Vietnamese pork

February 27, 2008

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Serves 4

1/4 cup sugar

1/2 cup water

2 tablespoons fish sauce 2 tablespoons soy sauce

2 shallots, coarsely chopped

1 clove garlic, coarsely chopped

1 inch piece of ginger, peeled and chopped

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 1/2 pounds pork tenderloin

1. In a small heavy saucepan, combine the sugar and water. Stir to combine them. Bring to a boil over medium heat and cook for 10 minutes or until the mixture has caramelized and turned dark brown but not burn. Have ready a cup of hot water.

2. When the caramel is cooked, remove the pot from the heat and, holding it away from you to avoid being splattered, add 1/4 cup of the water. This will cool the caramel and stop further cooking. If the caramel does not liquify, add another tablespoon of the water. Once the caramel has stopped sputtering, add the fish and soy sauces, swirling the pot to combine them. Leave to cool.

3. In a blender, puree the shallots, garlic, and ginger. Add the oil and caramel mixture and blend to a paste.

4. Place the pork in a broiling pan. Brush the caramel paste all over it. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside at room temperature for 30 minutes.

5. Preheat the broiler. Cook the pork for 10 minutes, turning several times, or until it is cooked through. Transfer to a cutting board, cover with foil, and leave the meat to rest for 10 minutes. Slice thinly. Adapted from "The Ethnic Paris Cookbook "