Gluten Free Vietnamese Inspired Sticky Pork

Gluten Free Vietnamese Inspired Sticky Pork

This is a delicious gluten free dish inspired by caramelised flavours of the Vietnamese dish cá kho tộ. It is a delicious sweet and sticky pork dish with a medium heat (though this can be adjusted) that is perfect for a weeknight meal or even a dinner party! It is easily veganisable.

This recipe serves 2, however it is easily duplicated.


  • 200g Pork mince
  • Half a white onion, finely diced
  • 1 1⁄2tbsp Honey
  • Thumb sized knob of ginger root, grated
  • 4 Large cloves of garlic, grated
  • 2tbsp Fish sauce
  • 1 Chilli, finely diced
  • Juice and zest of 1 lime
  • 1tbsp Brown sugar
  • 1tbsp Freshly ground coriander seeds
  • 200ml/half tin Coconut milk
  • 1⁄4tsp Chilli powder
  • Handful of fine beans
  • Half a red bell pepper, sliced
  • Handful of fresh Thai basil, chopped


  1. In a small bowl, mix together the honey, ginger, fish sauce, half of the garlic, half of the chilli, the lime zest, and half of the lime juice. Set this bowl aside for now.
  2. Heat some oil in a pan over medium-high heat. To this pan add the diced onions and chilli with a pinch of salt and pepper and sweat for around 1-2 minutes.
  3. Now add your pork mince to the pan along with the ground coriander and brown sugar and allow to brown slightly before adding the other half of the garlic.
  4. Cook the garlic for 1 minute stirring constantly. Now add the juice from the other half of the lime and the coconut milk. Let simmer for around 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  5. Eventually oils from the coconut milk will separate and the pan will look slightly oily. The coconut milk will have reduced and turned sticky and will be mostly attached to the pork. There should be no liquid left. At this point you should add your fine beans.
  6. Once your fine beans have been cooking for 2-3 minutes you can add your peppers and the sauce in the bowl which you made at the start. Mix together and cook until the peppers become just slightly soft.
  7. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in your chopped Thai basil.
  8. Serve over a bed of rice and top with some finely sliced green chilli and a slice of lime on the side.

About This Recipe

This is a delicious pork dish inspired by cá kho tộ, a Vietnamese dish that consists of white fish in a caramelised coconut sauce cooked in a traditional clay pot. In this recipe you cook down the coconut milk into a sticky caramelised state, just as when you make cá kho tộ. Here when you cook down the coconut milk the sticky sauce absorbs into the pork and adheres to the outside of it creating crispy and sticky chunks of pork that are sweet and sticky with a delicious umami from the fish sauce and a sourness from the lime that goes so well.

This is an easy dish to make, and it is full of delicious flavours. It is perfect for a family meal, or even for a dinner party. Not many people incorporate Vietnamese food into their weekly meals, but I think they should! Recipes like this one and my recipe for bún chả (Vietnamese meatballs) are easy enough to make on a weeknight and are definite crown pleasers and make a nice change from the bog standard “Asian” stir-fry that everyone has made.

All of the ingredients for this recipe are easily accessible and can be found in all supermarkets. If you cannot find Thai basil feel free to use regular basil and a small pinch of ground star anise, this will replicate the flavour of Thai basil well enough!


Question: Can I use low fat coconut milk?

  • Yes, absolutely! Of course, full fat will taste better, but that’s inevitable. Low fat coconut milk will work just fine, it just won’t be quite as rich, but maybe that is what you’re looking for.

Question: How can I make this Vegan?

  • You can actually make this vegan very easily! If you exchange the honey for the same amount of brown sugar mixed with a tsp of water, exchange the pork mince for a vegan mince and use a vegan fish sauce. A good vegan and gluten free fish sauce is by the brand Thai Taste.

If you have any more questions feel free to email me them at

Love Gluten Free

Hey! I’m Caroline, I love baking and cooking and finding new ingredients to create better gluten free alternatives. In 2015 I found out I had coeliac and since then it has been my mission to find great ways to make gluten free food better.

Note that as an Amazon Associate I may earn commission from qualifying purchases.

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