Pig Face Thit Kho


  • 1 pig face
  • Brine, your recipe
  • 2 yellow onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 jalapeno, sliced into rounds
  • 4 star anise
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup fish sauce
  • 3 cups pork stock
  • 4 carrots, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Grilled baguette
  • Coca-Cola pickled onions, recipe follows


Prepare pig face for sous vide by making an incision starting from under the mouth. Peel back the flesh from the bone, working around the entire head to remove it. Brine for 24 hours; pat dry. Place in Cryovac bag and immerse in circulator at 60 C for 48 hours; chill.

Cut meat from face into 1-inch cubes and roast in preheated 500 F oven until crispy at service.

Sweat onions with butter in large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add jalapeno, star anise and cinnamon sticks, stirring until fragrant. Stir in sugar and fish sauce. Pour in pork stock; bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer about 20 minutes.

Add carrots and cubed pig face. Simmer uncovered, 15 minutes. Remove star anise and cinnamon sticks. Adjust seasonings with salt and pepper. To plate, divide stew among four bowls and serve with baguette or warm rice. Garnish with pickled red onions. Makes 4 servings

To make Coca-Cola pickled onions, heat 12-ounce can of Coke over high heat, add ¼ cup soy sauce and 2 tablespoons sambel olek. Reduce by two-thirds. Remove from heat and add 4 ounces cider vinegar and 2 ounces lime juice. Pour over 2 cups sliced red onions and steep at least 2 hours.

Chef-owner Chris Shepherd; Underbelly; Houston