A glorious dish in the “kho” style, simmered with caramel, this dish gets added complexity from coconut juice, the liquid trapped in the center of young coconuts (not to be confused with coconut milk).
My friend Chris Rimlinger, a medical doctor by day, is an accomplished Vietnamese cook who taught me how to make this dish. This light version of kho has a very thin broth. If you like it more condensed, reduce the water by one cup. The intense sauce is pure comfort food when eaten over steamed jasmine rice. The pickled mustard greens’ sour flavor echoes the way that the Malaysian chefs pair their brilliant yellow vegetable pickle, “acar awak,” with the deep brown savory chicken and mushroom stew, Pong Teh.
© 2008 Robert Danhi. All rights reserved.