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Vietnamese Caramelized Pork with Coriander Rice

Yield 4 servings (serving size: 1/2 cup pork mixture, 1/2 cup spinach, and 1/2 cup rice)
Caramelized sugar creates a sweet-salty glaze for marinated pork strips. Served with spinach and rice, it's a satisfying one-dish meal.


  • Marinade:
  • 1 pound thin-cut boneless center-cut pork loin chops, trimmed
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 cup chopped green onions
  • Rice:
  • 1/4 teaspoon coriander seeds, crushed
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup uncooked long-grain white rice
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
  • Remaining ingredients:
  • Cooking spray
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 2 teaspoons peanut oil
  • 1 teaspoon grated peeled fresh ginger
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 6 cups packed baby spinach leaves (about 4 ounces)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup chopped green onions
  • 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh mint leaves

Nutrition Information

  • calories 440
  • caloriesfromfat 17 %
  • fat 8.5 g
  • satfat 2.5 g
  • monofat 3.8 g
  • polyfat 1.5 g
  • protein 30.1 g
  • carbohydrate 59 g
  • fiber 2.7 g
  • cholesterol 71 mg
  • iron 4 mg
  • sodium 772 mg
  • calcium 84 mg

How to Make It

  1. To prepare marinade, cut pork across grain into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Combine pork and next 5 ingredients (through 4 garlic cloves) in a large zip-top plastic bag. Add 1/4 cup green onions to bag; seal. Marinate in refrigerator 30 minutes, turning occasionally.

  2. While pork marinates, prepare rice. Cook coriander in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat 1 minute or until lightly toasted, stirring frequently. Add 2 cups water and 1/4 teaspoon salt to pan; bring to a boil. Stir in rice; cover, reduce heat, and simmer 16 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Stir in cilantro.

  3. Remove pork from bag; discard marinade. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add pork to pan; sauté 1 minute or until lightly browned. Remove pork from pan; wipe pan clean with paper towels.

  4. Add granulated sugar and 1 tablespoon water to pan; cook over medium-high heat 1 minute or until sugar dissolves, stirring constantly. Continue cooking 4 minutes or until golden (do not stir). Return pork to pan; cook 1 minute, tossing to coat. Transfer pork mixture to a bowl.

  5. Heat oil in pan over medium heat. Add ginger and 1 teaspoon garlic to pan; cook 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Add half of spinach to pan; cover and cook 1 minute or until spinach wilts. Remove from heat. Add remaining spinach and 1/4 teaspoon salt to pan; toss to combine. Transfer spinach to a platter; top with pork mixture. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup green onions and mint. Serve with rice.

  6. Wine note: With the vibrant flavors of this dish, reach for a full-bodied yet refreshing white, like Nobilo Pinot Gris ($13) from New Zealand. This wine has a touch of sweetness that complements the sweet pork and caramelized glaze while balancing the ginger and red pepper heat. Bright acid and citrus flavors ready your palate for another bite. —Jeffery Lindenmuth