Monday, May 23, 2011

Vietnamese Caramelized Pork with Shredded Cabbage

First things first -- gotta promote the locals!

Ann Arbor favorite Zingerman's will have its Zzang! Bars featured on the Food Network's "Kid in a Candy Store" TONIGHT at 8:30 p.m. ET/PT. Buy a bar, watch the show!

The Zingerman's empire is also home to newly crowned 2011 James Beard Award-winning "Best Chef: Great Lakes" -- Alex Young of Zingerman's Roadhouse. Mazal Tov on the enormous honor!!! (In the food world, this is like winning an Oscar!)

Now, on to today's recipe ... :)

I hadn't had this dish in ages and ages ... I made it for Jeremy once, years ago, and he adored it. So now that my kitchen is my own, I thought it was time to make it again.

For those who haven't tried cooking with fish sauce yet or who are leery of it, let me assure you that this ingredient -- which is critical to Vietnamese cooking -- is not overpoweringly fishy. Just because it's fermented doesn't mean your food will smell pickled!

Just as the anchovies in my Pasta con Aglio e Olio don't do a little dance to draw attention to themselves, the fish sauce in this pork dish only serves to enhance rather than offend. As always, trust me.

After all, I don't ever want anyone trying one of my recipes and saying, "Ewwww!!! She's suffering from delusions, thinking she can cook! I'm never coming back here again!" Uh uh. Unless there's a saga to tell, as there was with my two failed attempts at making hamantaschen before the third time proved to be the charm, I will only give you recipes I can vouch for ... :)

Vietnamese Caramelized Pork with Shredded Cabbage

1 tablespoon oil
2 cups cole slaw mix
generous sprinkling of freshly ground pepper
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

Heat the oil in a small skillet over medium heat, then add the rest of the ingredients. Saute for 5 minutes or so, until just softened and starting to caramelize a bit.

1 cup sugar
3/4 pound pork cubes
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
generous sprinkling of freshly ground pepper
pinch of red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons fish sauce
1 tablespoon teriyaki sauce
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 small onion, halved, sliced

In a medium skillet, heat the sugar over medium heat until it melts and turns golden.

Add the pork and stir to coat. (If the sugar clumps up, don't worry; it should melt. And if it doesn't -- as happened when I was making this for the blog -- just scoop out any hard pieces.) Add the salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, fish sauce, teriyaki sauce, and garlic; cook, stirring occasionally, until the pork is no longer pink.

Add the onion, and continue cooking over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until the pork is coated with the glaze.

Serve the pork and onions over the cabbage.

Serves 2.

The Girl Creative


Jenn said...

Great, another candy bar I must try!!! :)
The pork and cabbage sound wonderful. I do love those Asian flavors! And you are right, fish sauce just adds a little something to the party!!

Karen Harris said...

I will trust you on this. This sounds so delicious. I wish I had some for breakfast. Now I'm starving!

Meaghan Luby said...

this looks delicious! yum. i feel obligated to try the candy bar too, ha. loves it, thanks for the post!

Cranberry Morning said...

First of all, just give me one of those bars and no one will get hurt. ;-)

I've never used fish sauce, and I'll admit that it does sound a bit scary. But the recipe sounds delicious and the photo attests to the fact, so I might give this a try. I do need to branch out a bit!

TexaGermaNadian said...

Aw, I had to come check out this recipe. Looks so good. And I am surprised how easy it is! Will be having it this week, that is for sure!

Every Day Products & More said...

love the name of your blog following you from the hop look forward to reading your posts

Candace said...

Fish sauce is just that one element that you would never think of as being wonderful if you have it on its own....but it's the one element that takes the dish from good to amazing. Just like anchovies. This looks delicious!

Angela FRS said...

Beautiful photo! It took me a while to come around to fish sauce but I totally agree--when you use it in small doses it isn't fishy at all, just adds a nice salty/umami quality. Now I use it all of the time. Also--I want one of those candy bars...

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