I must admit that I’m not that great at this blogging thing. My enthusiasm for cooking and baking hasn’t translated quite so successfully into good blogging habits. I’m always eager to share my culinary concoctions, yet my commitment to the blog has waxed and waned since restarting it. Clearly, creating my weekly Vietnamese Friday series has not done much to sustain my motivation to post. I also haven’t been so inclined to post recently because I haven’t quite honed my picture taking skills yet. What I cook up in the kitchen is usually pretty tasty, or so says the husband, but any attempts to photograph my food have only resulted in atrocious and unappetizing images, thus, making me reluctant to share.
Plus, food blogging seems to be much more work than I had anticipated. Maintaining one that is worthy of reading is akin to a full-time job. One has to cook something edible and mouthwatering (which is actually the easy part), capture that deliciousness in photos, sift through the photos to select those that won’t make people cringe and lose their appetites, and finally, write something interesting about it. How do successful food bloggers manage to find the time to maintain such beautiful blogs?
With that being said, I think that I will eventually find my rhythm and voice. In the meantime, I’ll just have to learn to follow the mantra, practice makes perfect, when it comes to photographing what comes out of my kitchen. So, this week, vendredi vietnamien returns, once again! Through this weekly (or as close to weekly as possible) series, I would like to showcase my version of more traditional and lesser known dishes that are commonly eaten in a Vietnamese household. Of course, everyone is familiar with phở, or here in France, bò bún, which isn’t exactly any Vietnamese dish in particular, but rather a nondescript name that Frenchies ascribe to rice noodles topped with some sort of grilled meats (usually beef or pork) and fresh herbs. But what else appears on our dinner table?
This week’s dish is thịt heo ram, or caramelized pork, which is something that we see often on our dinner table. I love making this dish because it is simple and requires very few ingredients. And, my husband loves its perfect balance between sweet and savory.
Porc au Caramel
600g pork shoulder
2 shallots, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
4-5 green onions
3 tspns salt
2 tspns sugar
3/4 tspn pepper
1 tspn garlic powder
2.5 tbspns nước mầu
1.5 tbspn oil (or more as needed)
Thinly slice the pork into 5-6 cm long pieces. Marinate it with 1.5 tspn salt, 1 tspn sugar, 1 tspn garlic powder and half a teaspoon of pepper for about an hour in the fridge. Chop the white ends of the onions into 4-5 cm pieces and the green parts into smaller pieces and set aside. Heat some oil in a pan over medium-high heat. Add shallots and garlic, sautéing them until they are fragrant. Add the pork and season with remaining salt, sugar and pepper. Once the meat is about three-quarters cooked, drizzle the nước mầu over the meat and stir to evenly distribute it. The sauce should begin to caramelize and coat the the meat with a nice golden, amber color. Add the chopped green onions and serve with steamed white rice.