Vietnamese meat dishes often have similar flavour profiles, and those intricate flavour profiles are often derived from expert seasoning and extended marinating times. This particular dish is my favourite because the flavours are in the same family as the Vietnamese Braised Pork and Eggs and the Lemongrass Grilled Pork recipes that I’ve posted before, but it does not require marinating time for the pork.
This recipe literally takes 15 minutes to prep and cook, and at 35 weeks pregnant, that is a huge blessing to me. My pregnant belly is in the way now, so I can’t stand close to the counter to comfortably prep ingredients. Standing for extended periods of time puts pressure and pain on my back and hips. Bending down to grab pots and pans and reaching up to grab plates or ingredients also introduce various types of pain. However, we still need to eat so I still need to cook, but I’ve been leaning towards two types of recipes lately – 1) recipes that take less than 15 minutes to prep and cook like this one or 2) ones that take some prep time but then I can leave on the stove to simmer for an hour or more while I take a nap, like my Irish Beef stew recipe. (I love naps!)
This recipe has a slight spicy kick to it, due to the red Asian chili pepper (I buy the little packets of red peppers at Ngoy Hoa, the Asian grocery store in Regina) and the Sriracha sauce. I recommend pairing it with a cold light beer. If you want to stick to the Asian theme, then try Tsingtao or Sapporo. Otherwise, just pair it with a Bud Light like my husband does. If you’re a wine drinker, spicy Asian dishes often pair well with a chilled sweet German Riesling. I don’t have any specific recommendations right now, but I will once I can drink again so stay tuned!
Serve with some hot fluffy jasmine rice and enjoy. Green onions would make a better tasting and better looking garnish, but I didn’t have any at home when I made this so I garnished with thinly sliced red onions as you can see in my pictures.
If anyone tries it with wine, please let me know what your recommendations are!
Quick Vietnamese Caramelized PorkPrint Recipe
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 lb pork, cubed into 1-inch pieces (I just buy any lean cut of pork that is on sale and cube it up, usually a pork roast of some kind)
- 2 shallots, minced
- 1 tbsp ginger, either finely grated or finely minced
- 1 red Asian chili pepper, deseeded and finely minced
- 2 tbsp brown sugar
- 1 tbsp and 1 tsp fish sauce
- 2 tsp Sriracha chili sauce
- Some green onions, diced, for garnish.
Heat the oil in a wok or frying pan over high heat and stirfry the pork until browned on all sides. This usually takes 5-6 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon to preserve the oil and juices in the pan and set the pork aside.
Turn the heat down to low and add the shallots, ginger and chili pepper. Cook for 2 minutes until they start to soften up. Add the sugar, 1 tbsp fish sauce and 1/2 cup water to the pan and stir everything together.
Bring to a boil, stirring, so the sugar dissolves, then return the pork to the pan.
Let it simmer at a low rolling boil for 10 minutes until the sauce thickens and coats the meat. Watch your stove temperature here - it doesn't need to be on high for it to be at a low rolling boil. I find that medium or medium low is enough to have the sauce bubbling consistently. If you leave your temperature on high, the sugar will burn and scorch.
Add in 1 tsp fish sauce and the 2 tsp of Sriracha and give it a final stir before removing it from the heat.
Sprinkle some green onions on top for garnish and serve with jasmine rice.