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Hmong Sweet Pork Recipe – Easy Kitchen Guide

Last Updated on December 5, 2023

Hmong cuisine is deeply rooted in tradition and culture, with each dish carrying its own special significance. One such dish is sweet pork, a popular and beloved that is often served during special occasions and celebrations within the Hmong community.

This flavorful and aromatic dish combines tender slices of pork with a rich broth, creating a comforting and satisfying meal.

In this guide, we will take you through the step-by-step process of creating this delicious Hmong dish, along with a breakdown of the key ingredients and their significance. So let’s dive in and discover the wonderful flavors and traditions behind sweet pork! 

Hmong Sweet Pork Recipe

What is Hmong Sweet Pork?

Hmong sweet pork, also known as “Nqaj qab zib” in the Hmong language, is a traditional dish that has been passed down through generations within the Hmong culture.

It is a popular and beloved dish that is typically served during special occasions such as weddings, New Year celebrations, and family gatherings.

This dish features tender slices of pork marinated in a flavorful combination of oyster sauce, garlic, and dark soy sauce, and cooked in a rich broth with aromatic spices.

The addition of pork belly and eggs adds richness and depth to the dish, making it a hearty and satisfying meal. Not only is Hmong sweet pork delicious, but it also holds special cultural significance within the Hmong community.

Why You’ll Love This Hmong Sweet Pork?

One bite of this savory and aromatic dish will transport you to the heart of Hmong culture. The combination of tender pork, rich broth, and bold spices creates a symphony of flavors that is sure to tantalize your taste buds.

The addition of ingredients such as lemongrass and star anise gives this dish a unique twist, making it stand out from other pork dishes.

What’s more, the use of fresh and natural ingredients makes this dish not only delicious but also healthy and nourishing. So why not give this traditional Hmong dish a try and experience the flavors and traditions for yourself?

Not only is Hmong sweet pork bursting with flavor, but it also holds special cultural significance within the Hmong community. This dish is often served during important celebrations and gatherings, bringing people together and strengthening bonds.

It’s a dish that has been passed down through generations, preserving the rich cultural heritage of the Hmong people. Whether you’re looking to expand your culinary horizons or simply want to try something new, Hmong sweet pork is an excellent choice that is sure to leave you satisfied and coming back for more.

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The Ingredients 

  • Egg:  The eggs in this recipe symbolize wealth and prosperity, making it a traditional dish served during special occasions and celebrations.
  • Sliced Pork Butt: This is the main protein used in the dish. It adds texture and flavor to the sweet pork.
  • Pork Bones: These are used to create a rich and flavorful broth for the sweet pork.
  • Oyster Sauce: Adds depth of flavor and a touch of umami to the dish.
  • Garlic: A staple ingredient in Hmong cuisine, garlic adds a kick of flavor to the sweet pork.
  • Dark Soy Sauce: Gives the dish its rich dark color and adds a hint of sweetness.
  • Star Anise: This spice is commonly used in Hmong cooking and adds a unique aroma and taste to the dish.
  • Sliced Pork Belly: This adds an extra layer of flavor and texture to the sweet pork.
  • Salt: Balances out the sweetness in the dish.
  • Lemongrass: Another staple ingredient in Hmong cooking, lemongrass adds a subtle citrus flavor to the sweet pork.
  • Oil: Used for frying and sautéing ingredients.
  • Sugar: Adds sweetness to the dish.
  • Ginger: Provides a warm and spicy flavor to the sweet pork.
  • Water: Used to create the broth for the dish.
Hmong Sweet Pork Copycat Recipe

Step by Step Instructions 

Step 1

Marinate the Pork Butt

  • In a large bowl, mix together the sliced pork butt, oyster sauce, minced garlic, and dark soy sauce.
  • Allow it to marinate in the fridge for at least 2 hours.

Step 2

Prepare the Broth

  • In a pot, combine the pork bones, star anise, salt, lemongrass, and water.
  • Bring to a boil and let it simmer for 1 hour.
  • Strain the broth and discard the solids.

Step 3

Cook the Pork Belly

  • In a large pan, heat oil over medium heat.
  • Add in the sliced pork belly and cook until crispy.
  • Remove from pan and set aside.

Step  4

Cook the Marinated Pork Butt, Broth, and Pork

  • In the same pan, add the marinated pork butt and cook until it starts to brown.
  • Pour the broth into the pan with the cooked pork butt.
  • Add in sugar and ginger slices.

Step 5

Simmer and Add Pork Belly

  • Let the pork butt and broth simmer for 30 minutes.
  • After 30 minutes, add in the cooked pork belly.
  • Continue to simmer for another 15 minutes.

Step 6

Add Eggs

  • Gently crack the eggs into the pan with the pork and broth.
  • Let them cook for about 3 minutes before gently stirring them into the broth.

Step 7

Serve and Enjoy!

  • Serve the sweet pork over a bowl of steamed rice or with your favorite side dishes.
  • Enjoy this delicious and authentic Hmong dish!

Notes 

  • Make sure to marinate the pork butt for at least 2 hours to allow for maximum flavor.
  • To save time, you can use pre-made chicken broth instead of making your own broth from scratch.
  • Adjust the sweetness and saltiness according to your taste preferences by adding more or less sugar and salt.
How to Make Hmong Sweet Pork Recipe

Nutrition Information

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How to store Hmong Sweet Pork?

