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

  • Servings: 6 or more bowls
  • Difficulty: easy peasy
  • Print

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


  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.  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!




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

  1. Hi, where can I find coconut caramel sauce? Thanks!

    • Hi Sarah, many Asian/Vietnamese stores carry them. It’s usually in the spices or sauce section.

    • Hi Sarah, you can make the caramel sauce by cooking oil and sugar in a sauce pan.

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

  3. This may be a silly question, but if I 1/2 the recipe, will IP cook time be halved too?

  4. Only 1/4 tsp of the caramel sauce? Seem too little.

    • Hi Trang, the caramel sauce I buy at the store is very thick. But feel free to adjust to your taste.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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?

      • Ahh so sorry it was an error. I fixed the recipe. The minced shallot goes into the marinade, the whole thing. Sorry!

  8. 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!

  9. Hi Katie, if i wanted to use 5-6 of meat, would i cook it longer?


  10. 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).

  11. 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.

  12. 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!

      • I also use 3 Crabs. I guess it depends on the taste of individual.

        • 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. 😂

  13. 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!

  14. Can’t wait for the post and trying out your bo kho recipe. Thanks again, Katie!!

  15. Hi Katie
    I tried your thit kho recipe today, it turns out really good!
    Thank you

  16. 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!

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

    • Hi Tracie, in that case omit the shallot and add more white part of the green onion.

  18. If I added 5lbs of meat will I need to cook in the extra pot

    • 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.

  19. 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?

  20. What would you recommend to thicken the sauce a little more? Thanks for your time.

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