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Vietnamese Caramelized Pork with Pickled Bean Sprouts

Yield 6 servings (serving size: 3 ounces pork, about 1 1/2 tablespoons sauce, 1 cup pickled sprouts
To fully enjoy this Asian dish, be sure to give the sugar plenty of time to caramelize; it will take on a dark, intense color and flavor that pull the sauce together. The pickled bean sprouts add a pleasurable tang.


  • Sprouts:
  • 4 cups warm water
  • 1/3 cup white vinegar
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 pound fresh bean sprouts
  • 1/2 cup (1 1/2-inch) julienne-cut green onions
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 teaspoon dark sesame oil
  • Pork:
  • 1 (2-pound) boned pork loin roast
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 2 cups thinly sliced shallots
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
  • 5 (1/8-inch) slices peeled fresh ginger
  • 2 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 6 cups hot cooked long-grain rice

Nutrition Information

  • calories 569
  • caloriesfromfat 19 %
  • fat 11.9 g
  • satfat 3.9 g
  • monofat 5.2 g
  • polyfat 1.6 g
  • protein 38.1 g
  • carbohydrate 76.6 g
  • fiber 2.6 g
  • cholesterol 85 mg
  • iron 4.7 mg
  • sodium 944 mg
  • calcium 73 mg

How to Make It

  1. To prepare sprouts, combine first 3 ingredients. Add sprouts and onions; toss well. Cover and refrigerate 90 minutes. Drain well. Toss with cilantro and oil.

  2. Immerse top and bottom of a 3-quart clay cooking pot in water for 10 minutes. Empty and drain well.

  3. To prepare pork, trim fat from pork; cut into 1/2-inch slices. Set aside. Place the sugar in a small, heavy saucepan over medium heat; cook until sugar dissolves, stirring as needed to dissolve the sugar evenly. Cook until golden and foamy (for about 5 minutes). Remove from heat; carefully stir in fish sauce (mixture will splatter). Stir in the shallots and pepper. Place pan over low heat; cook 5 minutes or until shallots are soft.

  4. Pour into a large bowl. Add the pork, broth, ginger, and garlic, tossing to coat. Place pork mixture in prepared clay pot. Place clay pot in cold oven, and set to 450°. Bake 1 hour. Carefully remove clay pot from oven; remove top. Stir the pork mixture. Cover, return to oven, and bake an additional 30 minutes. Place pork on a serving platter; drizzle caramel sauce over pork. Serve with sprouts and rice.