Cooking Diary – Log 1 – 29/04/2012
Today is Sunday.
Sunday is a beautiful day of the week, because it’s weekend.
Arrg, I wanted to write a splendid intro for today’s post, since it’s weekend and I have plenty of time to think. But well, obviously, I can’t. So I just stick with the reality, no more fancy attempt.
Yesterday, I wrote too much, too long that my head started to hurt. I tried to squeeze every bit of information and memories out of it in order to finish my sequel about Banh Mi; my brain struck. Blogging does require more time and effort than I expected, yet to mention all the schoolwork and a thesis to finish. I have to go light on my brain, at least for next week, for damage recovery and exam reviewing. LOL!
Therefore, today, there will be no more long post, I will stick with my favorite light-cooking recipe. Then I wonder to myself, why not show you guys what us Vietnamese cook daily? Many of my foreign friends have asked me many times to share some of easy dishes in Vietnamese cuisine. One Vietnamese friend’s boyfriend of mine (note: he is a foreigner, too) tried it and rated it as superb too. Furthermore I can have lunch right after with it, and it’s very quick. Why not?
So what is that wonderful sounded Vietnamese dish?
I want to share a Vietnamese dish that is so easy to make, yet super tasty, and almost foolproof: my version of (Southern) Vietnamese Quick Braised Pork Belly in Fish Sauce. (Fear not the fishy smell of the Vietnamese traditional fish sauce; it’s perfectly complimented with this dish thanks to the roasted garlic and black pepper)
- 500g of pork belly with skin still on
- 2 tbsp. fish sauce
- 3 tbsp. granulated white sugar
- 1 tbsp. water
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed and finely chopped
- ½ tsp. grounded black pepper (freshly grounded is best)
Step 1: Wash the belly with salty water and dry it with kitchen towel. Slide pork belly into thin rectangular vertically. Like this.
Step 2: Get a clean small bowl and mix fish sauce + sugar + water together. It does not need to be completely dissolved.
Step 3: Place the slices of pork belly on a small non-stick frying pan like this.
Step 4: Put the pan onto the stove, turn the heat on high. Without adding any excess oil. Leave the pan there for 3 minutes. After 3 minutes, you can see the steam coming out from your pan, like this, that’s totally normal and not a sign of burning.
Step 5: Now you can starting hearing the fat coming out of the pork belly sizzling on the pan. Let the pan sit on heated stove for 3 more minutes, until the under of the belly slides start to turn golden. Flip all over, like this.
Step 6: Wait for 5 more minutes until the other sides turn golden too. Put all the garlic in; give it another stir until the garlic start to be aromatic.
Step 7: Then pour all the fish sauce mixture into the pan.
Give it a quick and even stir. At first you can see the water in the fish sauce mix boil and evaporate very quickly while the sugar start to caramelize like below.
Step 8: Wait for 5 more minutes or more with flipping the pork belly from side to side for even browning, until you achieve this: golden brown shiny slices of pork belly slices. The water should almost all evaporated, just a little sauce left, enough to coat the outside of every slices.
Step 9: Sprinkle grounded black pepper on top. You can now enjoy the most wonderful aroma in Vietnamese cuisine: the mixed heaven in your nose of roasted garlic, caramelized sugar, freshly grounded black pepper, and fish sauce.
Try a slice now. Chew. Uhhhmmm. I know! Hey, let’s resist trying another, because if you continue, who knows if there is anything left for real serving, LOL.
Step 10: Serve warm with cooked white rice. And dig in! Challenge your chopstick handling skill!
O.M.G, perfect combination of savory, sweet, aromatic, chewy, everything in this dish! Uhhmm, one more bites. Uhhhmm. Can’t stop! Uhmmm.