Sunday, May 03, 2009

Vietnamese Caramelized Pork

I rarely cook with pork as Carlos is not a fan of it but I will cook them occasionally if I get a chance to buy the pork from Chinatown. In Vietnam they will normally use fatty pork or pork ribs for this dish but I just used the lean pork I have in my freezer. This dish has a lovely sweet and savory taste that is highly addictive. You can use chicken meat for this dish too.

Ingredients :

1 pound of pork – cut into thin strip
1 tbsp grated ginger
2 cloves garlic - finely chopped
2 green chilies – slice thinly
2 tbsp sugar (more if you like it sweeter)
2 tbsp fish sauce (nuoc mam)
2 tsps ground black pepper

1. Marinate the pork with fish sauce and black pepper and set it aside for an hour.
2. Heat up about 2-3 tbsp of oil in a pan on medium high and add in the sugar. Stir from time to time and make sure the sugar does not burn. When the sugar starts to turns into a darker brown color, remove the pan from heat and add in the ginger and garlic and stir-fry for a few second.
3. Place the pan back on heat and add in the slices pork. Let the pork cook for about 1 minute and turn them around to cook the other side. The meat will have a dark golden color from the caramel.
4. The meat will discharge some juice and create a sauce with the caramel. Once that stage is reached, cover the pan and let the pork/sauce mixture simmer for about 20 minutes.
5. If the sauce dry up too fast, add about 1/4 cup of water to it and continue to simmer until the sauce thicken and the pork should dry up and caramelized. If that's not the case, increase the heat until the sauce dry up.
6. Check seasoning and add in green chilies. Serve with warm rice.

Note : You can use less oil if you are using fatty pork.


Alisa (@ said...

This looks incredible! I am sooo bookmarking this to make later.

Can you use pork tenderloin, or is there another cut that's best to use?

Happy cook said...

I am not a huge fan of pork, but hubbyand daughte rloves them so i do make for them and i am bookmarking this too.
I have to say i am not a huge fan of fish sauce.

Little Corner of Mine said...

Interesting! I never cook in this way before, will try one day. Thanks!

mycookinghut said...


Another great dish from you!! Really wish that you stay nearby ;)

Dawn said...

it is quite additive as I make something almost simliar to this and have found myself eating it for breakfast with eggs...bad I know, but good! LOL

My Asian Kitchen said...

this really look good especially with cameralize sc!! would love a big plate of w rice now,yummy!!

Fiona said...

Thank you! This looks great and we are big pork lovers. In fact, I bought some tenderloin today...

Jun @ IndoChine Kitchen said...

It is interesting that you caramelized the sugar separately. My mother always adds the sugar right with the marinades.

I wonder whether it would turn out differently.

Thanks for the recipe :)

noobcook said...

This is an unusual take and looks really delicious :P

pigpigscorner said...

Caramelising the sugar gives it such a nice colour!

lilium said...

This looks great! And easy too!

Ninette said...

Wow, looks great. I've never seen the caramelization of the sugar as a technique ... I'll have to try it!

ICook4Fun said...

Alisa, you can use tenderloin for this dish.

Happy Cook, you can always use chicken and reduce the amount of fish sauce if you are not a fan :)

LCOM, do try this out and it's really good with rice.

Leemei, hope you can visit me one day and I will cook and bake for you :)

Dawn, I guess eating it for breakfast once a while is not so bad :)

Lesley, it sure taste good with rice.

Fiona, do let me know if you like this dish :)

Jun, caramelizing the sugar first produce a nice color to this dish.

Noobcook, thank you.

Pigpigcorner, yea the nice brown color comes from the caramelized sugar.

Lilium, yeap pretty easy dish to cook.

Ninette, thanks for stopping by. Hope you like this dish.

Little Chef said...

This looks yummy & something my hubby & kids will surely love to have for dinner. Thanks for sharing, will see if I can try it out this week / next. Will blog how it turns out, keke! Not sure if it'll look as appetising as yours does ;)

Elin said...

I am going to cook this for dinner.:) I am running out of idea what to cook for dinner and this came juz in time. Thanks Gert :)

Jamie said...

This looks too good not to make! But could chicken replace the pork?

meeso said...

This is nice and simple, not too many ingredients, but looks delicious!

ICook4Fun said...

Little Chef, I am sure yours will turn out well too :) Looking forward to your posting.

Elin, hope your family like this dish.

Jamie, yes you can always replace the pork with chicken.

Meeso, yea simple and easy just the way I like it :)

Christelle said...

What can I say, a favorite! :)
And it's great, I always have Nuoc mam in my kitchen :)

ICook4Fun said...

Christelle, I will put a few splash of Nuoc Mam in most of my cooking :)

Anonymous said...

Thks for sharing this recipe, gert! My kids and i enjoyed this simple but yummy dish. Here is a pic of my vietnamese caramelised pork -

Susanna, Perth

Kevin said...

That pork looks so tasty! I have enjoyed the Vietnamese caramel dishes in the past and now I will have to try this one!

Jescel said...

wow, this looks soo good. lovely dish! i'm so bookmarking this.

ICook4Fun said...

Susanna, glad your family enjoyed this dish and the dish you cook look great.

Kevin, you too like Asian food a lot :)

Jescel, hope you like this dish :)

Gordita said...

I'm Vietnamese and you can use cat fish instead of pork or chicken. Fish is the best! Tasty and healthy. ;)

Shenny's mommy said...

Yummy, definitely I am going to try to make this dish for my family. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

I made this tonight! Fantastic! The only I change I made was adding chunks of onion, celery and bell pepper when I added the pork. Soooooooooo good!
I'll be making this again.

Ruth said...

Delicious and easy so it's pretty much perfect! I would say it cooks much quicker than 20 minutes but maybe I sliced my pork thinner. Thank you, Gordita, I love the idea of doing it with fish, too.

StasiaH said...

I made this last night using boneless pork loin chops that I flattened slightly with my palm and then sliced. Added a relatively spicy, sliced Anaheim chile (usually mild but not in this case) which worked well for my husband's taste. Have been taught to never put oil in a cold pan(All Clad), warm first, then add oil. A mistake for this recipe, I think I heated the pan too long, since my caramel immediately broke. To the separated, very deep golden broken sauce, I added the ginger and garlic hoping that would help, to no avail. I thought, "Now what?!" Thank goodness for the Internet, googled it, and easily found a one-minute video demonstrating how easy it is to fix a broken sauce just by gradually adding a bit of water, whisking all the while. The sauce came back together and I was able to proceed as the recipe instructs! The only change I made was to cook the pork for only half the time noted. It was quite well done but still juicy. Not surprisingly, after adding quite a bit of water to bring the sauce back together, I had to remove the pork to a platter and reduce the sauce for just a few minutes. Excellent result overall, delicious and easy, I will make this again and hopefully without the sauce breaking next time! Thank you for posting!