My Foray Into Food Storage

A regular gal learning about Food Storage, Home Cooking, Canning, Gardening, and more!

It Only Took Me 23 Years To Make My Husband’s Favorite Childhood Dish

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I love my husband, but, yes, it really took me 23 years of marriage to make my husband’s favorite childhood dish, Thịt Kho (Vietnamese Braised Pork with Eggs).

 

Vietnamese Braised Pork With Eggs

Vietnamese Braised Pork With Eggs

 

Poor man!  In my defense, it is a bit intimidating to make someone’s favorite dish, particularly when it is not the cuisine you grew up eating, and you have to match your husband’s mother’s recipe.  So waiting 23 years was to my advantage.  It had been so long since he’d had it, he couldn’t truly remember what his mother’s recipe tasted like!  I made it for the first time about a month ago, and it was a hit.

 

Seriously, this is an issue I struggle with a bit.  I can follow a recipe just fine, but I cannot taste Vietnamese cuisine and know what it’s missing like I can with the foods I ate growing up.  I’m learning, but I do much better when I have my husband home to do the final tasting and seasoning adjustments.

 

So, what does this have to do with food storage?  Well, it’s important not only to store food you’ll eat, it’s also important to know how to cook food you’ll eat.  Also, it is a much better value to make this at home than it is to eat this dish at a restaurant.  I might spend the same amount overall, but we get a lot more food if we cook this at home.   That saves me money and allows me to use the money I saved on extra food for my pantry!

 

LEARNING TO COOK is a very important food storage skill.  And you get to learn to make this dish right along with me.  Come on!

 

First, here’s a link to the recipe.  Keep in mind, this is not a low-fat recipe.  In fact, my husband requested that I use a fattier cut of pork this time.  I’d used a relatively lean pork chop the first time, but he wanted a little more fat in the dish this time around.

 

Ingredients.

Ingredients.

 

 

First, I tenderized the meat.  While this is not called for in the recipe, I find it's a good idea to tenderize the meat.

First, I tenderized the meat. While this is not called for in the recipe, I find it’s a good idea to tenderize the meat.

 

Cut the meat into 1 inch (or a bit larger) pieces.

Cut the meat into 1 inch (or a bit larger) pieces.

 

See?  It's all cut up, and I put the bones in a bag which was placed in the freezer.  I'll use them later to make stock.

See? It’s all cut up, and I put the bones in a bag which was placed in the freezer. I’ll use them later to make stock.

 

I have water boiling ready for the pork.

I have water boiling ready for the pork.

 

Put the pork in the water for a couple of minutes.

Put the pork in the water for a couple of minutes.

 

Drain and add back to the pot.  I also added some sliced onion and garlic.

Drain and add back to the pot. I also added some sliced onion and garlic.

 

I added the coconut water, soy sauce, fish sauce, salt, and enough water to cover.

I added the coconut water, soy sauce, fish sauce, salt, and enough water to cover.

 

In the meantime, I boiled some eggs.  I doubled the amount of eggs called for in the recipe, because my hubby loves the eggs!

In the meantime, I boiled some eggs. I doubled the amount of eggs called for in the recipe, because my hubby loves the eggs!

 

I bought the meat mixture to a boil, and let it simmer on the stove.

I bought the meat mixture to a boil, and let it simmer on the stove.

 

While the eggs were boiling, I began a homemade caramel which will be added to the meat mixture later.

While the eggs were boiling, I began a homemade caramel which will be added to the meat mixture later.  Think making caramel is scary?  It’s actually super simple and was done in about 5 minutes. 

 

 

Turn on the heat, and stir the sugar.

Turn on the heat, and stir the sugar.

 

Continue stirring.  See?  It's starting to clump.  That's good.

Continue stirring. See? It’s starting to clump. That’s good.

 

And more clumping.  If you look, you can see that the sugar is beginning to melt.  It looks a little like drops of water or oil.

And more clumping. If you look, you can see that the sugar is beginning to melt. It looks a little like drops of water or oil.

 

It's getting there!

It’s getting there!

 

Almost all the sugar is melted.

Almost all the sugar is melted.

 

The sugar is melted.  Now I need to cook the sugar (caramel) mixture until it's a little darker.

The sugar is melted. Now I need to cook the sugar (caramel) mixture until it’s a little darker.

 

Like this.  It doesn't take very long.  Maybe 20-30 seconds to go from the color in the last picture to this color.

Like this. It doesn’t take very long. Maybe 20-30 seconds to go from the color in the last picture to this color.

 

Then I added water as per the instructions and stirred to dissolve the caramel into the water.

