|Vietnamese Braised Pork
You can use a clay pot with a lid if you wish, but a medium saucepan will work just fine.
2 tablespoons neutral oil, like corn or canola
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1/4 cup chopped shallots
1 tablespoon minced ginger
1 small chili, minced
1 1/2 pounds pork shoulder or pork prime, cut into 1- to 1 1/2-inch cubes
2 tablespoons fish sauce, or to taste
1 teaspoon ground black pepper, or to taste
4 hard-cooked eggs, peeled
Salt if necessary
Shredded scallion for garnish
Cooked white rice
Put oil in a saucepan or clay pot large enough to comfortably accommodate pork; turn heat to medium. Add sugar and cook, stirring occasionally, until it dissolves and colors a bit, 3 or 4 minutes. Add garlic, shallots, ginger and chili and cook, stirring occasionally, until shallots soften, about 5 minutes.
Add pork and raise heat to medium-high. Let it brown a little, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes. Add 1/2 cup water, and fish sauce and black pepper. Bring to a boil, then adjust heat so mixture simmers steadily. Nestle eggs in mixture and cover pot. Cook for about 30 minutes, stirring once or twice, until pork is tender, adding a little more water if mixture threatens to dry out.
Taste and adjust seasoning, then garnish with scallions and serve with rice. Serves 4 - Adapted from The New York Times