How to make sweet pork with eggs

sweet pork hmong

sweet pork hmong  sweet pork hmong

Sweet pork is a very popular dish at Hmong family gatherings.  This is a popular dish in Asian countries such as China, Vietnam, and the Phillippines.  I will show you how I make my version of sweet pork.  It's very simple and easy! We call this in Hmong nqaj qaab zib or nqaij qab zib

I'll be very straight forward and honest, no one was willing to teach me this recipe.  Everytime I asked someone to show me how they made this dish, they would tell me it was very hard and complicated or they would tell me only half of the recipe.  So for many years, I experimented and tried different ways. I felt really bad asking for other people's recipes because some people don't want to give it away.  That's okay, I respect that.  So I went on my own food journey and tried making sweet pork.  I failed miserably many, many times.  The first time I made it, I put too much sugar and it came out like candied bacon. Hahaha!  The second time I  made it, it was way too salty.  The third time I made it, it tasted great but had no caramel color, it looked like boiled pork only.  As the story goes, many pounds of pork belly, sugar, and soy sauce later .... I finally resulted in this recipe which I use whenever I get a sweet pork craving.  Haha, do let me know what you think and if you have any suggestions how you make it. I'm very interested to know how you make your sweet pork recipe!

Sweet Pork Ingredients:

  • 4 cups pork belly, sliced
  • 7 eggs
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 3-5 pieces of star anise
  • 1 tbsp garlic, chopped
  • 1 thumb ginger, sliced thin
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed tight
  • water, lots of it
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • additional soy sauce for browning eggs
  1. Marinate the pork belly in soy sauce and oyster sauce. Set aside.
  2. Boil the eggs. Then remove the eggshell when done.
  3. In a large pot, add oil.  Add the garlic and ginger. Stir until brown.  Add the brown sugar.
  4. When the sugar is melted, add the pork belly marinade including juices and all.
  5. Stir for a few minutes until the pork gets slightly white.  Then add 4 cups water or more  until the pork is all covered.
  6. Cook for 1 hour or more.  For more tender pork, keep adding water and cook 2 hrs or longer.  You can add the star anise at any time.
  7. The water will evaporate.  When it reaches the thickness you like, remove from heat and serve.

Remember, you can always adjust the taste by adding water, increasing or decreasing the amount of sugar or soy sauce!

I hope you enjoy this recipe. Please leave me a comment if you try it or have any questions!


Thank you for the recipe. I love it.

You are welcome! I hope you enjoy it!

Thank you very much ,Annie. Your sweet pork and rice cake recipes are really good and many, many thanks for sharing. I made those 2 dishes and shared it with my western friends, they were delighted and kept asking for more. I like to introduce my western friends to asian cuisines so they will know, french people are not the only excellent cooks on this eartn. Again many thanks , you receipes are  well written that an amateur cook like me can even followed it to produce delicious dishes.

Hi Rose, thanks for commenting! I am happy that you found the recipes easy to follow! It's nice to try new things every once in a while. I also like to take things old and give it a new spin (taste) every once in a while.

Annie, I happen to see for a first time some of your videos on Utube. I also saw some uneducated and rowdy comments from some mean and ignorant  Viet people. True Culture is meant to be exchanged and to share. That's said, in reality, there is no such thing as a 100% original native dish! One never knows for sure. A lot of Vietnamese foods are much be influenced by China and France cuisine. It could be vice-versa too. I love all your distinctive Hmong dishes and  I am a Viet cook. Annie, please hold steadfast to your endeavour! Please remember that a lots of Viets love   Hmong people and they admire of what the Hmong people have endured and achieved from much tragedies and life challenges. We share our mutual feelings from a long history. I wish some day I can take you and your family to go back to Vietnam and visit Sapa to meet Hmong Viets. If they know what you did, I'm sure they would admire you and support  you as well. I want to say more but I guess I took up much space already. I'm very proud of you. Thomas Nguyen. (You can post my comment on Utube if you want).

Thanks for your heartfelt comment Thomas! What is your youtube name? I like your thoughts and positive attitude towards cooking. I think food tastes best when it is shared. About the negative comments on Youtube, their opinions are fueled from their own personal experience. I only wish they made the food and then commented on the food. Hahaha, I've kind of repeated myself many times that I'm not a food historian nor claim to be an expert.  I just like sharing and I will try my best to give credit to origins when it's due!

Lovveeeeeeee your recipe! Thank you so much for sharing!!! I've going to try all your recipes!! You are an awesome cook!

OMG! This is the bomb! Like some of the other users, when I was letting the meat boil and waiting for the water to evaporate, I also boiled in 1 stick of lemongrass. With the ginger, instead of thin slices, I also chopped it up because it's a little overpowering in flavor when you eat a piece with the meat. But, I also added a few red chile peppers when I browned the garlic and ginger. And because I didn't have brown sugar, knowing the white cane sugar is sweeter than brown, I used about 3/8 of a cup. It's sweet, spicy, and salty. SO GOOD! Thanks for the recipe!

Very cool awesome!!! thanks for sharing

Annie, it looks very good. I also added to my sweet pork galanga and lemon grass and i cook mine in a pressure cooker with takes half the time and the meat is always tender. Just thought inshore ghat with you. I've really enjoyed all your recipies.

Great! I have not tried it in a slow cooker yet. Everyone says it tastes great in there. One of these days when I buy some fresh pork belly, I'll try it in the slow cooker over night.

what kind of soy sauce and oyster did you used?

