I wanted to post about a dish that is distinctively Vietnamese. What is more Vietnamese than a caramelized savoury dish. According to Andrea Nguyen (a renowned Vietnamese cookbook author), caramel sauce (nuoc mau, pronounced "nook mao") is one of the cornerstones of Vietnamese cooking. It's primarily used in kho dishes to simmer savory foods such as whole fish, pork, shrimp, chicken, eggs and tofu -- homey foods that are the soul of Vietnamese cooking. The color and flavor of caramel sauce are transformative, making food not only look beautifully amber but also delectable.
I made this dish in early 2012. I decided to remake it and post the recipe in time for AFF IndoChina.
This recipe is super simple. 4 steps actually;
- Make caramel sauce
- Brown ginger and chicken
- Toss ginger and chicken into caramel sauce and simmer until cooked
- Serve and eat (3 steps only if you remove this last step!)
When I was in Hanoi, Vietnam, I ate many caramelized dishes. They had a lot more ingredients in them. But somehow, this simple dish with only ginger to flavour it, tastes just as good!