with a vegetable main course. The dish reaches its peak flavor after 10--20 days sitting in the refrigerator or sitting out at room temperature. If you set it out at room temperature, then bring the whole pot to a boil twice a day. If you store it in the refrigerator, then when you take it out, heat the whole pot up, serve out however much you will eat, then let it cool and store back in the refrigerator. If you just serve it as a side dish and only have a couple of bites with every other supper, then you will notice it improving over time. The eggs especially are transformed after sitting in the broth for two weeks. In Vietnam some families will eat one pot, reheated every day, for a full month.


  1. Interesting post, Jesse. Please translate!

  2. What a rich and interesting dish. I really enjoyed reading the supplementary notes. I really like the idea of using a meat dish like this as a condiment. As least that's how it sounds in your notes. Thanks Jesse. And also to Aunt #5!