This comes from a Vietnamese cookbook, lent to me by a friend. She loves this recipe but I've not tried it yet.
- Make the caramel by heating the sugar in a small, heavy-based pan over a low heat.
- Stir constantly until it is moist and thick.
- Take off the heat and add the fish sauce.
- Return to a low heat and stir until the sugar dissolves.
- Add the shallots and pepper to the caramel and leave to cool.
- Pour the sauce into a claypot or flameproof casserole.
- Add the pork to the sauce.
- Cover and simmer for about 30 minutes over a low heat, stirring occasionally.
- At the end of cooking, the pork should be in a little rich gravy.
- Serve with the egg if using, spooning the gravy over them.