Braised Caramel Pork with Daikon and Eggs

Menu Part: 
Entree
Cuisine Type: 
Asian
Serves: 
15 servings

This Vietnamese braised pork dish features eggs, onions, a sweet caramel sauce and daikon, which is an Asian mild white East Asian radish, over a cucumber salad.

Ingredients

1/3 cup fish sauce
1/3 cup Caramel Sauce (recipe follows)
3 lbs. pork butt or shoulder, trimmed, cut into 2-in. cubes
1/2 cup green onions, bruised, cut into 1-in. pieces
2 tbsp. vegetable oil
3 tbsp. shallots, minced
21/2 lbs. daikon, peeled, cut in
2/3-in. half-moon pieces
8 eggs, hard-boiled, peeled
1 cup cilantro, cut in 1-in. pieces

Caramel Sauce:
Yield: about 11/2 cups

1 cup sugar
3 cups boiling water

Cucumber Salad:
Yield: 15 servings

1/2 cup warm water
1 cup sugar
1 cup white vinegar
2 tsp. salt
4 European-style cucumbers, cut in half lengthwise, into 1/4-in. half-moons
2 tbsp. shallots, sliced thin
3 tbsp. cilantro, cut into 1/2-in. pieces
Fresh chiles, sliced thin (optional)

Steps

1. Combine ½ of fish sauce, Caramel Sauce (recipe below), pork and green onions. Set aside to
marinate at least 2 hours.

2. Add oil to large pot over medium flame. Add shallots and stir until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Drizzle remaining fish sauce around edge of pan. Stir until mixture starts to bubble, then add pork and all marinade juice and cook for 3 to 5 mins.

3. Add enough water to just cover pork. Simmer uncovered for 20 mins.

4. Add daikon and simmer another 20 mins.

5. Skim and discard any fat that rises to the top.

6. Add hard-boiled eggs and simmer for another 5 mins. until heated through and are stained with caramel color. Sauce should reduce by half and become dark brown. Meat should be very tender but not quite fork tender. Total cooking time is about 50 mins.

7. Remove and transfer to serving dish. Cut eggs in half. Garnish with cilantro and serve with rice and Cucumber Salad (recipe below).

For Caramel Sauce:
1. Place sugar in heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat. Cook undisturbed about 3 to 4 mins., until edges start to smoke and burn. Sugar around edge will start to turn brown and then almost black.

2. Using long-handled wooden spoon, stir sugar a few times. Leave spoon in pot. Make sure boiling water is nearby.

3. Stand back and, using another ladle, carefully add ½ cup boiling water into sugar. (It will splatter.) Slowly add another ½ cup boiling water. Caramel Sauce should be dark brown and thin.

4. Set aside to cool.

For Cucumber Salad:
1. Combine water, sugar, vinegar and salt in small pot and heat over medium flame just until warm. Stir well to blend, then set aside to cool.

2. Place cucumbers, shallots, cilantro and chiles, if using, in mixing bowl. Add vinegar mixture and gently toss ingredients a few times. Allow to sit for 10 to 30 mins.

3. Just before serving, drain and discard 90% of liquid. Serve with braised or grilled meats.

Recipe adapted from chef Mai Pham

More From FoodService Director

Ideas and Innovation
chefs

We started inviting chefs and FSDs from other districts to come prepare lunch. Through featuring different chefs and chef-inspired meals, I’ve found the students have been looking forward to coming into the cafeteria. They are willing to try new things with crazy names, and to ask for their favorite outside items turned healthy.

Ideas and Innovation
tapas

I’ve created a high school “focus group” to see what future college students will want in terms of foodservice. This year, I called up two now-seniors from the last group to get 10 of their friends together. I also include a sophomore or two so that I always have a contact for next year. Tapas, grain bowls and late-night breakfast all originated from this group.

Ideas and Innovation
making meals

This summer, we teamed up with a church to deliver meals to three housing projects. We brought the meals to the church, and then the church recruited volunteers to deliver the meals to the children. We’ve been very impressed with this new model, and it shows great promise in getting meals to children who otherwise would not be able to leave their housing project.

Industry News & Opinion
sharing love

Having never personally experienced a hurricane, I can only imagine the horrors faced by the millions of people whose lives were affected by Harvey and Irma in late August and early September. It’s a group that comprises uncounted noncommercial operations, including Houston Independent School District, which serves 215,000 students.

But from that tragedy has come one of the most impressive feats of foodservice I’ve seen since coming on board at this magazine, partially spearheaded by Nutrition Officer Betti Wiggins , who only just joined the district. For the entire school year,...

FSD Resources