Recipe: Thit Kho (Vietnamese Braised Pork Belly with Eggs)

I’ve seen Thit Kho up and down social media and usually from Vietnamese folks who were raised eating this so they were I guess tired of being served it? Excuse me! This dish looked delicious to me and I don’t think I’ve seen it on menus here so I knew I had to try to make it myself. The stars aligned for me one day, I saw quail eggs at Costco and got myself the skinless pork belly, game on!

Woohoo! So many eggs…

My first time cooking quail eggs…tried to cook it the least time possible because I knew I would have to cook it additionally in the dish too. No one wants the grey ring of death. I also had to peel all 36 of these mini eggs, heh.

Slice up the pork belly and boil it for a few minutes, helps to “clean” the pork belly!

What is this you ask? It’s a heaping amount of sugar with oil. I had to heat this up over low heat to get it browned up but not burnt, you know? Caramel!

I had to move fast! Once it got browned up, I added the pork belly. Look at the nice color!

Yum, the aromatics. Garlic. Shallots. Thai Chilis. No can go wrong. I should use more shallots in my cooking.

Smelled so good…

Add the eggs in and then let it simmer a bit. Make sure you mix it around good so the eggs get coated in the wonderful caramel sauce too. I didn’t add too much shoyu and salt to this because it asks for so much fish sauce! Recipes ask for coconut soda but I don’t have access to that so I just used coconut water. The dish was super good. I actually followed three different recipes to make this dish so I’ll just link them below!

Recipe inspirations:
Wok & Kin
Cooking Therapy
Simply Recipes

Fooki – Pearlridge, HI

Kat is in town and I was excited to meet up with her! Fooki has been open for a few years now and I’ve wanted to try it but I hardly come out west. I used this opportunity to try out some Taiwanese food and meet up with Kat! I will say, this restaurant is not hurting for business. Perhaps it was the day we chose but there was already a huge party waiting to get in when we got there before opening! It was a huge office event but there was also a bunch of tables that came in after us too. Luckily the waiter was smart and got our orders in before the big table started ordering.

Winter Melon Lemonade | $6.00

Ugh! Now I know why it was sour! I ordered a winter melon tea and they gave me the lemonade one. I really did not like this. I even had Kat try it not knowing! Lemonade and Winter Melon tea should not be mixed together. Period. Blah! I drank it because I am Chinese and will not waste.

MaLa Wonton | $14.00
House-made shrimp and pork wonton with water chestnut, shredded taro chips, cabbage, Sichuan peppercorns and Mala chili oil, spicy garlic sauce. (Numbing Spicy, Recommend to start with regular spicy)

Okay, reading this description and I am questioning where the shredded taro chips were? Huh? Like was it in the wontons? I wouldn’t call them chips if they are smoshed into the filling? Hah? Also, they did not ask us for spice level when ordering so I’m assuming we got regular spicy?

I was a bit thrown off by the raw looking cabbage, luckily Kat told me that it is actually parboiled and she is right! I don’t like the taste of raw cabbage too much. The wontons themselves are pretty okay, nothing special. Worth $14? I don’t know…

Beef Scallion Noodles | $18.00
Noodle mixed with fragrant scallion oil soy sauce, topped with braised shanks, fried taro chips, cucumber, red onion, cilantro, parsley, and green onion (No Soup)

A nice dish! Good cold noodle dish for a hot day. It had good flavors, the meat was seasoned nicely. Not a wow dish, but a nice dish!

LU ROU FAN (Taiwanese Pork Rice Bowl) | $15.00
Minced pork belly, garnished with pickled mustard, green onion, fried shallots, white rice, braised tofu and egg

Another dish Kat and I was excited to try. Her first comment? The rice was mushy. That’s one of the things I will never get! Asian restaurants who can’t cook rice right? She was right, it was a bit mushy. That’s hard to do especially for long grain rice?? The taste of the pork was good, the braised tofu was good and the pickles I liked. Not a huge fan of the egg, was a bit non-descript. What’s up with them saying there is fried stuff in every dish but I only saw it on the noodles? There was no fried shallots on this dish!

