Thịt Kho Tàu Instant Pot (Vietnamese Caramelized Pork and Eggs)

  • Servings: 6 or more bowls
  • Difficulty: easy peasy
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Author: Katie Le | Katie’s Test Kitchen


  • 2 lbs of Pork Picnic, Butt or Belly (cut into large chunks, 1-2 inches thick)
  • 1 dozen eggs
  • 1 shallot (minced)
  • 4 green onions (white part smashed and minced for marinade, green part chopped for garnishes)
  • Fish sauce (I used Red Boat. Another good brand is 3 Crabs)
  • Sugar
  • Ground pepper
  • Coconut Caramel Sauce for color (make your own if you wish), see FAQ #8 for photo reference
  • 3 cups of Coco Rico Soda (or coconut water)
  • 1 cup of water
  • red chili to garnish
  • OPTIONAL items: 1 lb of fried tofu or 1 lb of large/tiger shrimps, heads on preferred (washed well, trimmed legs)




  1. Parboil pork for 5-10 minutes on the stove top. Rinse well with sink water and pat dry. In a mixing bowl add 4 tbsp of fish sauce, 3 tbsp of sugar, 1/2 tsp of ground pepper (more or less to your taste) and 1/4 tsp of coconut caramel sauce. Mix marinade well and add chopped white part onion and minced shallot. Toss the pork into the marinade and allow it to sit in the refrigerator for an hour or more.
  2. For the eggs, place on a trivet/steamer basket. Add about 2 cups of water to inner pot. Select Manual/Pressure Cook, High Pressure, 4 minutes. Quick release when cook time is over. Gently remove eggs and drop them into an ice bath for 5 minutes. Peel and set aside.
  3. Add pork along with the marinade sauced into inner pot. Gently add peeled eggs. Pour 3 cups of Coco Rico Soda, 1 cup of water, 1/2 cup of fish sauce. Select Manual/Pressure Cook, High Pressure, 30 minutes, 10 minutes NPR.
  4. Once Cook Time is over, wait additional 10 minutes then Quick Release and open lid.  If you are adding any of the optional item such as fried tofu or shrimps, then “Cancel” Keep Warm and select “Saute”, “Adjust” to “Normal”.  Add the optional item and bring the broth to a boil for 5 minutes.  Taste the sauce and make adjustments with sugar and/or fish sauce if necessary [If the sauce is too bland for you add more fish sauce; if it’s too salty, add more sugar and/or dilute with water].  Please adjust to you taste!  Garnish with chopped green onion and fresh chili. Serve with rice, raw vegetables (cucumber and tomato), boiled vegetables (broccoli and chayote) or Pickled Mustard Greens or Pickled Bean Sprouts!



56 Comments on “Thịt Kho Tàu Instant Pot (Vietnamese Caramelized Pork and Eggs)”

  1. Will the coco rico soda make the dish too sweet? What brand do you use for the coconut caramel sauce?

  2. Hi Katie,

    Just wondering if I’m using sliced pork belly about 1/2 inch thick do I need to reduce the cook time to about 8-10 minutes just in case the pork belly gets too soft?

    • Hi Julia, If your cut of meat is smaller, I’d reduce cook time by 5-10 minutes. So set to about 20-25 high pressure.

    • Just made it with half spare ribs/half pork belly and no optional ingredients. Turned out great!! Thanks Katie! And the smell isn’t as intense if you make it stove top way, which I like.

  3. If I want to add fried tofu, should I add it at the time of cooking or after using the saute mode? I’m concern that the tofu may be overcooked

  4. 2/3 of the shallot goes into the marinade. What do I do with the remaining shallot? Is it for garnish at the end of cooking like the green onion and chili?

  5. Hi, where in the Asian aisle can I find the Coconut Caramel Sauce?? Oh btw, I made your bo kho today and it was amazing!!! 😀

    • Hi Donna, usually it’s in the sauce section of the Asian stores. If you can’t find it you can make you own caramel with sugar and water. For me it’s more convenient to use the pre-made caramel sauce. I’m glad to hear your bo kho turned out well!

  6. Hi Katie, when you say high pressure 30 minutes, then NPR 10 minutes.

    Then In step 4, it says after cook time, wait additional 10 minutes, quick release and open lid.

