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Vietnamese Braised Shrimp and Pork Belly
A brief detour for an incredibly delicious and rich dish
This week, we’re going to take a little detour to Vietnam. According to the source, it is thought to be a Chinese dish in Vietnam. On the other hand, I’ve never tasted this before. But it is so tasty, that I felt like I had to add it! If you know the origin of this dish, please post in the comments. It is incredibly rich, so make sure to eat this with rice or porridge.
jumbo shrimp (either fresh or frozen)
diced red onion
fresh red chili peppers
2 egg yolks
shrimp paste with soy bean oil
We’ll start with washing the pork belly. Add salt to the pork belly. Rub it in well.
Add water and clean the pork with a good rub.
Using a knife, shave the pork belly, making sure there are no hairs exposed. If you’re feeling really diligent, you can pluck out the hairs with tweezers.
Defrost your shrimp if frozen.
You can use water to help accelerate the defrosting while washing the shrimp.
Peel the shrimp while leaving the tail.
Add 1 tablespoon of sugar, which we’ll use to wash the shrimp. Now thoroughly wash the shrimp with water and drain well.
Now cut the pork belly into thin slices. First by cutting the pork belly into chunks.
Then cut it into thin slices. If the slices are too thick, the the skin will be too chewy.
You’ll want to start boiling water at this point, which we’ll use to clean the meat.
Separately, we’ll want to prepare some things for later. First, dice garlic and stir-fry it in oil. You can make a bunch and put it in a jar for future use.
Cut up an onion into fine slices. Deep-fry this in oil to create a crisp that we’ll use as a garnish. This is optional, but adds good texture and flavor.
We used corn oil. You can save this for later, as it’s now infused with onion flavoring.
Heat up some cooking oil and add some annatto seeds. This creates a colored, flavored oil that we’ll use later. When you store it, filter out the seeds.
Dice up some more garlic.
Dice up a red onion.
Add more salt to the sliced pork belly and rub it in.
Take the hot boiling water, and pour it over the pork. This is not for cooking. It is strictly for washing the pork.
Stir the pork around for a good rinse.
Drain the water from the bowl.
Add more cold water to rinse out the pork.
You can rinse the pork in cold water as often as necessary until the meat is clean. This is what the pork should look like after draining. Make sure there is no water remaining before the next step.
Add black pepper.
Add 2 tbsp bouillon powder, 4 tbsp fish sauce, and 1 tbsp of annatto seed oil.
Add 1 tbps of diced garlic, 1 tbsp of diced red onion.
Cut up a couple red chili peppers and add it to the mix.
Wash the shrimp in cold water a couple more times and dry well.
Make sure the shrimp is really dry before adding 1 tbsp bouillon powder.
Add 1 tbsp diced garlic, 1 tbsp diced red onion, and a couple more chili peppers.
Now we’re going to create the sauce. Start with 2 egg yolks.
Add 2-3 heaping tablespoons of shrimp paste in soy bean oil.
Add 1/3 of a can of coconut soda.
Add 2 tbsp fish sauce.
Top it off with some black pepper and mix.
Now let’s start cooking. Heat up a wok. Add 2 heaping tablespoons of the diced garlic cooked in oil.
Add 1 tbsp of the cooking oil that was used to deep fry the onion. Use regular cooking oil if you skipped this step.
Add 1 tbsp of diced garlic and 1 tbsp of diced red onion.
Stir fry and you’ll smell the flavors come out.
Add the pork belly. Make sure that you only add the pork, and not any of the leftover juices in the bowl.
Stir fry this on high heat.
Add the rest of the can of coconut soda into the bowl of pork belly juices.
If the pork color isn’t sufficiently orange, feel free to add more annatto seed oil for coloring.
Add the mixture of soda and pork juices. Once it comes to a boil, turn the heat to medium.
At this point, you can cut the core of the red onion in half and add it. Also, feel free to add more chopped chili peppers.
Cover and cook for 15-20 minutes on medium heat.
Wash the scallions and cut just the white parts. You can save the green part for a different dish.
Cut a couple more chili peppers as well.
After 15-20 minutes, this is what the pork should look like.
Turn off the heat and remove to a separate bowl.
Once the wok is cleared, add more cooking oil and turn to high heat. We are now going to cook the shrimp.
Add 1 tbsp of diced garlic in oil and 2 tbsp of the onion oil.
Add the rest of the diced garlic and diced red onion.
Add black pepper to the shrimp.
Add the dry shrimp to the stir fry. Again, be careful not to let any of the shrimp juices into the wok.
Stir fry well.
Add the sauce we made earlier. Stir.
Stir fry this for 3 minutes.
By the end, the sauce should be mostly condensed.
Add the pork belly back in.
If the color is too pale, you can add annatto seed oil as necessary for coloring.
Add the scallion whites, and peppers.
Top it all off with some of the deep-fried onions.
Mix it all together and serve!
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