Ultimate Guide to Crispy Fried Fat Pork Tep Mo: Tips & Serving Ideas

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Written By Hot Thai Restaurant

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Imagine biting into a crispy, golden slice of fried fat pork tep mo, a beloved dish that’s as flavorful as it is unique. Originating from the vibrant street markets of Vietnam, this dish has won hearts with its perfect blend of textures and rich, porky goodness. It’s not just food; it’s a cultural experience wrapped in a delicious, crunchy exterior.

You might wonder what makes fried fat pork tep mo stand out. It’s all about the balance of fat and meat, seasoned and fried to create a snack that’s both indulgent and satisfying. Whether you’re looking to recreate a taste of your travels or simply want to try something new and exciting, this recipe promises to deliver a mouth-watering adventure.


Gather your ingredients to bring the vibrant flavors of Vietnam right into your kitchen with this fried fat pork tep mo recipe.

Fresh Ingredients

  • 1 lb pork belly, skin on
  • 2 large shallots, finely sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • Vegetable oil, for frying
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • A pinch of salt

Required Equipment

To ensure you can capture the authentic taste and perfectly crispy texture of fried fat pork tep mo, having the right equipment is crucial. Here’s what you’ll need to prepare this Vietnamese delight:

  • Heavy-Bottomed Skillet or Wok: A heavy-bottomed skillet or a wok is ideal for frying, allowing heat to distribute evenly and maintaining a consistent temperature, crucial for frying pork belly to perfection.
  • Slotted Spoon: This tool is essential for safely removing the pork from the hot oil, ensuring excess oil drips off, and keeping your crispy pork just that—crispy.
  • Paper Towels and a Plate: Have a plate lined with paper towels ready to drain the pork belly after frying. This setup helps to absorb extra grease and maintain the desired crispiness.
  • Cutting Board and Sharp Knife: You will need a sturdy cutting board and a sharp knife to slice the pork belly into proper size strips or pieces, vital for consistent cooking.
  • Measuring Spoons and Cups: Precision matters in this recipe, so have your measuring spoons and cups handy to accurately measure spices and seasonings.
  • Mixing Bowls: You will need several mixing bowls to prepare the marinade and to toss the pork belly before frying. Ensure they are large enough to mix comfortably.

By gathering these tools before you begin, you streamline your cooking process and focus more on the techniques that bring this dish to life. Preparing your workstation with these tools ensures a smooth and successful cooking experience, letting the rich and unique flavors of Vietnam shine through in your dish.


Now that your kitchen is equipped with all the necessary tools, let’s dive into preparing the pork for your fried fat pork tep mo. This crucial stage sets the stage for achieving the mouth-watering crispiness and rich flavor of the dish.

Cleaning the Pork

Begin by thoroughly rinsing the pork under cold running water. You want to ensure that any debris or unwanted particles are completely removed. After rinsing, pat the pork dry with paper towels to remove excess moisture. This step is essential as it helps prevent oil splatter during frying and ensures that the pork crisps up nicely.

Slicing the Pork

Using a sharp knife, carefully slice the pork into thin strips, approximately ¼ inch thick. It’s important to keep the slices even to ensure uniform cooking. If your pork piece has layers of fat, include them in each slice, as they will render down during frying and add incredible flavor and texture to your dish. Make sure to slice against the grain of the meat, which will help in achieving tender pieces once cooked.

Marinating the Pork

Now that you have your pork cleaned and sliced, the next step is to marinate it to infuse rich flavors that are essential for the authentic taste of fried fat pork tep mo.

Making the Marinade

Begin by creating the marinade, which will be a mix of savory and aromatic ingredients to enhance the pork’s flavor. You will need:

  • 3 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice

In a medium bowl, combine the fish sauce, soy sauce, and brown sugar. Stir well until the sugar dissolves completely. Add the minced garlic and ground black pepper to the mixture, blending thoroughly to ensure even distribution of flavors. Finally, incorporate the lime juice, which adds a bright, acidic touch to balance the marinade.

Marinating Process

Place the sliced pork in a large bowl or a resealable plastic bag. Pour the marinade over the pork, ensuring every piece is well-coated with the mixture. Use your hands to massage the marinade into the meat gently, which helps the pork absorb the flavors more effectively.

Seal the bowl with plastic wrap or close the plastic bag, ensuring there’s minimal air inside. Refrigerate the marinating pork for at least two hours, though for optimal flavor absorption, letting it marinate overnight is recommended.

As the pork marinates, occasionally turn the pieces to make sure all sides are equally exposed to the marinade. This step is crucial for achieving the flavorful, succulent bites that make fried fat pork tep mo so irresistible.

