A sweetly pungent dish, easily made
Preparation time: 10 mins
Cooking time: 25 mins
Total time: 35 mins
(OK, so, strictly speaking, this started out as thịt thưng, a dish of pork from Central Vietnam, which is similar to xá xíu in philosophy–it’s sugary and rich. But I misread the recipe in Bach Ngo’s Classic Cuisine of Vietnam, and cooked it entirely the wrong way. The final result bears no resemblance to the intended recipe, but it was so yummy it seemed too good to waste)
- 250g pork shoulder or pork butt
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2 shallots
- 1.5 tablespoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce
- 6 tablespoons water
- 2 tablespoons light soy sauce
- ⅜ teaspoon five spice powder
- Sprinkling of black pepper
- Cooking oil
- In a mortar, mash together the garlic, shallots and sugar. Add the fish sauce, water, soy sauce, five spice powder, and black pepper.
- Slice the meat in small, chopstick-size chunks.
- Heat the oil in a heavy-bottom saucepan on high fire. Add the pork, stir until browned.
- Add the sauce mixture. Turn heat to medium high. Cover and cook for 15 minutes; uncover periodically to shift the meat around if needed.
- Take lid off, crank heat to high, and cook until the sauce has evaporated and the sugar has started caramelising.
- Serve with rice. (and stir-fried broccoli. Or dồ chua and sliced cucumber)