To store Hmong sweet pork, let it cool completely before transferring it to an airtight container. It can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days or frozen for up to 2 months.

To reheat, simply thaw in the refrigerator if frozen and then heat on the stovetop or in the microwave until heated through.

Variations 

  • For a spicier version, add in some chili flakes or diced chili peppers.
  • To make it healthier, you can use lean pork loin instead of pork butt and reduce the amount of sugar used.
  • For a vegetarian option, substitute the pork with tofu and vegetable broth.
How to Make Hmong Sweet Pork Recipe

Hmong Sweet Pork Recipe

Hmong cuisine is deeply rooted in tradition and culture, with each dish carrying its own special significance. One such dish is sweet pork, a popular and beloved that is often served during special occasions and celebrations within the Hmong community.
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Author: Dr. Leah Alexander
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Asian
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours
Rest Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 4 hours 30 minutes
Servings: 6
Calories: 253kcal

Equipment

  • large pan
  •  Stirrer

Ingredients

  • 10 farm-fresh eggs providing a luscious and golden base for the soup.
  • 0.75 lbs of succulent sliced pork butt infusing a savory and meaty essence.
  • 0.75 lbs of hearty pork bones contributing to a robust and flavorful broth.
  • 1 tbsp of umami-rich oyster sauce elevating the depth of the broth with its savory notes.
  • 3 minced garlic cloves releasing a fragrant aroma and enhancing the overall savory profile.
  • 4.5 tbsp of dark soy sauce imparting a deep, rich color and adding a complex layer of sweetness.
  • 1-2 star anise infusing a warm and aromatic hint of licorice into the broth.
  • 1 lb of thinly sliced pork belly delivering a delightful combination of tender meat and crispy edges.
  • 0.5 tbsp of salt harmonizing the flavors and accentuating the natural tastes of the ingredients.
  • Lemongrass to be adjusted according to taste, imparting a citrusy and refreshing undertone.
  • 0.5 tbsp of oil providing a subtle richness and enhancing the mouthfeel of the broth.
  • 0.5 cup of sugar balancing the savory elements with a touch of sweetness for a well-rounded flavor.
  • 1.5- inch of ginger sliced up, releasing a zesty and warming essence into the soup.
  • 5.5 cups of water the foundation of the broth, ensuring a hearty and comforting consistency.

Instructions

  • Begin by marinating the sliced pork butt in a flavorful combination of oyster sauce, minced garlic, and dark soy sauce. Allow the meat to absorb these rich flavors for at least 2 hours in the fridge.
  • While the pork is marinating, prepare the broth by combining tender pork bones with aromatic star anise, salt, lemongrass, and water. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat and let it simmer for an hour.
  • In a large pan, fry thinly sliced pork belly until perfectly crispy. Set aside for later use.
  • Sauté the marinated pork butt in the same pan until lightly browned. Then, pour in the prepared broth and add a touch of sweetness with sugar and slices of zesty ginger.
  • Allow the pork butt and broth to simmer for 30 minutes before adding in the cooked pork belly, giving the dish an added layer of flavor and texture. Continue to let it simmer for another 15 minutes.
  • Gently crack eggs into the pan, letting them cook for 3 minutes before gently stirring them into the broth. This will add a beautiful richness to the dish.
  • Serve this traditional Hmong delicacy over a bed of steamed rice or alongside your favorite side dishes.

Notes

  • Make sure to marinate the pork butt for at least 2 hours to allow for maximum flavor.
  • To save time, you can use pre-made chicken broth instead of making your own broth from scratch.
  • Adjust the sweetness and saltiness according to your taste preferences by adding more or less sugar and salt.
Keyword: Hmong Sweet Pork Recipe

FAQs

Can I use a slow cooker to make Hmong sweet pork?

Yes, you can adapt this recipe for the slow cooker by following the same steps and cooking on low for 6-8 hours or high for 3-4 hours.

What are some common side dishes to serve with Hmong sweet pork?

Some popular side dishes include sticky rice, stir-fried vegetables, and Hmong egg rolls.

Is Hmong sweet pork gluten-free?

Yes, as long as you use gluten-free soy sauce and oyster sauce, this dish can be made gluten-free.

Can I make this vegan?

Yes, you can use tofu instead of pork and vegetable broth instead of pork bone broth to make this dish vegan. However, the flavor may differ slightly from the traditional version.

Wrapping Up

Hmong sweet pork is a beloved dish that not only satisfies the appetite but also brings people together and celebrates culture and tradition. With its rich flavors and deep cultural roots, it’s no wonder this dish has stood the test of time and continues to be enjoyed by many.

We hope you give this recipe a try and experience the deliciousness for yourself!  So go ahead and grab your ingredients, gather your loved ones, and enjoy a hearty bowl of Hmong sweet pork. 

Thank you for reading this article. Please share this with others who may be interested in trying out this flavorful dish.

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Author Profile

Dr. Leah Alexander, M.D., is a board-certified Pediatrician in New Jersey and has been working at Elizabeth Pediatric Group of New Jersey since 2000.
She also has a passion for culinary arts that extends beyond the medical realm. After completing culinary school at the French Culinary Institute, she started Global Palate, LLC, a catering firm, in 2007. She ran her own six-year-old catering company and served small group parties as an owner and executive chef.

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