Michael Bao Huynh's Vietnamese Caramelized Pork Recipe (2024)



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Such a delicious meal. Changes I made:-use 1/2 cup sugar at the beginning, then another 1/2 cup when recipe calls for it (total of 1 cup)-cut back just a bit on the fish sauce and add a few dashes of soy sauce-add chili oil in addition to sesame oil-add a squeeze of orange-add 1-1.5 Tbsp srirachaTop with scallions, thinly sliced red chili, and a sprinkle of sesame seeds. Serve with coconut rice and roasted broccoliDouble the recipe because the left overs are absolutely delicious!


Added a squirt of Schiracha to this, hit it out of the park!

Pat Kight

Prepared exactly as written, using pork belly from Trader Joe's refrigerator case. The sugar took a while to melt in my cast-iron skillet, but just as I was getting nervous it turned into golden-brown liquid, and everything else went exactly as written. Served on brown rice with braised cabbage as a side, and with a dash of Schriracha, as someone else suggested here. We loved it, and will be having it again (occasionally - it's very rich for daily fare).


I made this with a lean pork butt. Delicious. Very sticky, tasty and perfect - in small servings. Great as part of a meal, don't make it the main dish. I found it best to eat it while hot. The sweetness is accented when it cools. It definitely needs Chile's to give it a punch of heat.

beet is murder

that came out lovely, nicely sticky, while the meat was still quite tender. Color was quite appetizing as well. I added quite a bit of ginger and may experiment with more spice next time. Don't bother reheating: the meat was quite tough the next day => just eat the whole thing. Served with asparagus.


Thought this was a bit sweet, even with only 1 cup sugar. Also added about 1 tbsp gochujang, which added really good depth and just a little heat.


One of the few recipes of its kind that actually tastes as good, if not better, than takeout. It’s the first recipe I’ve ever tried—and I’ve tried lots—-that gets that char sieu flavor without maltose, fermented tofu or artificial coloring. A keeper!


Like most regular readers and followers of NYT Cooking, I find the comments helpful and insightful. To that end, I reduced the amount of sugar to one cup total on this recipe. I used boneless pork spare ribs cut into bite-sized chunks. Other than that I followed the method as directed, but did add a splash of soy sauce and a smattering of ground Sezchuan peppercorns. Also like many of the recipes I find and try here, this one is a good technique recipe that would work with many proteins! Delish!


Really good. Amazingly not as sweet as I thought it might be. I added a tad more sesame oil and garnished with freshly jalapeños and the scallions, otherwise I made it as written. My family loved it!


This was wayy too sweet for me. In Step 2, I got rid of 2/3 of the sauce and replaced it with water so that the sweetness would be watered down, but the end result was still too sweet... I honestly can't understand how other people are giving such high reviews. My tongue is numb now.


I omitted the 1/2 cup sugar from step 2. After the onion was cooked I removed the meat with a slotted spoon and boiled down the sauce until it was pretty thick. Since I wasn't eating the meat until later I cooled the sauce down so I could skim some of the fat. Then I returned the sauce to the meat, reheated and topped with scallion and cilantro. It came out great.I wish I'd added some chili peppers but I forgot that part.

Roni Jordan

Be sure to use pork with some marbling of fat. The fact that my pork was on the dry side is my fault for using boneless pork chops instead of the planned boneless country ribs to make a 1/2 recipe. The sauce was superb - better than I've had at two Pho restuarants. I used a bit less salt, and amped up the heat under my pot for the final few minutes to get that sauce reduced and gooey. Perfect with jasmine rice and steamed broccoli. Definitely to be repeated.


Delicious (and decadent!) — used less sugar (2/3 1/3) and added sriracha. Served with bok choy, which balanced the dish nicely.


I had no problem liquifying the sugar. I used a large cast iron pan and it took about 10 minutes over medium low heat. Pork belly caramelized nicely. I added some red pepper flakes to the sauce and would likely add more the next time I make this.Everyone like the flavor, but thought it a little sweet. Next time I would just the sugar by a third in total. Start with 3/4 cup sugar and add a 1/4 cup later.

Pat Kight

If you want enough sauce for the meat, yes. Without it, I think it would be a less succulent dish. Keep in mind that once the sugar caramelizes and you add the pork, the resulting sauce reduces down quite a bit and you wind up with something more like a glaze.


I hate the taste of fish sauce, any substitutes? Soy sauce?

a pham.

I'm Vietnamese and this tastes almost exactly like my mom's recipe. The only thing missing is the boiled eggs (but I always personally disliked that part anyway).

ciocia kate

Made this with exception that I was out of fish sauce so used a bit of hoisin and soy sauce. Came out quite good. I have electric stove and found no issues melting the sugar. Used a very heavy bottom Italian frying pan from the 80s, my workhorse. Took just about 15 minutes to get to brown liquid state. Did other things while it was doing it’s thing. Served with rice. Fun to make!


This tasted excellent, though it did take forever compared to the instructions. The sugar took probably 25 minutes to melt, and then the caramelization took far longer than the suggested cooking time for really only a medium result. Not sure where the disconnect is.


Loved this recipe. Almost as good as take out! I served it with coconut rice and steamed carrots. Took everyone’s advice and added a dash of soy sauce and sambal olek, I also reduced the sugar by half.

Nina Keneally

I thought this was AMAZING. So did my husband. Used a little less sugar and added the suggested dash of Sriracha but otherwise as written. I do think using pork belly is key...it has a unique flavor profile. Served with a red & green cabbage/rainbow carrot salad with toasted garlic, roasted cashews and pistachios, cilantro and mint and homemade nuroc cham dressing.


I made this to the letter tonight and it was brilliant. It took about 20 minutes longer than expected, but if you follow the steps carefully the time doesn’t matter. Don’t add the pork until the sugar is liquified; don’t add the onion until the pork is close to caramelized. And DON’T change the sugar or fish sauce ratio as others suggest; they are perfectly balanced. Sliced red jalapeño or a hot sauce like sriracha for those who want some kick is all you need.

Paul Woolf

Great recipe which have done twice. Having Sriracha on the side rounds it out beautifully


Works with Truvia, 1:1.


Added cilantro to get a little bit of leafy greens in there, and of course the cilantro opens up this dish like many others.I backed off on the fish sauce and sugar, and it tastes a lot better than times past. I also changed the order of cooking the ingredients:1) pork2) onions3) garlic4) brown sugar5) dash of soy, dash of sesame oil, dash of fish sauce6) scallions, cilantro


Loved this recipe! Ate as a lettuce wrap with pickled radish! Sooo delicious! Used light brown sugar instead of white sugar and used pork shoulder. Will definitely make again.


I think I had too much meat for my pan because it made a big puddle so it ended up being steamed and boiled instead of being "grilled". Nonetheless, it tasted good! Next time, a bigger pan.


FWIW, this is also very good with boneless, skinless chicken thighs used in place of pork. I usually make it that way and serve it with steamed broccoli as a satisfying weeknight meal. It takes a while for the sugar to start caramelizing, but after that everything comes together quickly.


Pretty tasty. Def use less sugar and dr with things like lime and sriracha


Recommend!I used less sugar than the recipe called for (1/2 cup total for 1.25 lbs of pork) and my fiancé still thought it was a touch sweet. Based on suggestions in the comments, I served it up with coconut rice and also had roasted brussel sprouts on the side. Sriracha or another garlicky hot sauce was the perfect topping to bring all the flavors together.

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Michael Bao Huynh's Vietnamese Caramelized Pork Recipe (2024)
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