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Vietnamese-Style Caramel Pork

There is no actual caramel in this recipe — the fabulous flavor comes from a reduction of ginger, brown sugar, and chili sauce. We think there is just the right amount of spice in this dish as is, but offer a bottle of sriracha on the side for those with a more heat-loving palate. This is a quick and easy entrée that you’ll want to serve again and again, we promise!

Vietnamese-Style Caramel Pork

1½ tbs. vegetable oil, divided
1 pork tenderloin, cut into bite-size pieces
2 shallots, finely diced
1 tbs. finely grated ginger
1 chili, green or red, deseeded and finely minced (depending on how much heat you like)
2½ oz. brown sugar (½ cup, loosely packed)
1 tbs. fish sauce, plus extra to taste
1-2 tsp. chili sauce (we use sriracha)
4 green onions, halved and shredded length-wise
steamed rice and bok choi to serve

Heat 1 tbs. of the oil in a wok or heavy skillet over a high heat. Stir fry the pork in batches until browned all over. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.

Turn the heat down and add the remaining oil, then stir in the shallots, ginger, and chili sauce. Cook over a low heat for a couple of minutes just until starting to soften. Add the sugar and fish sauce, along with ¾ cup water,  and stir everything together. Bring to a boil, stirring, until the sugar dissolves, then return the pork to the pan. Bubble vigorously for 8-10 minutes until the sauce thickens to coat the meat and becomes glossy. Taste and stir in more fish sauce if needed, along with the chili sauce. Sprinkle with the green onion and serve with steamed bok choi and rice.

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