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Vietnamese Caramelized Pork

From NYC to Your Cabin Deck
Sizzling Street Cart Fare
By David Bowers
Published: March 1, 2008
Photo by Cabin Life staff/ food styling by John Bäck
I’ve never been fortunate to find a street cart serving this amazing grilled pork recipe, but I’ve had it hot off the grill at Vietnamese restaurants and was delighted to find out how to do it at home. You do have to make caramel, but it’s simply a matter of letting sugar melt and brown in a pot. Asian fish sauce has the most authentic flavor, but it’s tasty with soy sauce as well. Serve with rice or noodles.

1/4  cup sugar
       Juice of 1 fresh lime (or 2 tablespoons juice)
1     tablespoon Asian fish sauce (or soy sauce)
2     scallions, finely chopped
6     boneless pork chops (or 1 1/2 pounds pork tenderloin, sliced thin)

1.  Place the sugar in a small saucepan and heat over medium-high heat until it melts and starts to brown. Do not stir. When the sugar starts to darken, you can carefully swirl the pan to make sure the sugar browns evenly, but stirring may cause it to crystallize.

2.  When the sugar has just turned a light gold caramel color, remove the pan from the heat and add the lime juice, fish sauce, and scallions. The caramel may harden, but return it to the heat and stir for several minutes and it will soften.

3.  Pour the sauce over the meat in a bowl and leave to marinate while the grill heats.

4.  Preheat a gas grill on high for 10 minutes with the lid down or prepare a medium-hot charcoal grill. Lay the pork directly over high heat on the grill, first shaking off any excess marinade, and cook for 3-4 minutes on each side, until lightly browned.
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