Complimentary Recipe: Caramelised Pork Belly

"This is a very traditional Vietnamese dish called ‘Thit Kho’, juicy pork belly slow-braised in young coconut juice. If you can’t get fresh coconuts, you can buy the coconut water in a tin from your local Asian market. Make sure to read the back and purchase ones with no added sugar." - Chef Luke Nguyen



500 g boneless pork belly
50 g white sugar
1 litre young coconut water
60 ml (¼ cup) fish sauce
3 spring onions (scallions), white part only, bashed
Pinch of salt
½ tsp finely ground white pepper
3 red bird’s eye chillies, left whole
4 nasturtium leaves, to garnish
Pickled vegetables and steamed rice or crisp baguette, to serve


Cut the pork belly into 2 cm x 4 cm pieces and set aside. To make the caramel, place the sugar and 2 tablespoons of water in a large saucepan over high heat. Simmer until a dark but not burnt caramel forms, then carefully add the pork pieces to the pan. Stir to coat the pork in the caramel, then add the young coconut water. Slowly bring to the boil, skimming off any fat and impurities that rise to the surface. Reduce the heat to low, then add the fish sauce, spring onions, salt and pepper. Simmer for 1½ hours or until the pork is very tender. Add the chillies in the last 5 minutes of cooking. Transfer to a serving plate, then garnish with nasturtium leaves and serve with pickled vegetables and steamed rice or baguette.

Recipe from Luke's Book - Luke Nguyen's France: A Gastronomic Adventure. Click here to purchase the book now.

Phuong Nguyen