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Palo (Thai Pork and Egg Stew) Recipe

Updated on February 25, 2016
Cast your vote for Thai Palo (pork and egg five-spice stew)
Thai Palo (pork and egg five-spice stew) recipe
Thai Palo (pork and egg five-spice stew) recipe

Palo (พะโล้) is a dish you can find in almost every pre-made food vendor in Thailand. The dish is usually sweet but this recipe is not. This recipe is richer than most of other recipes out there. Some people may not like it but you can always modify the recipe to suit your taste buds.

This is going to take some time and quite a lot of ingredients. But I promise you you won't regret it.

This is obviously not a low fat dish. The calories, fat, and cholesterol is quite high. Okay, very high. But if that scares you, you can always use leaner cut of pork or chicken instead. The process is still the same but you will need to reduce the cooking time for chicken to about half an hour.

Note: Since not every oyster sauce, soy sauce, fish sauce is created equally, please adjust the amount accordingly. Some oyster sauce tend to be sweeter than the others while some soy/fish sauce can be saltier than the others, so add about 2/3 of the listed amount and taste it before adding more. Keep in mind that the water will reduce, resulting in stronger taste.

Cook Time

Prep time: 30 min
Cook time: 2 hours
Ready in: 2 hours 30 min
Yields: Serves 10 persons
Ingredients for Thai Palo: (top left to bottom right) cinnamon sticks, star anise, sichuan pepper, ground white pepper, five-spice powder; garlic and coriander roots; chopped garlic and coriander roots; pork hock and belly; fried tofu
Ingredients for Thai Palo: (top left to bottom right) cinnamon sticks, star anise, sichuan pepper, ground white pepper, five-spice powder; garlic and coriander roots; chopped garlic and coriander roots; pork hock and belly; fried tofu


  • 1 kilograms Pork belly or hock, cut into bite sized pieces
  • 1 1/2 tbsp Vegetable oil, any neutral oil
  • 2 Cinnamon sticks
  • 5 Star anise
  • 1/2 tsp Sichuan pepper
  • 1/2 tbsp ground white pepper
  • 1 tsp Five-spice powder
  • 5 cloves Garlic, peeled, crushed, and chopped
  • 2 Coriander roots, crushed, and chopped
  • 7 tbsp Oyster sauce
  • 2 tbsp Mushroom soy sauce, or regular soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp Seasoning soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp Fish sauce
  • 1/2 tbsp Coconut sugar, or regular white sugar. Add more if you want it sweeter.
  • 1 tsp Black soy sauce
  • 2000 ml Water or unsalted pork stock
  • 10 Duck eggs, medium boiled. You can use chicken eggs. 1 egg per person.
  • 200 grams Fried tofu, or firm tofu, cut into cubes and deep fry until golden brown.
Fry garlic and coriander roots, add the spices, add water and pork, after 1.5 hours add egg and tofu
Fry garlic and coriander roots, add the spices, add water and pork, after 1.5 hours add egg and tofu


  1. Put a pot that can hold all the ingredients over low heat. Add vegetable oil then garlic and coriander roots. Fry for a minute.
  2. Add cinnamon sticks, star anise, sichuan pepper, ground white pepper, five-spice powder and fry until aromatic.
  3. Add all the seasonings, Stir constantly. Do not let it burn. Then add water and turn the heat up to medium high. Scrape the bottom of the pot with wooden spoon so the bits that get stuck don't get burned.
  4. Once the water is boiling, add the pork. When the water is boiling again, lower the heat to medium low. Let it boil lightly for 1 and a half hour (half hour for chicken). Keep checking on it every now and then, add more water if it evaporates too much. By the end, you should have about 2/3 of liquid left.
  5. While waiting, medium boil duck eggs. Put a pot of water high enough to cover whole eggs, with half tablespoon salt, on high heat. Lower the heat once it reached boiling point, gently add the eggs in. Boil uncovered for 10 minutes. Then immediately put the eggs into cold water for no less than 10 minutes. (If you use chicken eggs, you might want to put the eggs in from the start as chicken eggs are more prone to cracking. Lessen the boiling time to 7-8 minutes.) Once the eggs cool down, peel, and set aside.
  6. After 1 and a half hours, add the fried tofu and peeled boiled eggs. Let it cook for another half hour.
  7. Serve with Thai jasmine rice. Or any other rice you prefer.

Substitute and Alternatives

While some ingredients that are hard to find can be left out, some are essential.

Coriander roots can be very hard to find and it is okay to just don't use it. Alternatively, you can use half a teaspoon of ground coriander seeds.

If you don't have dark or black soy sauce, worry not. Dark soy sauce gives richer colour and taste but without it, you still have a decent dish. But if you ask me, buy one. Many dishes requires dark or black soy sauce.

Cinnamon and sticks and star anise are quite important but if you don't have them in hand, the five-spice powder already has them.

Sichuan pepper can be omitted.

You might have regular soy sauce on hand and it is totally fine to use in this recipe. If you don't have seasoning soy sauce and don't want to buy it, just substitute it with regular soy sauce.

Coconut sugar might be hard to find in some places as well. Regular granulated sugar works just as well. However, if you can find coconut sugar, give it a try, you'll love it.

You can also make this dish vegetarian by omitting meat and increase the amount of tofu and eggs. Also, substitute oyster sauce and fish sauce with the vegetarian version of oyster sauce which is mushroom sauce (sometimes called vegetarian mushroom oyster sauce) and soy sauce respectively.

(The mushroom sauce is not mushroom soy sauce. Don't get the two mixed up. Mushroom sauce has the consistency of oyster sauce but it is made from mushrooms instead of oyster. The sauce is thick just like oyster sauce but the colour is lighter.)

I hope you enjoy making and eating this recipe, just like I did. The recipe is big so reduce the amount accordingly.

Nutrition Facts

Nutrition Facts
Serving size: 1
Calories 625
Calories from Fat234
% Daily Value *
Fat 26 g40%
Saturated fat 7 g35%
Unsaturated fat 14 g
Carbohydrates 57 g19%
Sugar 8 g
Fiber 4 g16%
Protein 43 g86%
Cholesterol 686 mg229%
Sodium 1347 mg56%
* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.

© 2016 Panadda


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