You’ll easily find this dish in a daily Vietnamese meal. This recipe, though called caramelized, does not use caramelization technique, which is commonly used in Southern and Northern Vietnamese cooking. The recipe below is from the Central where every dish is a little bit saltier than in other areas. The original recipe calls for a kind of shrimp called “tom bac”, which is a fresh water local species and cook the shrimp shell-on, however with American shrimp, I often find the shell is too hard to consume if I follow the original recipe. Consequently, the dish loses some crispiness but it’s still pretty good:)
1/2 lb pork belly (or leaner cut is fine)
1/2 lb shrimp, shelled and deveined.
1 tablespoon + ½ tablespoon fish sauce
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 green onions
1 tablespoon+ 1 teaspoon sugar
½ tablespoon vegetable oil
Salt and pepper.
Wash the pork and chop into thin slices, season with ½ teaspoon salt, ½ tablespoon fish sauce, 1 teaspoon sugar and let marinate at room temperature for 15 minutes.
Wash the shrimp in salt cold water, pat dry on paper towel, season with 1 teaspoon salt and let marinate for 10 minutes.
Rinse green onion, discard the green part and finely chop the white root part. Heat up oil in a frying pan. Sautee green onion in the oil then add the pork in and sauté on medium-high heat until the pork becomes twisted. Keep on stirring frequently until the pork turns nicely brown , about 7-8 minutes. If you use pork belly, you may wish to discard some fat out at this point. Add the shrimp in the pork pan and sauté for about 2 minutes. Add fish sauce, soy sauce and stir well so that the sauce can coat all sides or the pork and shrimp. Cook for another 3 minutes then add sugar and cook for another 3 minutes or until the sauce dries out. Delicious with steamed rice.
Preparation time: 30 minutes in which actually busy time is about 20 minutes
Number of serving: 4