Last time when I made Caramelized Pork with Quail Eggs I was pleased with the results. I wanted to try something different this time by making a dry version of Caramelized Pork ខរសាច់ជ្រូកស្ងួត (Kaw Sach Jrook Sngout) and without the eggs.
I recall that my Mother used to make this dry version for a family friend after she had her baby. She went heavy on the ginger due to it’s health benefits. Excerpt from Helium “In Chinese culture the use of ginger is extensive, especially during a woman’s confinement period after birth. The Chinese believe that ginger helps to warm and prevent wind from entering the mother’s body. They believe that the pores open up after birth and so her food is prepared with a lot of ginger.” In addition to ginger, my Mother also add lots and lots of black pepper. Instead of steam rice, she serve it with thick rice porridge. I love it so much! Since then I don’t think my Mother ever make it again because other members in my family can’t handle the heat 😀 I then began to wish for someone she knows to give birth so my Mother can make it for me again. It never happen. So here is my take on trying to re-create my Mother’s Dry Caramelized Pork.
Note: Go easy on the spice if you can’t handle the heat.
½ lb pork, sliced about ¼ in thick (you can also use spareribs or other cuts)
1 small shallot, diced
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 teaspoon finely chopped ginger
2 tablespoons fish sauce
2 tablespoons ground black pepper (more or less adjust to your taste)
1 large stalk green onion, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon water
1 tablespoon Shaoxing Chinese wine
Marinade sliced pork with shallots, garlic, ginger, ground black pepper and fish sauce. The longer you marinate the better. It is best to marinate in the fridge overnight.
Heat a pan/wok to medium-high heat and add 1 tablespoon water along with sugar. The water should coat the sugar. Stir until the sugar is mix and dissolves then it will start to caramelized. It takes about 5 minutes or so. Add marinade sliced pork and stir to coat evenly.
Once pork is coated add Shaoxing Chinese cooking wine, sesame oil and green onion. Toss well and simmer until pork have absorbed most of the liquid. Adjust seasoning before turning off the heat. Garnish with some green onions and serve with steam rice.