The food came out super fast. Like suspiciously fast. We ordered and I swear it took 5 minutes for ALL the dishes to come out. Perhaps they had them all made and just ready to serve out? I’m not sure. I think the prices are a bit high for the portions they serve. And just an FYI, they charge a credit card surcharge. I didn’t know this until after I saw my receipt. And another TMI FYI, I got a tummy ache that afternoon. 🙁 But perhaps that was just me. In the end, Fooki was a glad I tried but probably don’t plan to return restaurant.

Mixed Plate Friday

Kirkland Signature Burnt Ends | $22.66

No.

Sorry, a little more feedback. It was just super dry and flavorless. Yes, I know it says to add your own sauce so I did. I wish there was at least a bit more fattiness because now it’s just dry meat that needs to be drowned in BBQ sauce. I will not be purchasing this again. Blah.

Babes Bakery

I saw a post on social media and of course I got suckered in. They are in the little strip mall right across from City Mill on Waialae. Parking in there is abysmal but I like that they are open at 6AM so I could go when no one else is around.

Sourdough Cinnamon Roll | $5.00

I like to nuke it in the microwave a few seconds just to warm it up and get the icing all gooey. It’s a good cinnamon roll but I also realized I don’t like sourdough so I’m not the right audience for this. If you like sourdough, you’ll love this roll.

Mini Haupia Poi Banana Bread | $3.00

When I cut in this to this cute little mini loaf, I was afraid. I was petrified. Okay not petrified but it looked so dry when I cut it. Well guess what? It’s flecking moist and delicious. I loved this! I would absolutely get this again! I actually also got a chocolate muffin but didn’t want to post it up because honestly, it wasn’t good for me. It was just a super dense and dry chocolate muffin and I was disappointed. I wouldn’t get that muffin again but absolutely loved the banana bread, looking forward to trying other things!

MW Restaurant – Kapiolani, Hawaii

I haven’t been to MW Restaurant since they were in their original location by Don Quijote. I think I went there when they first opened. I tried their sister restaurant Artizen a few times which has been good so I was excited to try! MW is now located in the Velocity Honolulu Building, fancy digs means…fancy prices. Artizen has parking stalls but MW does not, you have to drive up the ramp and pay for valet parking. $6 for Valet and that doesn’t include tip.

Beautiful interior

Mango Peach Iced Tea | $8.00

The table shared a bottle. I got myself this tasty sounding tea. It wasn’t sweetened, DOH! Sorry, I was all excited for a sweet drink. And I could barely taste any mango and peach? Huh? Yeah, I wouldn’t get it again.

Shortrib & Foie Gras Won Tons | $18.00
kabayaki sauce

I think $18.00 is only for 3 won tons, but we asked for more since we were a table of 5. It’s a good dish, fried up nicely. I’ll just go out on a limb again and say when it’s good innards like shortrib and foie gras and it’s ground into a filling for dumplings, something gets lost. It tasted good, don’t get me wrong!

Pork Hash Dumplings | $18.00
truffle bacon dashi

Not sure how many dumplings comes in the original order but they upped it to 5 for us again. Well, this dish was good. If I was alone, I would have probably slurped up that dashi. Or added like somen noodles. Carb queen.

Farmer’s Salad | $14.00
metro grow butter lettuce, yuzu miso vinaigrette, assorted local vegetables

Good salad! I didn’t each much of it but I did try it and enjoyed it. I guess it’s a bit deconstructed because the assorted veggies are splattered through the plate.

Truffle Braised Shortrib | $67.00
roasted vegetables and potato, truffle sauce, seared hudson valley foie gras

16 oz Brandt Brand Prime Ribeye Steak | $85.00
garlic butter, potato gratin (served separately), mushroom medly

Miso Honey Glazed Butterfish | $49.00
kimchee potato salad, taegu

Not my dish but it looked so good! I would definitely get this dish next time if I return!

Surf and Turf | $70.00
hapa new york strip, seafood fried rice

Chan and I shared our entrees. Here is his dish! How was it? Okay. The fried rice did have a good amount of seafood in it! Thought the fried rice was a tad bit salty. I can’t get over the price of the steaks here!

