Vietnamese Pork with Pickled Daikon and Carrots

I guess maybe you are sensing a theme here.  Asian influenced spiced chicken salad last entry, now something a bit more near and dear to my heart stomach: Vietnamese food.  I am really just learning how to make some of these dishes and use the flavors and spices, so I know this will require some trial and error.  This meal is no different.  I wanted to use lemongrass in the sauce, but, to my dismay, tried to find fresh lemongrass at 5 stores and failed. 

So, instead of a lemongrass pork shoulder, I topped the pork, which I first dry rubbed, with a ginger caramel sauce.  This meal requires a few steps to be done a night ahead of time, so I will start with those steps, and then what you do on meal day. 

Pork Dry Rub (inspired by Sunday Night Dinner)

3-6 pound boneless pork shoulder — I used a smaller piece, only 2 pounds, so reduce amount by half if you use a smaller piece
2 tablespoons Chinese Five Spice
1 tablespoon ground black pepper
3 tablespoons course kosher salt
2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons dark brown sugar

Remove any large pieces of fat from pork.  Mix ingredients in small bowl.  Rub pork with rub evenly and then wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

Pickled Daikon an Carrots (from Viet World Kitchen)

1 large carrot, peeled and cut into thick matchsticks
1 pound daikons, each no larger than 2 inches in diameter, peeled and cut into thick matchsticks
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons plus 1/2 cup sugar
1  1/4 cups rice vinegar
1 cup lukewarm water

Put carrots and daikon in a bowl and sprinkle with the salt and 2 teaspoons of the sugar.  Knead vegetables for about 3 or 4 minutes.  You will remove about 1/4 of their liquid.  To test, bend a piece of daikon so that the ends touch but doesn’t break. Drain in a colander with cold water, knead quickly to remove water and place back in bowl or jar for storage.

For brine, combine 1/2 cup sugar, vinegar and water and stir to dissolve sugar.  Pour over vegetables, ensuring that it covers the vegetables.  Marinate for at least one hour, but for better results, brine overnight.  They will last about 4 weeks in a tight jar.

Ginger Caramel Sauce

3 tablespoons cooking oil (not olive)
2 tablespoons fresh ginger, minced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 onion, minced
6 tablespoons caramel sauce (recipe follows)
4 tablespoons fish sauce
3 Thai chili peppers or Serrano pepper, minced
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
3/4 cup low sodium chicken stock

Preheat oven to 250.  Place pork onto rack of roasting pan and bake for about an 70-80 minutes per pound.  Roast until inner temperature of 195 degrees.

Every hour or so, baste the pork and flip and baste again with basting liquid (recipe follows).

While Pork is cooking, you can cook your caramel sauce to use for your ginger-caramel sauce.  In a saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. Add the ginger, garlic, onions, stir and cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in caramel sauce (recipe follows), fish sauce, chili peppers, and black pepper. Gently simmer for 2 minutes. Add chicken stock, return to a simmer for 3 minutes and then set aside.

When pork is finished cooking, wrap in tin foil and let rest about 30 minutes.  Slice, or shred pork and serve over rice, top with ginger-caramel sauce and pickled daikon and carrots.

Caramel Sauce

Because the Viet World Kitchen does it better, here is a link to her instructions for caramel sauce.  That recipe will make more than 6 tablespoons, so you can save some, or reduce the recipe.  Caramel Sauce Recipe found here.

Basting Liquid

1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
3/4 chicken stock
1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons fish sauce
2 teaspoons Chinese five spice
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon cayenne

In a saucepan, heat chicken stock, vinegar, brown sugar, fish sauce, five spice, pepper and cayenne over medium high heat.  Simmer for about 5 minutes, stirring regularly to dissolve sugar.  Remove from heat.  Sauce will thicken, use to baste pork every hour

About Evan Halperin

I like to eat. I like to cook. I like to eat what I cook. Now, I will share with you what I like to cook. My wife and I may be a vegetarian and a carnivore, but it doesn’t mean we can’t cook a nice meal with both, without compromising taste. I will share my creative meals of the Carnivore and the Vegetarian.
This entry was posted in Asian, carrots, main course, pork. Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Vietnamese Pork with Pickled Daikon and Carrots

  1. Angela says:

    This looks AMAZING. Maybe now that the heat has subsided a little bit, it won't be so miserable to roast things in the oven and I can make this.

  2. thanks. though it took a lot of steps, they aren't too difficult. I think it would be even better with lemongrass instead

  3. Yum. I'd keep these veggies for homemade banh mi!

  4. Haha. you READ MY MIND!! I just need to decide what I'd put on it. I dont know if i can make that pate.

  5. This looks like such a flavorful meal! I love all of the pieces… and can imagine that each (especially the picked carrots ad radish) are aweome on their own or in other recipes too. Yum!

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