Vietnamese Caramel Pork

photo 1-4

It’s Fast Friday again and time for another fast and fabulous dinner suggestion. If you are anything like me, by the time Friday rolls around the last thing I want to do is cook a big meal yet we all still have to eat. The dishes featured in this series aren’t necessarily fancy but they bring together simple ingredients most people already have in their pantries or have easy access to and allow you to put a real meal on the table in between 30 and 45 minutes. Enjoy and if you have your own fast recipes you want to share, please send them my way and I will in turn share them with all of my readers.

This fast pork dish from Cooking Light is sure to please even the most finicky of palates. Napa cabbage is an acquired taste in my household so instead of serving it raw, I quickly sautéed it in a bit of oil making it milder and slightly sweet. And much to my delight, it disappeared in no time. And the pork itself? The sauce was sweet, spicy and flavorful and if I didn’t know better I would have thought it had been marinating all day. So dig in and enjoy!

VIETNAMESE CARAMEL PORK

2 tablespoons dark sesame oil, divided

1 cup finely sliced Napa cabbage

1 1-pound pork tenderloin, trimmed and cut into 1 inch pieces

1/2 cup finely chopped red onion

1 cup chopped carrots

1 tablespoon fresh ginger, peeled and minced

6 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

1 cup low-sodium chicken stock

3 tablespoons brown sugar

1 tablespoon fish sauce

1 tablespoon soy sauce

2 teaspoons cornstarch

2 teaspoon rice vinegar

1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper

1/4 cup roasted peanuts, chopped

Lime wedges

Rice for serving

  • Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a steel wok or large skillet set over high heat. Swirl the oil to coat then add the Napa cabbage. Cook, stirring occasionally until the cabbage is wilted and slightly brown in places. Remove from the pan and set aside.
  • Heat the remaining oil in the wok. Add the pork and stir fry for 6 minutes, browning on all sides. Remove  the pork from the pan and set aside.
  • Add the onion, carrot, ginger and garlic to the wok and cook for 2 minutes.
  • Combine the stock, brown sugar, fish sauce, soy sauce, cornstarch, rice vinegar and pepper flakes in a small bowl. Whisk until smooth then pour into the wok.
  • Bring the stock mixture to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 4 minutes or until the sauce has thickened.
  • Return the pork to the wok and cook for an additional minute until the meat is heated through.
  • Serve over the rice and alongside the cabbage topped with the peanuts and a squeeze of lemon juice.

Serves 4

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