I used Kikkoman soy sauce. It was the regular kind. I used premium oyster sauce. I can't remember the name of the brand but make sure you use premium. The other generic one requires you use more oyster sauce.

Thanks for posting this! I made it tonight for dinner. It was delicious. 

Very awesome!!!!

Thank you Annie for posting this receipt up. I cooked this last weekend for my party and it turned out so delish. Since I was making it for a party/gathering I just triple all the measurement and ingredients. Thanks again. : )

So happy that you were able to make it for your party! Yay!

thank you so much for sharing this. i keep coming back here to get the recipe.

You are welcome!

Hi, I love ur way of cooking. It's easy for me to follow. Can u do one on how to make chow fun? 

Hi, do you mean cook chow fun or to make the actual chow fun noodles?

I've been looking for this recipe for the longest.  Will try this out soon and let you know.  Thank you!  -Pani

Hi Pani, hope you found it helpful!

I am a graduate of Johnson & Wales Culinary Institute in Providence RI. I was a chef in several well known restaurants and private clubs all with 5 star ratings. This recipe is awesome, very flavorful. My Hmong girlfriend sent me this link and told me I better not screw it up :) the only thing I did different is used peeler to shave thin slices of ginger and sweated them in oil for couple minutes before adding chopped garlic to sweat as I didn't want garlic to burn before ginger had a chance to sweat oils and flavor. I also have to comment of what you stated that many people didn't want to give you their recipes. I know some old school chefs who were the same way and I never understood it. What better way to hand down family recipes and traditional dishes to preserve the recipe and culture. Thanks again for taking the time to post recipe and video. Well done!

Hi James! Thanks for commenting! Glad you were able to try the recipe! I used to also live in Providence, RI. It surely indeed is a multi-cultural city. I hope your girlfriend enjoyed your dish!

I just made this today using your recipe and I love it!  I ended up using a full cup of sugar but its still less than what Ive used in another recipe.  I also don't use pork belly but instead pork shoulder because it gives my husband his choice of lean meats while I still can indulge in the fattier pieces.  And I also skip the oil part so the only fat in my dish comes from the fat of the meat.  Excellent dish!  I just found you on FB and can't wait to try your other recipes.  Keep them coming.

Thanks for commenting! The best thing about cooking is being able to adjust the ingredients to suit your taste. I'm happy to know that you were able to make it to your liking!

can you use regular sugar? or does it have to be brown sugar?

Yes, just don't use as much.

wow! i actually made nqaj qaab zib! thanks so much for your recipe! i'm so glad there's someone out there like you who was willing to endure several trial and error experiments in order to hone this recipe! it's really irritating how so many people out there want to keep this recipe a secret! what a waste!!! i was a little timid going into it, so i didn't use as much meat and added too much water. i did, however, add minced lemongrass and qhas (i have no idea what that's called in English)...but i think the star anise is the secret ingredient for that amazing fragrance. next time, i'll add less water and cook it much longer to get that falling apart consistency on the meat. thanks, annie!

Hi Anna, glad the recipe served as a baseline for your own creation! Keep experimenting and have fun!

Your website is awesome. You're right, lots of people are secretive about their recipes. Glad to know that some people are willing to share their knowledge and help others continue the tradition. Thanks a bunch.

Hi Thong, thanks for your comment! I hope through sharing, it helps inspire others to cook and share recipes with their family and friends.

Hi Annie!  Happen to browse by your blog because the pics were amazing and i am a huge foodie. Thanks for sharing and keep up the great work!  Love your interpretation on the sweet pork.  I to find that people are quite stingy when it comes to sharing recipes, but my momma didn't raise me that way.  Anyways, I omit soy sauce altogether because the natural caramelization takes care of that.  try grating some ginger next time--it's adds a nice kick to the dish. Bacon Rules!

I haven't tried grated ginger, I just usually slice it thinly. Thanks for the tip.

Omg, finally!!! I first discovered this dish at my husband's mom's funeral ( he's Hmong lol), but anywho I kept asking him how it was made but he said he does not know. I asked him to ask his sister-in- laws and sisters and he did, but he came back with the whole, " they said it takes too much time to make it". So for years I have been wondering how to make it, so Annie, thank you so very much for making it easy and possible for me to make it. Btw my younger brother thank you too lol, because he too love this husband not so much, but who care I finally know how to make it!
Thank you and you're doing an awesome job!!!

It's great to eat on special occasions. I only eat this dish 2x a year. :-) Thanks so much for commenting!

What a great dish, it´s one of my ALL TIME favourites and brings back many memories of eating this as a child! Yummy!

Very awesome site you have!!

Love this! This is my favorite food and I'm so happy to have found this recipe. Made it twice already and love it! Thank you for sharing!

Thanks for stopping in and commenting! I really appreciate the feedback!

Thanks for sharing, i always call my dad for the recipe. Idk why, but I use those packets at the Asian store w/ the eggs and chicken on them. Has anyone used those? I think it's just Chinese 5 spice but I like the taste :)

Yes, that package is chinese five spice powder. You can add some for flavor.

This is the fastest way to make sweet pork w/eggs. Never knew that there was a quick way to make this. Thanks so much! I enjoyed cooking it and eating it!


Can we sub brown sugr for plam sugar? Would it still be the same process?

Yes, same process.

Thank you Annie! I attempted your recipe today & it was a success! It tasted good & love the recipe! :)

Thanks for sharing the recipe!! And your mobile app is awesome! I just made this today and the family loved it! Thanks again!

So awesome!


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