Vietnamese Braised Belly Pork with Eggs & Star Anise

This is a supremely delicious vietnamese dish. It’s mild flavour is typical of Vietnamese food with a distinctive aroma from the star anise this dish will have you salivating for the 3 hours it takes to cook. I had many little check-up tastings along the way just to keep me going. Probably ate half the pan…

For the marinade:

1kg pork belly (cut into 5cm chunks)
3 shallots (roughly chopped)
4 cloves garlic (roughly chopped)
4 spring onions (white only, chopped)
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup fish sauce (from anchovies)
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
6 star anise

Other Ingredients:
1 tablespoon peanut oil
1 small onion (chopped)
100ml coconut milk
6 eggs

Place the shallots, garlic, spring onions, soy sauce and fish sauce into a food processor and blend into a chunky mixture. Add the pepper and star anise and pour over the meat. Mix well, cover and leave in the fridge for 3 hours.

Heat the oil in a large heavy based pan over a moderate heat. Gently fry the onion for 5 minutes until translucent. Turn up the heat and add half the pork – fry for 2 minutes then add the rest and fry for another 5 minutes. Pour in the marinade, coconut milk and 550ml water and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, partially covered for 1 hour.

Meanwhile, boil the eggs for 10 minutes from warm water then cool in cold. Peel and set aside.

After the hour of cooking add the eggs to the pan and carefully stir in. Cook for another 2 hours, stirring occasionally before serving hot.

Serve with a small salad of mint and coriander and some pickled vegetables together with some fluffy jasmine rice.

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