Mrs. Hue was our housekeeper in Hanoi. She didn’t like to cook so didn’t do it very often, but I think she was amused by how much I loved fatty pork and amazed at the quantity I could consume, so she would indulge me from time to time with her wonderful carmelized pork. The classic version (and the only one in my eyes) of Thit Kho To uses cubed pork belly but for a healthier version you may substitute with leaner pork shoulder. It is a rich and deeply savory dish (especially with the pork belly), in spite of the caramel sauce used to stew the pork. The coconut pieces are also now seen only rarely in preparations of this dish, but adding them lends a subtle complexity and the crisp coconut adds a great texture contrast. Traditionally this dish is prepared in a clay pot over a charcoal fire, but these days it is usually prepared stove top and served in a clay pot for presentation.