This recipe is based on the one found in Bill Granger’s excellent cookbook ‘Bill’s Everyday Asian’. We love Bill’s cooking for it’s simplicity… that somehow still achieves tons of flavour and texture.
The Vietnamese Caramel Sauce is what makes this recipe sing. We serve this with rice and a big side of stir-fried veggies.
TO MAKE THE MARINADE: Mix together the first measures of fish sauce, caster sugar and garlic in a bowl. Add the pork fillet and set aside for 20 minutes to marinate.
While the meat is marinating, start making the caramel sauce by putting the remaining sugars into a small saucepan with 2 tablespoons of water. Heat over a low heat until the sugar has dissolved. Do not stir the sugar... instead swirl the pan occasionally. Once the sugar has dissolved, increase the heat to medium and cook for 2 minutes or until the caramel has bubbled up, reduced and thickened slightly.
Remove the caramel from the heat and set aside in the saucepan to cool slightly.
Once you are ready to cook the meat, heat a pan over medium-high heat and brush it lightly with oil. Cook the pork fillet pieces for 2–3 minutes on all sides or until the meat has good char marks on it and it cooked to medium well.
Remove the meat from the heat and rest it while you finish off the caramel sauce.
To complete the caramel sauce, mix together the slightly cooled caramel, which should be quite thick now, with the oil, fish sauce, lime juice, chilli and a small pinch of salt. Stir together until it is a thinner consistency and well combined.
To serve, slice the pork thickly and serve on rice with the Vietnamese caramel sauce poured over it. Also great garnished with coriander and served with steamed Asian greens as a side.