Frying the Pork

Now that your pork is well-marinated, bursting with flavors, it’s time to bring out its ultimate crispy texture.

Prepping the Frying Station

Firstly, set up your frying station with precision to ensure that frying is smooth and safe. You’ll need a deep, heavy skillet or a deep fryer if you have one. Pour in a generous amount of vegetable oil—enough to completely submerge the pork pieces. Heat the oil over medium-high heat until it reaches approximately 350°F (177°C). Use a cooking thermometer to check the temperature, as accurate heat is crucial for the perfect fry.

Prepare a plate lined with paper towels beside your frying area. This will be where you’ll place your fried pork to drain any excess oil. Ensure all necessary tools, like tongs and a splatter guard, are within reach to manage the frying process safely and efficiently.

Frying Technique

Once your oil is hot and ready, carefully lower the marinated pork pieces into the oil one at a time. Avoid crowding them to maintain an even cooking temperature. Fry the pork in batches if necessary. Each piece should sizzle upon contact—if it doesn’t, your oil may not be hot enough.

Allow the pork to fry undisturbed for about 4-5 minutes before gently flipping them over to ensure they are golden brown and crispy on both sides. The pork should have an internal temperature of 145°F (63°C) when fully cooked. Keep your frying consistent by regulating the heat as needed to prevent the oil from getting too hot or too cool.

Once the pork is thoroughly fried and reaches a beautiful golden color, use tongs to remove the pieces from the oil. Place them on the prepared paper-towel-lined plate to drain. This step will help keep the outside crispy while maintaining the juicy interior. Repeat the process with the remaining pork pieces, adjusting the heat of the oil as necessary to keep the frying temperature stable.

These steps will ensure each bite of your fried fat pork tep mo is perfectly crispy and deliciously savory.

Assembling the Dish

Now that your fried fat pork tep mo is crispy and golden, it’s time to move onto the exciting part of plating this delicious dish.

Arranging on Plates

Start by selecting flat, wide plates that will showcase your dish beautifully. Arrange the crispy pork pieces on the plate in a single layer to ensure they remain crunchy. If you’re serving this as an appetizer, consider smaller plates and distribute the pieces evenly. For a family-style meal, a large platter works best, allowing everyone to help themselves.

Adding Final Touches

To elevate the visual appeal and taste, sprinkle finely chopped green onions and a pinch of coarse sea salt over the pork. These additions not only add color but enhance the flavors, complimenting the rich and crispy pork. Optionally, you can serve with a side of fresh lime wedges; squeezing lime juice over the pork right before eating adds a bright, tangy contrast that makes the dish even more irresistible.

Serving Suggestions

After crafting your visually appealing plate of crispy fried fat pork tep mo, consider how best to serve this savory dish. Enhancing your meal with thoughtfully selected accompaniments can elevate the eating experience, making it truly memorable.

Pair With Sticky Rice

For a classic Vietnamese touch, serve your fried fat pork tep mo with a side of sticky rice. The glutinous texture of the rice complements the crunchiness of the pork perfectly. Scoop the rice into small bowls and invert them onto the plates next to the pork for a dome-like presentation.

Add Fresh Vegetables

Balance the richness of the fried pork with a variety of fresh vegetables. Thin slices of cucumber, pickled carrots, and daikon radish add a refreshing crunch and help cut through the fat. This not only adds color and variety to your plate but also introduces a delightful contrast in textures.

Include Dipping Sauces

Offer a selection of dipping sauces to let your guests customize their flavor experience. A simple fish sauce with minced garlic and chili provides a spicy, tangy kick that is typical in Vietnamese cuisine. Alternatively, a sweeter hoisin sauce can offer a delightful contrast to the salty, crisp pork.

Suggest Beverage Pairings

Recommend lighter beverages to accompany the dish. A crisp lager or a glass of chilled white wine works wonders in balancing the hearty, oily nature of the pork. For a non-alcoholic option, a cold glass of sweet iced tea or a lemonade can be refreshing.

Each choice in your serving suggestions should aim to complement the main dish and enhance the overall dining experience, making every bite of your fried fat pork tep mo enjoyable and satisfying.


Exploring the delightful world of Vietnamese fried fat pork tep mo, you’ve learned not just how to cook it but how to truly enjoy it. Whether you’re savoring it with sticky rice or balancing its richness with fresh veggies, each element you add only enhances your meal. Don’t forget to experiment with different dipping sauces and find your favorite beverage to pair it with. Here’s to many delicious meals that bring a taste of Vietnam right to your table!

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