Seafood Bouillabaisse | $65.00
stuffed lobster, calamari, crab, clams, scallop, tomato saffron broth, toast

MW likes to mix it up a bit with their menu offerings and they used to serve a similar dish but paella style. Being the carb queen I am, that’s what I wanted. They didn’t have it and this was the current dish. I think for what you get, this is a decent priced dish! And you know what? It was DELICIOUS. The broth was so good and the seafood was tender and succulent. The lobster head is made with stuffing while the body meat is left intact. Yum. Chan and I enjoyed this dish a lot!

Mud Pie | $18.00
japanese hibiki ice cream, coffee ice cream, milk chocolate crunch

Strawberry Shortcake “Pavlova” | $16.00
souffle cheesecake, laie vanilla panna cotta, strawberry yuzu sorbet, shiso strawberries, crispy meringue

Brulee | $16.00
lilikoi sorbet, custard, lilikoi “gummies,” haupia tapioca, tropical fruit

Chan’s dessert. I didn’t read the description before taking my first bite and I was taken aback by the sour lilikoi! I love lilikoi and it’s a fun way to do this dessert. Usually creme brulee is very rich so I think using the lilikoi really helps to cut the sweetness.

Banana Cream Pie | $18.00
butterscotch pudding, banana, ulu pate brisee, kohana rum ice cream

I don’t know what a ulu pate brisee is. Is that the crust they created? Look it doesn’t matter, this dish was so good. I loved it! A nice take on the banana cream pie. I enjoyed that there was both slices of fresh banana and caramelized banana. I really enjoyed it!

So verdict on MW Restaurant? Definitely a restaurant if you want to treat yourself or splurge. I took a look at the Artizen menu and actually found more dishes I would want to try on that menu. And one of the dishes they serve, I think it’s the mochi crusted fish with somen noodles is almost half the price for lunch take-out. I’m sure it’s a different portion and all but I think I want to try Artizen so I can see how they fare!

I almost forgot! They still do end the meal by giving every diner their own cookies to take home. The cookie is so delicious.

Recipe: Spam Musubi Rice Krispies Treat

You read that title right. Spam Musubi Rice Krispies Treat. What a genius idea! Mixing the saltiness of the spam with the sweetness of the marshmallows? It worked perfectly. And I’m not one that usually likes to mix sweet with savory. Decided to make this on a whim and shared it with the office. They ate it up! Although, I do wonder how long this lasts on the counter due to the spam. I guess I would just throw it in the fridge if there is any left after a day. I almost marinated the spam in a teriyaki sauce since that’s what I do for real spam musubis but decided against it which was a good thing. I think that would have made the spam sweeter which would work against this dish.

Fried up half a can of spam, diced up small! I fried them up until they were nice and crispy.

Half a stick of BUTTAH. No, I didn’t wash my pan after the spam frying. No worry beef curry.

Full bag of marshmallows – IN!

Once the marshmallow is nice and melted, add in the 6 cups of rice krispies!

Can’t forget to add spam to this party.

Furikake!

I wasn’t sure how much furikake to add. I didn’t want it to overpower the dish. I do think I want to add a bit more next time while also sprinkling a bit more on top!

Spam Musubi Rice Krispies Treat

Ingredients:
1/2 can of spam, small diced
6 cups of Rice Krispies or puffed rice cereal
4 tbsp unsalted butter
1 bag of large Jett Puff marshmallows (12oz)
Furikake to taste

Directions:

  • Small dice half the can of spam. Add the spam dices to a pan and cook for about 15 minutes until they’re crispy! Strain on a paper towel and cool.
  • Melt the butter in a pot over low heat. Add the marshmallows and stir until fully melted
  • In a separate bowl, add the cereal and spam bits. Pour in the marshmallow mixture and mix.
  • Pour into a greased baking pan – spray the bottom of a measuring cup and use that to press down. Top with furikake or leave as is! You can also shape them into cute onigiri if you’d like too!
  • Let cool and enjoy!

