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This caramelized pork dish is perfect served over a snowy bowl of jasmine rice. The Stir-fry chunks of pork belly, chilli and green onions in the wok makes it very aromatic. For a lighter though no less delicious alternative, consider lean pork tenderloin instead. And also, keep a bottle of xo chilli sauce nearby. This Caramel Pork Recipe comes from Kim Thuy’s newest cookbook, Secrets From My Vietnamese Kitchen.


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  • Author: Kim Thuy
  • Prep Time: 20
  • Cook Time: 15
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: Entree, Sides
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Vietnamese


This sticky-sweet pork dish is easy to mark and goes great with rice, noodles, banh mi sub sandwiches and basically anything!



  • 5 Tbsp (60 g) sugar
  • 3 Tbsp (45 mL) water, divided 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 onion, minced
  • 1/4 lb (110 g) pork belly (rind on), cut into 1/4-inch (6 mm) thick slices
  • 1 lb (454 g) pork loin, cut into strips
  • 1 bird’s eye chili, minced Freshly ground black pepper 3 Tbsp (45 mL) fish sauce
  • 2 green onions, white and green parts, chopped Fresh cilantro leaves


  1. Combine the sugar and 1 tablespoon (15 mL) of the water in a stockpot. Set over medium heat and boil until the sugar turns into a deep amber caramel.
  2. Increase heat to medium-high, then add the garlic, onions, and pork belly. Cook, stirring constantly, for 5 minutes.
  3. Add the pork loin strips and bird’s eye chili, then generously season with black pepper. Stir well to coat all the ingredients with caramel.
  4. Add the remaining water and the fish sauce, and keep cooking, stirring frequently, until the sauce has a slightly syrupy texture.
  5. Serve immediately, garnished with the green onions and cilantro.


The best sidekicks to this dish are a few slices of cucumber or pieces of blanched cabbage.

Keywords: Vietnamese Caramel Pork Stir Fry, Vietnamese Cuisine, Viet Food, Saigon, THE TRAM, secrets from my vietnamese kitchen

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Excerpted from Secrets from My Vietnamese Kitchen: Simple Recipes from My Many Mothers by Kim Thuy. Copyright © 2017 Editions Libre Expression. Translated from the French by Sheila Fischman. Recipes translated by Marie Asselin. Appetite by Random House edition published in 2019. Food Photography by Sarah Scott. Published by Appetite by Random House®, a division of Penguin Random House Canada Limited. Reproduced by arrangement with the Publisher. All rights reserved.



Where to Purchase?


Title: Secrets From My Vietnamese Kitchen: Simple Recipes From My Many Mothers
Format: Hardcover
Dimensions:192 pages, 10.03 × 8.23 × 0.86 in
Published: April 2, 2019
Publisher: Appetite by Random House
Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN – 10:0525610227

ISBN – 13:9780525610229







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