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Vietnamese Cuisine with Tram – Caramelised pork

serve : 4


For meat marinade
800gr – pork shoulder (nakkekoteletter) – keep the fat
2 tbsp fish sauce
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp sugar (small)
1 tbsp garlic minced

For caramelization
Cooking oil – 2 tbsp x 2 times frying Brown sugar – 1 tbsp x 2 (fry meat in two batches)
For braising (slow cook)
Shallot – 2 tbsp, minced
Cococut water (no sugar added)  – 3 dl (do not use coconut milk)
3 tbsp fish sauce (some brand saltier, so need to taste at the end)
1 tbsp soy sauce
Pepper corn – 2 tbsp, then coarsely crushed
1-2 tbsp fresh lime juice – add just before serving only

Side dish – any greens you like
Kai lan (Chinese kale) – 1 pack, edge removed, stilk and leaves cut in 4cm
1 tbsp sesame oil + 1 tbsp regular oil
1 tbsp ginger, fresh, grated
1 tbsp soy sauce + 1 tbsp fish sauce
200gr jasmine rice
100gr sticky/glutinous rice
2,5 dl water (rince rice well) 

Garnish (for serving, do no mix):
Crispy fried shallot onion – 1 tbsp for crunchiness (Asian store sell)
Spring onion (white and a bit of green) – 2 tbsp (2-3 twigs)
Thai red chili – ½ piece, thin slices



  • Cut meat in cubes (bones removed) and put in a bowl or plastic bag
  • Add fish sauce, sugar, salt and garlic 
  • Mix well and let sit for 15 min (marinade overnight is possible)
  • Wash and cut the greens, put in different containers 
  • Prepare for caramelization

Caramelization (important step for the end result) & braising

  • Use a thick and deep bottom casserole / deep wok pan, add sugar and oil to the pan/casserole 
  • Have meat and coconut water readily available  
  • Put casserole/pot with oil and sugar on high heat (not max) – wait until sugar melts
  • Soonest sugar melts, it burns fast so add the meat immediately (avoid splash), spread the meat on one layer and wait 3-5 minutes, stir to turn and fry 3-5 min until nice brown colour – the less you stir, the better caramelization 
  • Add shallot – stir fry everything for 2-5 min
  • Add fish sauce and soy sauce
  • Add coconut water and bring to a boil, then reduce to medium heat
  • Simmer/ cook with NO lid on until the liquid is reduced to 1/2 – stir occasionally to avoid sticking to the bottom (30-40 min depending on pot size)
  • Add cracked peppers and simmer another 5 min or reduced to 1/3   
  • Taste and adjust (some fish sauce brand is saltier than others)
  • Add lime/lemon juice just before serving (gives a nice freshness)


  • Rince the rice to remove dust.
    Boil / steam rice as per instructions – keep warm
  • Optional to drizzle with sesame oil

Greens (10 min before serving) 

  • Boil greens in salt water (1 tbsp salt/Liter water) – 2 min (kai lan) – drained and squeeze out water –> blanching process keeps the vegetables green and fresh
  • Heat a pan with sesame oil and regular oil on medium-high heat, add ginger and stir fry, add kai lan, soy sauce + fish sauce
  • Add black and white sesame (optional)


  • Garnish the meat and sauce with spring onion, fried onion, chili slices.
  • Garnish greens with crunchy deepfried garlic / shallot onion (ready pot sold in Asian store)
  • Served with steamed rice 


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