Recipe Credit: Tabemanda

Mixed Plate Friday

I gave it my all. I tried my best. I wasn’t drinking coffee for a while and well, it didn’t work. I get so tired during the day. I also wake up super early, like 4AM early. I don’t set any alarms, my body just hates me and wakes me up at that time. So yeah, I get really tired by the time the afternoon hits. I’m going to have to start drinking coffee again. Been lazy to get that going so I pick this up when I stop into Don Quijote. I like that it’s lightly sweetened and get milk inside too. It doesn’t give me the jitters and the sugar level is not crazy high. This bottle can last me like 2-3 days (lol). Just wanted to share!

Jersey Mike’s Subs Turkey and Provolone (Regular) | $10.95
Miss Vickie’s Spicy Dill Pickle Chips | $2.05

Saw this on TikTok a long time ago. I like when people give their specific sandwich orders so I can try it myself. So I got the regular turkey and provolone on their Rosemary Parmesan bread. I then let them put all their seasonings on it and add all the jalapenos and stuff in. It’s a great sandwich. I also wanted to try the pickle chips, was good!

Sukhee Haesoo | $6.99

I saw this on social media so long ago. Have you seen it? These bottles are made special so that you can screw directly onto Korean soju bottles and it infuses the soju with the syrup but it is also like a hangover cure! Hawaii finally got it, but specifically Palama Supermarket Makaloa. I was able to get it at $4.99 cause it was on sale when we went. Tried one so far, pretty good! Makes the soju super sweet and well it’s dangerous cause you feel like you’re drinking juice. There are currently five flavors you can get from Palama. Check out the video below, it’s so neat!

Aloha Burma – Kakaako/Kaheka, HI

Aloha Burma is a fairly new Burmese food truck. They come into town every Thursday and are either parked in Kakaako by Fisher’s or in Kaheka near Don Quijote, follow their Instagram to get updates. I’m a fan of tea salad so I wanted to try it out since Dagon no longer opens for lunch. But the thing that drew me in this time? Laksa Shrimp! I love laksa and I love shrimp. So how was it?

Veg Curry Bread | $8.00

This is an interesting dish. I guess from the look of it, I expected like a vegetable curry croquette deal. It’s actually rolled up bread (like a naan) with the curry and then it’s breaded and deep fried. Not my favorite, Felt too carby for me? Breading and then bread inside too? You know? The curry was good though.

Burmese Tea Salad | $9.00

Have you ever had Tea Salad? It’s chock full of great ingredents and tastes great. It’s also a lot to chew because of those ingredients. Get this salad if you feel like crunching down on a lot of different elements – I wasn’t in the crunchy mood this day lol. I did try it and it was good but I can’t give a full review since I didn’t eat the whole salad.

Masala Beef Curry | $14.00

Chicken Curry with Biryani Rice | $14.00

Oh yum. I ordered this for dinner. It was so good! And their bok choy, very well seasoned (think tons of garlic). Yummy!

Laksa Shrimp | $14.00

Finger licking good. Literally. I love that they peel the shrimp for you but leave the heads. Brah that’s where all the flavor is. I will fight in a battle on this. It was so good. Deep laska flavor, he mentioned that this is his take on laksa. I don’t know how the different variations of laksa tastes, I just know this was good. Would order again!

North Shore Grinds – Kaimuki, HI

When Jalna updated her blog with all the ono grinds she got from North Shore Grinds, I had to go! I used to come to this area all the time for Your Kitchen. Oh boy do I miss Your Kitchen. Not a great parking situation for North Shore Grinds but we were able to snag street parking pretty easily, and get plenty turnaround since people are grabbing their lunches to go (there is no seating).

Killah Pulehu Ribs | $18.95

Chan’s dish. The seasoning is good but he felt like the cut of meat was not the best. It says ribs, it’s “boneless” but I wonder if they are really even using ribs? You know? I don’t feel like it is.

Chicken Katsu w/BBQ Horseradish Dip | $16.95

Oh winner winner chicken dinner! This wasn’t my dish but I got to try a piece with the dip, I can see why they are known for this dish. I would get this next time!

Hamburger Steak w/Onion Gravy | $16.65

Not my dish but it was enjoyed!

