Recipe by Kiersten Phae
Another Vietnamese recipe my sister in law shared with me. She made this for me the first time she visited my house. She served this w/ an Opo Squash soup to mellow out the saltiness. A simple egg drop soup or broth works just as well. Traditionally a salty meal is served with rice and a soup to blend all different flavors and textures. Please note: coconut juice is different from coconut milk. It can be found in Asian markets. Caramel Sauce is known as Nuoc Mau & can be found at Asian markets too. Thick soy sauce can be used, although it has a saltier less sweet flavor. If you can't find caramel sauce or thick soy sauce you can make it at home. Recipe at the end of the instructions. I prefer to buy it. :)
- 2 cups coconut juice
- 2 tablespoons oil, I use vegetable
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 shallots, minced
- 2 stalks lemongrass, minced -tender midsection
- 2 lbs pork loin, cubed
- 2 tablespoons caramel sauce or 2 tablespoons thick soy sauce
- 1⁄3 cup fish sauce
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon five-spice powder
- 1⁄2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1⁄2 teaspoon white pepper
- 1 -2 cup chicken stock (or water)
- 3 -4 hard-boiled eggs
For Caramel Sauce
- 1 cup sugar
- 1⁄4 cup water
- 1⁄4 cup hot water
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
Directions See How It's Made
- Add oiled to a pan heated to medium-high heat, coat bottom of the pan.
- When oil is hot, add garlic, lemongrass, and shallots.
- Stir fry about 30 seconds, they will brown.
- Turn the heat up to high and add the pork in batches.
- Brown the pork on all sides, transfer to a dish and repeat until all the pork is browned.
- Add all the pork back to the pan and add caramel sauce, fish sauce, sugar, five spice powder, and the peppers.
- Stir well and cook over medium heat, it'll take about 2 minutes for it to become fragrant.
- Stir occasionally.
- Add the coconut juice and enough chicken stock (or water) or cover the pork.
- Bring it to a boil and skim off the foam that rises while it cooks.
- Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, Covered, for about 1 1/2 hours.
- Check occasionally, add more stock or water if it reduces too much.
- When the stew is almost done, peel the eggs.
- Traditionally the eggs are scored with an large X on one end without cutting the egg all the way through.
- I prefer to just quarter the eggs. It's easier and I like the egg yolk mixed into the stew sauce.
- Add the eggs to the stew and let it simmer together about 15 more minutes.
- Serve Immediately.
- FOR CARAMEL SAUCE:.
- In a saucepan, combine the sugar with 1/4 cup of water; bring to a boil over high heat. Do not stir! Swirl the pan gentle to dissolve the sugar.
- Reduce heat to medium low and simmer for about 10-15 minutes.
- When the syrup turns deep brown and the bubbles slow down, remove from the heat and add another 1/4 c of hot water.
- Return to medium high heat and sit continuously.
- The caramel dissolves and becomes thick and syrupy about 3-5 minutes later.
- Stir in 1 tsp lemon juice.
- Let cool and store covered in a cool dark place.
- Makes about 3/4 cups.