[Recipe] Vietnamese Caramelized Pork (Thịt Kho)

Thịt kho is a staple in every Vietnamese household. It is typically made using pork belly and other fatty parts of the pork, but as a healthier alternative, it can also be made using ground pork! The texture is obviously not the same, but the taste will mimic the amazing dish that was such a big part of our childhoods. This recipe serves two, but can be doubled or halved depending on your portion. This is the quick and easy dish to make on a lazy Monday 😊 Hope you all enjoy!


- 1 tbsp cooking oil

- ¼ cup of diced onion (white or yellow)

- 1 tsp minced ginger

- 2 tsp garlic paste (1 tsp minced)

- ½ - 1 tbsp of chili powder (depending on your spice level)*

- ½ ground pork

- 2.5 tbsp brown sugar (can be supplemented with 3 tbsp of honey)

- 1 tbsp fish sauce

- 1 sliced scallion

* Chili powder can be replaced with Thai chilies. Usually, 1 or less depending on your spice level and size of the chili.


1. Heat the oil in a large pan over high heat.

2. Add the onion, ginger, garlic and chili powder and cook for 2 minutes.

3. Add the ground pork and cook until the meat is white all over. Make sure to break up the meat with a wooden spoon while cooking.

4. Add the brown sugar and fish sauce. Stir for a few seconds, then leave it to cook without touching until pork starts to caramelize - brown in color and brown sugar has melted.

5. Continue stirring for a few seconds, and then leave it be to get more caramelization. Repeat twice more until brown it looks at least brown like the picture (can be darker depending your preference).

6. Top with sliced scallions and serve over a bed of white rice.

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