Thit Kho Tau (Caramelized Pork/Braised Pork) is a popular Vietnamese dish.  It’s 1 of the traduational Tet (Vietnamese New Year) food.  I have to say the Thit Kho Tau is 1 of the easiest dish to cook in the Instant Pot.  I love the beautiful amber color eggs after 30 minutes of pressure cooking (no, the eggs do not explode!).  In our house, this dish is enjoyed year round.  My husband loves bamboo shoots so I often add them to this dish.  Thit Kho Tau is not salty like Thit Kho Tieu (Thịt Kho Tiêu Instant Pot (Braised Caramel Pork with Pepper).  Here are 2 versions, with or without bamboo shoots:

With bamboo shoots: Thịt Kho Măng Trứng Instant Pot (Vietnamese Caramelized Pork, Bamboo Shoots and Eggs)

Without bamboo shoots: Thịt Kho Tàu Instant Pot (Vietnamese Caramelized Pork and Eggs)


I’ve been wanting to make chicken roti using cornish hens in the IP for quite some time now.  Our family loves chicken roti and perhaps more is the thick sweet sauce that this dish yields.  The sauce is a combination of the marinade and Coco Rico Soda!  If you have used/followed my recipes before you would know my passionate love for Coco Rico Soda! I use it for everything, from boiling pork for spring rolls to braised dishes. Of course Coco Rico Soda is technically a substitute for fresh coconut water.  So if you have coconut water, by all mean, use it!

I thought the chicken would be the main focus for this dish, but as it turned out it was the red rice!  My boys loved it!  They ate all the leftovers the next day.  Red rice is often served at Vietnamese restaurant accompanying different chicken and pork dishes.  It goes so well with chicken roti and it’s super easy to make.  It’s definitely a must!

Recipe: Vietnamese Chicken Roti with Red Rice Instant Pot


I love having my boys help me in the kitchen.  If you have kids you know that can be very challenging at time especially when they are preschooler/toddler ages.  So I try to involve them when I make effortless dishes using the Instant Pot.

Last weekend I had a craving for a Vietnamese glutinous rice dessert with Blackeye Peas also known as chè đậu trắng.  The boys helped me with measuring water (counting and adding are their favorite things to do now!) and stirring the ingredients.  My picky eater, Logan, loves desserts with glutinous rice and coconut sauce.  For a kid who doesn’t like beans he requested for his own bowl. He must inherited that sweet tooth from me, poor kid… LOL.

Recipe: Chè Đậu Trắng Instant Pot (Vietnamese Blackeye Peas Pudding)



How sweet is your sweet tooth? Mine is just awfully sweet.  I can eat dessert any time, any where.  I’d purposely look for things in the fridge or in the pantry to make dessert.

Last night at 9 PM I made Che Ba Ba, a sweet coconut milk soup using leftover taro that I had in the fridge.  This dessert has to be 1 of my favorite Vietnamese Che (sweet soup).  I used the 3-quart since I only had about 1 lb of taro, the size was so perfect for it.  It was quick and easy.

Recipe: Chè Bà Ba Instant Pot (Vietnamese Dessert Soup with Coconut Milk)


In the world plentiful of food options, there is nothing more comforting to me than a nice hot bowl of noodle soup.  I don’t discriminate, I love noodle soup of all kinds.  Last week was a rough week at work.  I came home one night exhausted, beaten, felt like I fought several battles that day.  Luckily we had leftovers Bun Rieu in the fridge I cooked the day before using pre-made chicken broth, instead of pork bones like I usually do.  I immediately heated it up, threw all the toppings and garnishes into a bowl.  It wasn’t pretty but it was so good!  I felt better, my spirit was somehow lifted.  Food does wonder to me.  Does it do that to you too?

Recipe: Bún Riêu Instant Pot (Vietnamese Pork & Crab Noodle Soup


My husband and I love eating out at different places. There seems to be a correlation with “hole in the wall” places and excellent food.  After all how does a run-down (dirty) place still in business if their food isn’t good, right? One particular hole in the wall spot is Pho Ga Thanh Thanh in Philadelphia. When we lived in Maryland we would travel up to Philly often and we would go out of our way to stop by Pho Ga Thanh Thanh.

Pho Ga is all they serve. The service is lousy (always reminded me of the Soup Nazi in Seinfeld) and the restaurant is a bit dirty to say the least (right underneath a loud train track). But if you go during lunch hours you could wait 30 minutes to an hours. If you go later in the day they might run out of chicken. The Pho broth is very good but it’s nothing spectacular that we can’t recreate at home. Most of us go there because of their chicken. They use Ga Di Bo (literal translation is “walking chicken”), it is free-range/cage free chicken. The meat of the walking chicken has a little bit of a chew.  At Pho Ga Thanh Thanh the chicken is always perfectly cooked and serve with a “special” dipping sauce which consists of salt, sliced pepper and lime juice (maybe MSG too?). This place got me hooked on eating chicken with this special sauce that I can’t eat chicken Pho any other way now.

Ga Di Bo is quite expensive compare to regular chicken, about 3X the price, so it has not been on our grocery budget.  Last weekend we had a major craving for Pho Ga Thanh Thanh so I decided to splurge a little.

So here is my EASY Pho Instant Pot Recipe using “walking chicken”: Phở Gà Đi Bộ Instant Pot (“Walking Chicken” Pho)

Pictures below was taken years ago when we ate at Pho Ga Thanh Thanh in Philadelphia.

Pho Ga Thanh Thanh in Philadelphia
Pho Ga Thanh Thanh
Dipping Sauce from Pho Ga Thanh Thanh