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Caramel Pork with Lemongrass Recipe

Caramel Pork with Lemongrass Recipe

Ingredients :

    • 2 tablespoons oil
    • 2 shallots, minced
    • 3 cloves garlic, minced
    • 3 stalks lemongrass, tender inner part of bottom third only, finely minced
    • 1 kg (2 lbs) boneless pork loin or shoulder, cubed
    • 85 ml (1/3 cup) fish sauce
    • 1/2 teaspoon five spice powder
    • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
    • 500 ml (2 cups) young coconut juice and meat or 1 whole green, young coconut (see note)
    • 250 ml (1 cup) soup stock
    • 3 hard-boiled eggs, peeled
    • 3 sprigs coriander leaves
    • Vietnamese Herb Accompaniments

Caramel Syrup :

    • 100 g (1/2 cup) sugar
    • 4 tablespoons hot water
    • 1 tablespoon lime juice

Method  :

    1. Make the Caramel Syrup first by combining the sugar with 2 tablespoons of hot water in a small saucepan and bring it to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and cook for another 10–15 minutes, stirring as little as possible.When the syrup turns dark golden brown and the bubbles become sluggish, remove from the heat and slowly add the rest of the hot water. Return the pot to medium–high heat and mix well for 3 minutes. Stir in the lime juice. Remove from the heat and keep warm. (Take care not to burn the sugar or it will be bitter.)
    2. Heat the oil in a small saucepan over medium heat, add the shallots, garlic and lemongrass. Fry until light brown and fragrant, about 1–2 minutes.
    3. Increase the heat to high and add the pork in a single layer. Cook the pork, turning occasionally, to brown evenly on all sides. Stir in the Caramel Syrup, fish sauce, five spice powder and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, for another 3–5 minutes.
    4. Add the coconut juice and stock. Bring the mixture to a boil and skim off any foam from the surface. Reduce the heat to medium, cover, and simmer until the pork is tender, about 1 hour. (For a thicker gravy and really tender pork, simmer for 1/2–1 hour longer.)
    5. About 30 minutes before finishing cooking, make 4 shallow cuts, about 31/2-cm (11/2-in) long, lengthwise around each hard-boiled egg. Do not cut through. Add to the stew and continue simmering.
    6. To serve, ladle the stew into a serving bowl and garnish with the coriander leaves. Serve hot with steamed rice, Coconut Rice Patties or Sticky Rice with Beans and Vietnamese Herb Accompaniments.

Serves 4–6
Preparation time : 30 mins
Cooking time : 2 hours

Young coconut meat and juice is sold canned or frozen (known as buko in the Philippines).If using fresh young coconuts, with a cleaver or a heavy knife, swiftly chop off a small part of the coconut shell and collect the juice in a bowl. Cut the coconut in half and, with a spoon, scrape out and reserve the tender white meat separately. Discard the skins and shells.