Most of us have a love-hate relationship with fish sauce, anchovies and all those stinky foods. But they add such layers of flavors to a dish. We love them!
This is one helluva delish way to cook pork. The addition of fish sauce is absolutely needed to balance the sugar and add a different layer of saltiness that is essential. But be-warned! Crank up the hood exhaust, open them windows because once you add the fish sauce in and get that pork sizzling you're going to want to put a clothing peg on our nose. Ha..ha...
After all that, you'll end up with one of the most mouthwatering, softest morsels of pork in your mouth and it will all be worth it.
So here's to stinky foods that make our lives and meals so much better!
Vietnamese Caramel Clay pot Pork
3 lbs. lean pork butt
5 large green onions
6 garlic cloves
2" piece fresh ginger root
1/2 cup vegetable oil for pork
1 tbs vegetable oil to saute green onions
3/4 cup dark brown sugar
3/4 tbsp. Sriracha chili sauce
1/3 cup Vietnamese fish sauce
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1/4 cup water
Cooked Jasmine rice
Get your ventilation in the kitchen going because the smell of the fish sauce will be quite strong.
Pork butt - Cut away any excess fat and cut into 1-1/2 inch cubes. Set side.
Green onions - Cut away the root, discard any wilted green leaves, wash and cut into 1-1/2" lengths. Set aside.
Garlic cloves - Peel, and thinly slice cloves. Set aside.
Fresh ginger root - No need to peel. Wash, cut into very thin slices and then julienne into thin strips. Set aside.
Shallots - Cut away the root, peel the skin and discard. Thinly slice into circles. Set aside.
Heat a clay-pot, heavy bottom Dutch oven, (I am using my Emile Henry brazier ) over medium heat for a few minutes.
Add the oil and allow to heat till very hot but not fuming for about 2 minutes.
Turn up the heat to high & add the pork meat in small batches. Sear for about a minute or so on each side till a golden brown. Cook's note: If you over crowd the pan, the meat will release its juices and stew, not sear. You will need to do this in 4-5 batches.
Remove the seared pork to a plate and set aside.
Turn off the heat. The oil is quite hot at this point. Add the sugar and slowly stir. Turn the heat back on to medium, stirring the sugar constantly till it begins to melt and bubble.
Add the shallots, garlic and ginger. Sauté for about 3-4 minutes till the shallots have softened and a fragrant aroma fills the air. Add the Sriracha chili sauce & the fish sauce. Stir to combine.
Put the meat & all the juices in the pot. Add the water and on medium high heat allow the gravy to simmer. Add the salt & pepper. Stir to combine. Taste and adjust the seasonings.
Cover with the tight fitting lid, lower heat to medium-low and cook for 1 hour & 10 minutes. Stir once during the process.
Once the pork is fork tender turn off the heat. The pork should be a lovely caramel color with a thick & rich gravy.
Meanwhile, in a frying pan, add 1 tbsp. oil and heat on medium high heat. Add the green onions and sauté for about 1 minute till the green onions are a nice glossy green.
Add the sautéed green onions to the pork. Stir to combine.
Serve immediately over a steaming bed of Jasmine rice or brown rice.