Tuesday, January 10, 2012
Braised Pork in Caramelized Sauce with Ginger
An authentic family style Vietnamese dish is caramelized braised pork served with steamed white Jasmine rice. It is a staple in most Vietnamese households around the world. The braised pork is slowly simmered in a tasty light gravy composed of fish sauce, sugar, garlic and ginger. The pork is browned first in oil to give the meat outstanding flavour. As most experienced cooks or Chefs would claim, browning meats does add an abundance of taste to meats, making it so much more succulent. This dish is part of my top 5 favourite Vietnamese dishes. It is not only delicious, it takes less than 30 minutes to make. A great dinner idea for the weeknights.
Though this recipe is fairly simple, it requires complete attention while preparing it. With that in mind, I promise you'll be pleased with the results.
Preparation time : 10 minutes : Cooking time : 10 minutes
Recipe "au pif":
1 lb of pork shoulder (cut in thin 3-4 inch slices), or 4 thin boneless pork chops also cut in about 2-3 inch long pieces (keep the fat on!)
1 tbsp finely chopped ginger
1 tbsp finely chopped garlic
1 tsp granulated sugar (raw cane sugar will also do)
2 tbsp canola oil (or cooking oil)
2 tbsp fish sauce (nuoc mam)
2 tsps ground black pepper
Marinate the pork in the fish sauce and black pepper, in a medium-sized bowl and mix well with your hands.
Preparing the caramel (and do nothing else like tweeting). Heat oil in large pan on medium-high and add in the sugar. From time to time, remove pan from heat to make sure sugar does not burn.When sugar starts absorbing the oil and starts to melt, mix the sugar with oil evenly, until the sugar starts changing colour, to a light brown colour. When sugar turns into a darker brown colour, remove pan from heat and add in the ginger and garlic, and stir.
Place the pan back on heat and slowly add in the thin slices of pork one by one until the pan is filled with one layer of the pieces of pork. Let the pork cook for about 1 minute and turn them around to cook the other side. The meat will have a darkish golden colour from the caramel.
The meat will sweat and create a sauce with the caramel. Once that stage is reached, cover the pan and let the the pork/sauce mixture simmer for about 10-15 minutes.
If you have no sauce, perhaps the heat was on too high or the pan was not removed from the heat to control the transformation of the caramelized sauce. In this case, you simply add a 1/4 cup of chicken broth and let the pork/sauce simmer.
Vietnamese families often add in hard-boiled eggs to the dish and eat this meal with white jasmine steamed rice. It's one of my favourite meals and easy to make, if you keep that trick in mind.
Serves 4 people.