    Are you still referring to the NPR 10 minutes in step 3? Or is it like
    High pressure-NPR 10-additional 10minutes?

    For a cooktime total of 50 minutes? Or 40minutes?

    • Hi Lily, I was referring to NPR. Only set cook time to 30 minutes high pressure. Once it’s over, wait another 10 minutes before doing a manual/quick release of remainder pressure. Your timer will count up after the cook time is up, L0:10 would be when I Quick Release (QR).

  7. Hi Katie! I want to make my own coconut caramel sauce. I have a recipe for caramel sauce. How do I make this coconut caramel sauce? Coconut water? Thanks!

    • Hi Lori, use your regular caramel sauce recipe. All it is for is to add color to the meat. The pre-made one I buy I guess they use coconut water to make but you don’t need to.

  8. Finally, I stumbled on a recipe that is easy to make and enjoying the most. Thank you so much, Katie. However, I had to adjust the the fish sauce from 1/2 cup to 1/4 cup + 1 tbsp to make the dish less salty.

    • Hi Thuu, you’re so welcome! What brand fish sauce did you use? I typically use Red Boat or 3 Crabs which are not very salty at all. But I’m glad the adjustment worked for you!

        • Absolutely, but I think the Red Boat we have is very light. I don’t like salty food either. In fact I’m more to the sweet side as you can see how much coco rico I used. 😂

  9. Hi Katie, I saw someone mention bo kho recipe in the comment section, but I couldn’t find it in your blog here. Do you mind reposting the link for me? Thank you so much.

    • Hi Thuu, that’s because I have not added to the blog. The original recipe was posted to the IP Vietnamese recipe Facebook page. I have been meaning to tweak it to make it better before posting it here on the blog. I hope I’ll get to it soon!

  10. Hi Chị Katie, I tried your recipe and it was amazing! Tasted just like how Grandma used to make. Grandma is 100 years old now, so it’s been a while since she’s been to the kitchen, and I miss her cooking. This recipe tasted exactly how she used to make it. I added fried tofu and bamboo shoots after it finished cooking, and it tasted great. Cảm ơn Chị so much for sharing your technique.

    • Hi Tina! You’re so welcome! I do love adding fried tofu and bamboo to this dish as well 😊. Hope Grandma is doing well!

  11. Hi Katie! Would it be ok to use dried shallot or fried shallot if I don’t have any fresh shallots on hand? Thanks!

    • I think 5 lbs might be okay in the 8-quart. Try it and if it doesn’t fit then use a 2nd quart. If it fits though just be careful when you QR as the liquid might be close to the top.

  12. I have a can of quail eggs that I want to use. Can I use them for this recipe? If so, how will it affect the cooking time?

    • Hi Katie,

      Keep up the great work and kitchen looks awesome! Hopefully you’ll be able to make post even more recipes from the new setup.

      If I were to substitute chicken (thighs/drums) for the pork as a healthier alternative would there be any changes to the recipe?


      • Hi Phi, typically this dish is cooked with pork. You can use tenderloin (more lean meat) if you want a healthier alternative.

  13. Hi, I just read comments about the tofu being added during sauté mode but I don’t see sauté mode anywhere in your recipe. When are we supposed to be in sauté mode??

    • Hi Stephanie, this is because the original recipe I posted did not include tofu. So if you add tofu, in step 4 (after you have released pressure and open the lid), select cancel “Keep Warm” and then “Saute” “Adjust” to “Normal”, add your tofu at this time. Then season the broth to taste. Bring the broth to a boil to allow the tofu to soak in some of the broth. Then turn off heat. Good luck!

  14. This is my all time favorite recipe for thit kho tau. Thanks so much Katie !! P.s. I also enjoy the che chuoi recipe in instant pot as well.

  15. Quick question! Between steps 2 & 3, do you drain the water from the IP after removing the eggs? Or do you leave the 2 cups of water in there and add the rest of the ingredients from step 3? Because it sounds like there would be a lot of water if we’re adding 3 cups coconut water + 1 cup of water into the already boiled 2 cups. Thanks

  16. How do I make the sauce less soupy? I feel like there’s too much coconut water and water combined so it comes out too liquidity and diluted. I prefer the sauce a little more thick so it’s more flavorful to put on rice.

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