Brandon Special (Pulehu Ribs & Furikake Mahi) | $18.95

This was my dinner that I shared with Chan. The fish was good, same pulehu ribs. Once again, pulehu was nicely seasoned. But is it really ribs??? Idk…

Herb Crusted Mahi Mahi w/Lemon Cream | $17.95

Jalna got this dish and raved about it and I had to get it too. Well, she was good and got all salad. I need my rice. The dish was really good! I enjoyed it! I enjoyed it more than the furikake mahi, would get again!

Carversteak – Las Vegas, Nevada

Final dinner and final post for Las Vegas. It has been nice salivating for the last two weeks but I am pretty pau with these posts already. This last one is a doozy, PLENTY food as you’re come accustomed to. Oh man, this wrapped up a week of just eating everything. Carversteak was a recommendation from Chan’s colleague and it was a great pick!

Everything Spiced Brioche | $6.00
with blue cheese

Oops, I thought this was complimentary. It’s listed on the menu so I guess not. It was a dang good brioche and yes, you can definitely taste the blue cheese in the bread. Nice butter with sprinkles of salt too. NICE.

Jumbo Prawn Cocktail | $32.00
espelette dijonnaise, horseradish cocktail sauce

When they said jumbo, they weren’t kidding. I love shrimp or prawn cocktail and this was delicious. Yummy!

Korean Glazed Pork Belly | $24.00
pickled mustard seed, scallion

Nice sweet gochujang type glaze, it worked really well. This was a nice starter.

Green Beans | $18.00
slivered almonds, lemon butter

We did not order this side dish and as they dropped it, I told them so that they could just take it back. The waiter told us it can be complimentary. That was very nice of him. The dish sucked (LOL), sorry I didn’t enjoy it.

Potato Gratin | $19.00
layered potato, parmesan cheese, chive

Asian person’s nightmare, look at all that dairy! Tasted good though. I usually prefer a mash with my steak.

Roasted Mushrooms | $19.00
madeira, parsley

Good, not memorable.

Asparagus | $22.00
simply roasted, lemon, olive oil

Haha I just remembered thinking, how come my asparagus is naked lol. Like why did they peel it. It was fine, nice and tender.

Beer-Battered Onion Rings | $15.00
smoked chipotle aioli

Nice and crispy. It was enjoyed by the table!

Striploin (14 oz) | $77.00
wet aged 21 days / creekstone farm

Filet Mignon (8 oz) | $72.00
Add Black Truffle Butter | $6.00

allen brothers / chicago

I can only really comment on my steak and here it is! I got it rare and it was good. They cook it right and it was melt the mouth tender. I don’t think I need to add any truffle butter next time.

Rib Cap (8 oz) | $88.00
Add Black Truffle Butter | $6.00

snake river farms / eastern idaho

Chan was told to order the rib cap, I never heard of that cut before. Chan enjoyed it a lot!

Assorted Sorbet | $10.00
mango/passionfruit and yuzu/lime

Cheesecake | $14.00
strawberry gelee, graham sable, strawberry cremeux

I didn’t have room for dessert but I didn’t want Chan to eat dessert alone (lol, I know you’re thinking that’s an excuse). It was a nice tasting dessert but seriously I couldn’t eat more than a bite. We had a lot of leftovers from this dinner.

I’ve been to Vegas a handful of times and I think this was my favorite visit yet. I had a really good time, my only complaint was of course the hot weather. Just gotta go when it’s not summer time and it would be perfect. Thank you Vegas, see you next time!

IKEA – Las Vegas, Nevada

Yup.

Swedish Meatballs Plate (12 pcs) | $9.99
Served with Mashed Potatoes and Lingonberry Jam

Classic. Can’t go wrong. I’m wondering if I can ask for the mixed vegetables next time because I am not a fan of the peas.

Garlic Lemon Cod | $8.99
Served with sustainably-sourced lemon garlic cod, served with mashed potatoes

If they had fish and chips, I would have gone that route. They didn’t so I tried this. I liked it! Nice seasoning and nice piece of fish.

French Fries | $2.49

Ah, just whatever. Not good not bad.

Strawberry Shortcake | $3.29

They didn’t have their chocolate cake slice. 🙁 So this is what I had to settle for. I was already full so I didn’t enjoy this cake as much as I would have liked. Was good and not dry!