Then I added water as per the instructions and stirred to dissolve the caramel into the water.

 

And it's getting there.  Still a few clumps, so it needs to cook a little more.

And it’s getting there. Still a few clumps, so it needs to cook a little more.

 

Now it's ready.  I add it to the pot.

Now it’s ready. I add it to the meat mixture in my large pot.

 

And the sauce takes on a lovely caramel color.

And the sauce takes on a lovely caramel color.

 

The eggs are boiled, peeled, and ready, so I add them to the meat mixture.

The eggs are boiled, peeled, and ready, so I add them to the meat mixture.

 

Like this. Then I let it simmer for  30 - 60 minutes longer.

Like this.
Then I let it simmer for 30 – 60 minutes longer.

 

It's almost there!

It’s almost there!

 

And here it is!  Isn't that a beautiful dish?

And here it is! Isn’t that a beautiful dish?  Just serve it over rice and enjoy!

 

It turned out so well that my boys (who often turn their noses up at new dishes) wanted to try it.   So I saved money, my hubby and kids were happy, and I learned to make something new.  Win, Win, WIN!

 

Now it’s your turn.

Do you recreate restaurant recipes, so you can enjoy your favorites at home and save money?  If so, what’s your favorite?

If you have not yet taken the plunge into the restaurant knock-off recipe world, what do you love to eat out that you would like to make at home?

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Author: Laurie Nguyen

I am a happily married, stay at home mom with four sons, ages 24, 22, 18, and 14. I'm not a professional blogger, and I'm certainly not a foodie or a chef. But I like food, so I think I'm qualified to write about my own life experience with food. Want to be a little more prepared for the unexpected? Check out my Food Storage Blog, http://forayintofoodstorage.com. Have a question about Food Storage? Email me: forayintofoodstorage@gmail.com.

16 thoughts on “It Only Took Me 23 Years To Make My Husband’s Favorite Childhood Dish

  1. What a great job you did not only cooking a dish that you never made before but doing it so well No wonder your husband was pleased.

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  2. Wow Laurie looks so good. I guess I need to find some Finnish dishes for my husband. Going to have to ask him what the yummy bread he likes is called first.

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  3. It looks so yum! Its quite look similar to our Philippine version dish named ” Bistek Tagalog” we served it with boiled eggs too. But the different is we used beef meats. Goodbless & Enjoy cooking! 🙂

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  4. Hi Laurel, I came by to return the blog visit and thank you for taking the time to comment on mine. I’m not familiar with Vietnamese cooking, although I frequent another blog that ventures into it (Ngo Family Farm). Your photos and easy to follow instructions make me want to try this recipe!

    Your comment, “what does this have to do with food storage” reminded me of the days when we were preparing for Y2K. Some advice that I ran across and took to heart was to be sure and include “comfort” foods in one’s storage plans. In an emergency, strange foods are better than none, but those familiar favorites are an emotional support as well as a nutritional one.

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  5. I love your comment about how you can’t adjust for foods you didn’t grow up with. So true!

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  6. One of my childhood favorites as well! You should try pork belly next time if your husband wants a fattier cut. It’s my preferred cut of meat for this dish. 🙂

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  7. Way to be brave and make it! So glad your husband liked it!

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  8. I agree that it saves money and is healthier to eat at home; being just me, I don’t spend a lot of time in the kitchen. Before I got back on my RA meds, I got 365 Vegan Smoothies ’cause RA caused left jaw pain so that I couldn’t chew much. A blessing is that I eat more dark, leafy greens, veggies, nuts, seeds, and fruits then ever! Just today my fab therapist, Peggy, told me she noticed I looked healthier, brighter, more vibrant since I started drinking my smoothies. Yay! I’ll take that compliment. I treat myself to my favorite restaurant once in a while, as much for the friends I’ve made there as the food (but the food is terrific, especially the desserts; I don’t usually keep sweets at home). Good for you in tackling what looks to be a complicated recipe. And that your hubby loved it.

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  9. Pingback: My Foray Into Food Storage

  10. Pingback: Awesome, Authentic, Vietnamese Egg Rolls! | My Foray Into Food Storage

  11. In Viet Nam, we used to cook this dish fot Tet holiday 🙂 coconut water is the best ingredient, without it the dish can’t be delicious

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  12. Is this dish like a soup??, looks very delicious just by the ingredients. Sharing with my FBK friends, and wordpress.

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  13. Reblogged this on FabiFabu and commented:
    Otra receta interesante para hacer con cerdo. De el blog de Laurel Nguyen, My Foray Into Food Storage!!.

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