Prep 10 mins
Cook 1 hr 45 mins
From Gourmet's "Diary of a Foodie," episode 219, "Vietnam: The Taste of Simplicity." You don't actually need a clay pot to make this; any heavy bottomed saucepan will do. The fish sauce (nam pla) is crucial to get the right flavor; do not attempt to substitute.
- 1⁄3 cup sugar
- 3⁄4 cup chicken broth or 3⁄4 cup water
- 1⁄3 cup vietnamese fish sauce (nam pla)
- 3 shallots, thinly sliced
- 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 3 scallions, thinly sliced on the bias with white and green parts kept separate
- 1 lb trimmed boneless pork shoulder, cut into 1-inch cubes
- 1 teaspoon finely ground black pepper
- Place sugar in a heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat. Allow to remain over heat until fully melted, and approximately the color of a US copper penny.
- Carefully add broth. It will steam and bubble wildly, and the caramel WILL seize. This is expected, and as you continue to apply heat, the caramel will dissolve back into a nice syrup.
- Add fish sauce, shallot, garlic, and white parts of scallions. Bring to a simmer until vegetables soften.
- Sprinkle pork with ground black pepper. Toss to coat, and add to pot. Simmer very low for 75-90 minutes. Serve with rice and top with scallion greens.