Vietnamese Coconut Pork

I’m off to BlogHer 2011 tomorrow, courtesy of Knorr! If you will be attending, please come up to me and say hi! You can also come watch me cook my Weeknight Chicken & Mushroom Pho live at the Knorr Kitchen Booth (in the exhibit hall, booth #115) at 11 AM on Saturday, August 6th! I’m very excited, and, of course, very nervous, but either way, I’m thrilled to be a part of this competition and I can’t wait to attend my first BlogHer conference.

I wanted to cook something comforting, seeing as how I will be gone for four days without Kramer, which rarely happens. I’m really going to miss him! We never spend much time apart, so it’s always weird to head off to the airport without him. I figured that this dish would be a great way to make us both feel a bit better. I hope that the idea of coconut pork doesn’t scare you, because this is really a fantastic recipe. The flavors that come through are really the ginger, Chinese 5 spice, garlic, and shallot – the coconut is mostly absorbed by the pork, making for some melt-in-your-mouth, fall-apart-tender pieces of pork. The sauce is absolutely delicious, too, and goes great on top of the rice on its own. This dish is pretty much fool proof: just put it all in the pot, let it cook for 2 hours, and ta-da! You’ve got dinner on the table. I hope that everyone has a great week – please send good vibes my way for the cooking competition – I need all the help I can get!

Vietnamese Coconut Pork
Your ingredients.

Vietnamese Coconut Pork
Mince your garlic.

Vietnamese Coconut Pork
And your shallot.

Vietnamese Coconut Pork
Combine it with your ginger, Chinese 5 spice, soy sauce, red pepper flakes, and sugar.

Vietnamese Coconut Pork
Heat your oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pot, and add in the meat. Cook until browned all over, in batches, if necessary.

Vietnamese Coconut PorkVietnamese Coconut Pork
Add in your shallot, garlic, soy sauce, ginger, Chinese 5 spice, soy sauce, red pepper flakes, and sugar. Stir to combine, add in the coconut milk, then cover and cook over medium-low heat for an hour and a half.

Vietnamese Coconut Pork
For the last half hour, stir, and uncover to allow the sauce to reduce a bit.

Vietnamese Coconut Pork
Serve over rice and your favorite vegetables and enjoy!

Vietnamese Coconut Pork
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
  • 2-3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 pounds pork, cubed into bite-sized pieces
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 5 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1 large shallot, finely minced
  • 2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon Chinese 5 spice
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • juice of ½ a lemon
  • 1 can low-fat coconut milk
  • rice, for serving
  • steamed vegetables, for serving
  • scallions, sliced thinly, for garnish
  1. Heat your oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add in the cubed pork, toss with salt and pepper, and working in batches, if necessary, and cook until browned all over. Combine your minced garlic, minced shallot, soy sauce, granulated sugar, ground ginger, Chinese 5 spice, red pepper flakes, and lemon juice in a bowl, then pour over the browned pork. Stir to combine, then add in the coconut milk, and stir to combine. Cover, reduce the heat to medium-low, and cook for 1½ hours, stirring every so often to prevent burning.
  2. After 1½ hours, remove the lid of the pot, stir, and allow to cook for another 30 minutes or so, allowing the sauce to reduce a bit. Taste and adjust seasoning as necessary. Serve over rice, with your favorite steamed vegetables, and garnish with a few thinly sliced scallions.


33 Responses

  1. Awesome looking recipe! I like that it doesn’t really require any specialty ingredients like many Asian dishes due, mostly stuff already in my pantry.

    Have a great time at BlogHer, and good luck with the competition! Be sure to take lots of pics and share with us next week.

  2. RRA says:

    What cut of pork did you use? Would a tenderloin be ok or too lean? Should I go with a shoulder or butt?

    Good luck on the competition!

  3. Mindy says:

    Okay, there is nothing even remotely “scary” sounding about this. It’s going on my next week’s menu. YUMMY!!!

  4. Amanda says:

    I have been craving something just like this – can’t wait to try it out. Good luck – and have a ton of fun! What a fantastic opportunity – you deserve it!

  5. Lindsey says:

    this looks delish! I’ll be thinking about you this week – have a blast in San Diego! <3

    • Sydney says:

      @Lindsey: Thanks, girl! I wish you were here!

      @Anthony: Thank you so much! :)

      @Faye: Aw, that is the sweetest thing I’ve ever heard! Thank you!! I can dream!

