Thịt Heo Xào Mắm Ruốc Sả Ớt
(Stir-fried Pork with Shrimp paste, Lemongrass and Chili)
This is a classic soul food whose flavour varies depending on the quality of the shrimp paste and the area and is well-known throughout the country. As the main course, it’s commonly served with steamed rice, raw/boiled vegetables, and fresh herbs.
Ingredients (For 2-4 persons)
300g pork belly
1 large stalk of lemongrass, finely chopped
4 small Asian shallot, minced
4 garlic cloves, minced
4 small red hot chillies, chopped
2-3 tbsp sugar
2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground black pepper
4-5 tsp Vietnamese fine shrimp paste
2 Tbs vegetable oil or lard ( made from fat trim)
Rinse the pork belly in cold water before blanching it in boiling water for 2 minutes. Cut the pork belly into long strips after slicing it into pieces. Make sure each slice has some skin and meat on it.
- Rinse the pork belly under cold water before blanching it for 2 minutes in a pot of boiling water. Slice the pork belly into slices, then cut further the pork belly into long strips. Make sure each strip has some skin and meat on it.
- In a skillet with a lid, heat vegetable oil or lard on medium-high heat. Add lemongrass, shallots and garlic. Stir together and sauté until golden brown and fragrant (about 30 seconds).
- Stir the pork belly into the aromatics and cook for about 2-3 minutes. Stir occasionally.
- Add sugar, and salt and continue to cook for 5 minutes until getting a nice caramelization.
- Reduce the heat to low and add the shrimp paste. Cook for another 5-8 minutes on low heat with the lid on the skillet. Stirring occasionally, until the pork is cooked through and the sauce has thickened and caramelized. Add a few teaspoons of water if the liquid evaporates too quickly.
- Remove the lid and let the pork slowly simmer until the sauce thickens. Mix in the chopped fresh chillies if you like a bit of heat, and serve with steamed white rice and a plentiful platter of boiled or fresh vegetables and fresh herbs.