This Vietnamese pork dish is delicious with sticky rice. Great for impressing at dinner parties.
- 100g light muscovado sugar
- 30ml of 60% nuoc mam fish sauce, diluted with 90ml water
- 500g pork loin, boned and diced
- 4tbsp shallot, peeled and finely chopped
- 4 kaffir lime leaves
- 4 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely chopped
- 1tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1 large chilli, sliced lenghthways and deseeded
- Juice of half a lime
- 4 quail's eggs, hard-boiled, shelled and halved
- To garnish:
- 4 cloves of garlic, peeled, sliced thinly and deep-fried
Put the sugar into a pan over a gentle heat, stir constantly and wait till it melts. You may need a little of the diluted fish sauce to help it on its way. Then let the colour darken and slowly add the remainer of the diluted fish sauce until it all combines.
Next, add the pork, shallot, lime leaves, garlic, pepper, chilli and lime juice. Cover and simmer on a slow heat for about 30 mins, stirring it occasionally. If you like a thicker gravy, leave the lid off the pan for the last 10 mins of cooking time.
Arrange the quail’s eggs on a plate with the pork and pour some gravy on them. Garnish with the deep-fried garlic flakes and serve with sticky coconut rice.
The caramel is a bit of pain, but really worth the effort. You want the colour and taste of caramel, but not the full sweetness, so you need to get it to a dark gold, but not the full dark brown.