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Thai Braised Pork and Eggs with Star Anise and Cinnamon (Moo Palo)

6 Servings

1 hour 40 minutes 30 minutes active

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Moo palo is a classic Thai braise that combines the richness of pork belly and eggs in savory-sweet broth flavored with Chinese five-spice powder. For our version, we opted for easier-to-source pork shoulder; it's a leaner cut but it cooks up equally flavorful. Traditionally, hard-cooked eggs are simmered with the pork and take on a brown hue from the braising liquid, along with a firm texture from long cooking. We opted instead to simply garnish the bowlfuls with hard-cooked eggs so their color is brighter and texture more tender. And rather than use five-spice powder, which can give the braise a muddled, overspiced flavor, we preferred the cleaner, purer notes of whole cloves, star anise and cinnamon sticks. Serve the pork and eggs with steamed jasmine rice. As with most braises, this dish tastes even better the next day.




Don't use preground white pepper. Whole white peppercorns have far more flavor and aroma. Black peppercorns would be a better substitute than preground white pepper, but its flavor is sharper and more pungent and will slightly alter the flavor profile of the dish. And don't use regular soy sauce, which is too salty.

1 hour 40 minutes

30 minutes active


  • 1

    bunch cilantro, stems chopped, leaves roughly chopped, reserved separately

  • 8

    medium garlic cloves, smashed and peeled


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Kristina Kerr W.

Wow. I was not optimistic about this recipe because I didn't believe the pork shoulder would be good simmered in a fairly thin broth (not really a full braise). These days, however, I cook with what is on hand, and I happened to have all the ingredients. I made the recipe as written, and honestly it was quite good. I might cut back on the peppercorns just a bit next time as one of my teenagers found it a little spicy. The combination of the pork, eggs and flavorful broth was very tasty and meat cooked up quite tender.