Vietnamese caramelised pork dip

Last time I’ve introduced a very simple dish that goes well with white rice, which was the fish sauce glazed pork belly. This time’s dish is a bit more ‘complicated’, but it goes just as well with white rice: Vietnamese caramelised pork dip. The reason for this dish was because both Matthias and I were a bit tired last week, and we only wanted to eat light things with rice. When I went to the Asian supermarket to buy ingredients for summer rolls, I saw a box of fresh chayote squash, and suddenly Vietnamese caramelised pork dip just appeared in my head. The craving increased by the minute, and so I finally decided to make this dish.


Just like the fish sauce glazed pork belly, this caramelised pork and shrimp dip was considered a ‘poor dish’ in my country, and was usually made when there’s not a lot of meat left. You only need a bit of pork fat, some garlic, some fish sauce, some sugar and a clay pot and this dish is basically done. Heat the pork fat until it releases the lard, then use the lar to fry the garlic until fragranced, add the fish sauce and sugar and simmer until it thickens, after that you only need to boil some fresh veggies from the backyard, dip in the sweet and salty sauce together with the crunchy fat cubes. Caramelised pork dip was that simple, now we are live bit more ‘luxurious’ so we add more meat and dried shrimps as well.


Công thức tiếng Việt: Kho quẹt

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 20-25 minutes

Servings: 2-3 people

* Ingredients:

  • 200g pork belly
  • 30g dried shrimps
  • 1 small clove of garlic
  • Half a shallot
  • 1 stalk of scallion (optional)
  • 1 small chili (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoons water (use the water from soaking the dried shrimps)
  • 1 teaspoon caramelised sugar (how-to here)


* Directions:

1. Preparing the ingredients: Discard the skin of the pork belly, separate the fat and meat part of the belly, dice them both and set aside. Peel and mince the garlic. Peel and thinly slice the shallot. Chop the scallion. Clean and soak the dried shrimps fỏ 15-20 minutes in hot water until it softens, drain, reserve the soaking liquid.

ingredients1200g pork belly; 30g dried shrimps; 1 small clove of garlic; Half a shallot; 1 stalk of scallion

Step 1

2. This dish is best made with a clay pot, but if you don’t have one a non-stick frying pan works just fine. Heat the pan on medium heat, add the fat cubes and let it fry and release the lard. If the fat seems to stick to the pan while frying, add a bit of oil (I use the lard reserved from the fish sauce glazed pork belly). Fry until the fat cubes turn golden brown, shrink in size and become crunchy, take them out and set aside.

Step 2

3. If the fat left in the pan is too much, you can take of some, keep just about 2-3 tablespoon in the pan. Increase to medium-high heat, add the shallot and garlic until fragranced, then add the meat and shrimps and fry until the meat is not pink anymore.

Step 3

4. Mix the sauce using this ratio: 1 fish sauce : 0.5 sugar : 1 water (use the water from soaking the shrimps). This ratio is for reference only so you can adjust according to your taste. The amount of sauce can be more or less, it’s all up to you.

Add this sauce to the meat and shrimps, return to medium heat, simmer for 10-15 minutes until the sauce reduces and thickens a bit. Add chopped scallion, crispy fat cubes and chili, then turn off the heat.

ingredients12 tablespoons fish sauce; 1 tablespoon sugar; 2 tablespoons water; 1 teaspoon caramelised sugar; 1 small chili

Step 4

Fresh veggies, served with the hot dip, sweet, spicy and salty sauce, crunchy fat cubes. For me any food in the world can only taste this good tongue


You can serve this dip with rice, glutinous rice or bread as well.


2 thoughts on “Vietnamese caramelised pork dip

  1. Pingback: Kho quẹt | Miamivores

  2. Pingback: Saigonese broken rice | Miamivores

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