      @Sasha: Yay! I’m glad you think so!

      @Lindsay: Thank you!

      @Mandy: You did, indeed! I’m having a blast already!

  6. Anthony says:

    This looks delicious! And good luck with the contest! San Diego’s not too far; if not for work, I’d bring a cheering section. :)

  7. Faye says:

    Best of luck! I’ve been a fan for a long time. I can see you having your own show on Food Network some day (ala Pioneer Woman)!

  8. I do believe, apart from the pork, that i have everything needed to whip up a bowl of this yummy looking comfort grub :) really does look gorgeous for such a simple meal and is being bookmarked for sure!

  9. Lindsay says:

    This looks delicious! I have a tenderloins in the freezer which will be perfect for this recipe. Have an awesome time this weekend!!

  10. Mandy says:

    I was looking for an easy one pot meal for this weekend and I think I just found it! It looks great and I can’t wait to try it :) Have a fabulous time at BlogHer, you deserve it!

  11. Jake P says:

    Sydney, this was a HUGE hit for yesterday’s dinner–immediate talk from the kids that “maybe we can have this once a week?”. It’s so darn hot here in AZ that I used a crock pot on the back patio for the final two hours, so as not to heat up the kitchen. Worked like a champ.

    • Sydney says:

      @Jake: That makes me so happy to hear – I’m definitely going to give it a try in the crock pot next time, as it’s sweltering in the city, too!

  12. Rose Moore says:

    I put mushrooms in my sauce and used 1 pound of pork. Tasted awesome, thank you!

  13. […] saw this delicious recipe last week over on Crepes of Wrath and needed to get it in the rotation as soon as possible. I had a […]

  14. Evette says:

    We had this for dinner last night and it was a success-sweet, spicy and creamy-YUM! My picky pre-teen eaters loved it and hubby’s comment after first bite was “damn!” Had fresh peas that I added the last 5 minutes, and a pinch of ground cayenne. Delicious- thanks! Used the electric skillet, didn’t have to watch as closely and didn’t heat up the kitchen.

    • Sydney says:

      @Evette: Yay! I’m glad that you all enjoyed it – I loved the sweet/spicy/creamy aspect of it, too!

      @Sandi: I love that you made it your own! Sounds so good!

  15. Sandi says:

    Just made this for dinner tonight. So yummy! I went with boneless, skinless chicken thighs, instead of pork and also switched out the lemon for lime. Excellent recipe. Thank you so much for sharing.

  16. philosophyonshoes says:

    I made this last night and it was delicious! I ended up putting the pork and spices in the Crock Pot so I could grab a happy hour before dinner. Delicious!!

  17. Kim says:

    Made this for Sunday dinner, and it turned out SO. GREAT. I used country-style pork ribs, cut into pieces, and subbed paprika for the red pepper flakes because several of my family can’t do any kind of heat. And then I chucked it in the slow cooker and had a couple hours’ worth of, “Is it ready yet???”

    Definitely a keeper – thanks so much for sharing!

  18. Ali says:

    Very excited to try it tonight, it tastes yummy, but I don’t have much if any sauce…. I wonder if I simmered it too high for the 1 1/2 hours…. The pork tastes good though!!!

    • Sydney says:

      There really isn’t a ton of sauce, but if you add a bit more of each of the ingredients next time, you can definitely get more. I’m sorry that there wasn’t enough!

      • Ali says:

        Thanks I’ll try that, it was so yummy I’ll be making this again. I also went back through and re-read your directions and thought it was 1 1/2 hours with cover on and then 30 min with cover off… oops 😉

  19. Marilyn says:

    Yum! We really enjoyed this – the coconut milk was a good foil to the “bite” of the red pepper – spicy in a such to a good way.! Have you ever made this with fresh ginger instead of the powder? Thinking it might bring it to a whole other level. Thanks again for a great recipe.

  20. annie says:

    Some people have their mac ‘n cheese or cassoulet or raclette as their “go to” comfort food but this dish is more my style of warm, heavenly comfort without it being too fatty and heavy in the stomach. It looks absolutely divine.

  21. ash says:

    Hi Sydney, I made this recipe with chicken breast and coconut milk, and it was fabulous – the lemon really lent another dimension. Thanks so much for your elegant recipes (I’ve made your lemon sugar cookies and jam crumb cake with beautiful results too!).

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