This is one of my favourite recipes and I have been making this dish over and over (which I don’t often do in my search for new food) ever since I became interested in cooking!
I found the recipes in the Waitrose Kitchen magazine (November 2013 edition p49). The recipe is by street food vendors Van Tran & Anh Vu who have also published the cook book ‘The Vietnamese Market Cookbook’.
Prepare 10 minutes, plus marinating
Cook 1 hour 20 minutes
350g piece pork belly (I normally use pork loins)
50g fresh root ginger, sliced into matchsticks
1 red chilli, roughly chopped and deseeded (unless you like it spicy)
1 shallot or half and onion
2 tbsp fish sauce (or lots of it if you like salty dishes)
2 ½ tbsp caster sugar
200 ml coconut milk
1. Set a large frying pan over a high heat, sear the pork for 5-7 minutes until crisp and golden. Add a few pieces of the ginger and cook for 3 minutes then rest,
2. Prepare the marinate by mixing the remaining ginger, the chilli, onion, black pepper and fish sauce in a large bowl with 1 tbsp sugar and a large pinch of salt. Cut the pork in 2cm cubes and stir into the marinate to coat thoroughly. Cover and leave to marinate in the fridge for at least 30 min, or preferably overnight.
3. For the sauce, put the remaining 1 ½ tbsp sugar in a heavy-based casserole or saucepan. Set over a medium heat, without stirring, for 2-3 minutes, the reduce the heat and stir until the sugar turns golden brown. Add 200ml hot water slowly – be careful as it may spit- then gradually bring to the boil. If the sugar hardens upon contact, boil it over a low heat until it melts again.
4. Add the pork and marinate to the pan, coating all the meat with the caramel sauce. Cook on a medium heat for 10 minutes. Stir in the coconut milk, then reduce the heat and cover partially. Simmer for about 30-40 minutes, until the liquid has reduced and thickened and the pork is tender and cooked thoroughly. Serve with white rice.
Having done some googling, it appears this recipe is an adaptation on their caramelised braised pork belly recipe (http://bephaus.com/caramelised-braised-pork-belly-recipe-2/) with an addition of red chilli peppers which I see as a crucial part of this meal!
Try it and let me know what you think!