Caramelized Pork Belly Banh Mi!

The other Vietnamese thing I like is Banh Mi! However, I only like it when the bread is soft and it doesnt cut the roof of your mouth…lol and only when pork or beef is inside. I have been meaning to make some sort of pork belly for some time now [I usually love getting it at restaurants and my dad makes mean Chinese versions]! Since I am on this Viet snack making spree, I figured I would give this Vietnamese version a try. The meat turned out very flavorful and soft and made the homemade sandwiches extra delicious. I will definitely make it again!


Ingredients:

Caramel: 
3 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp water

Pork:
1.5 lbs pork belly, sliced into cubes
2 shallots, minced
oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tbsp fish sauce
1.5 cups water
1/2 tsp black peppercorns

For the sandwich:
1 french baguette
pickled carrots/daikon


cilantro
mayo [*shudder*]
fresh jalapeño, sliced
fresh English cucumber, sliced longways

Pickled carrots/daikon recipe
slice carrots and daikon [I used 2 carrots, and 1 medium sized daikon]
8 tbsp vinegar
2-2.5 cups water
2 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp salt
***Place the carrots and daikon in a glass container. Mix the sugar, salt, water, and vinegar in a separate bowl. Pour over the carrots/daikon until container filled. Discard the rest. Let it marinate for 3 days. 

1. Make the caramel: Heat sugar and water on med-high in a small pot.

2. Let it turn golden brown. Immediately take off the stove. Put 1 tbsp of water at a time until you can stir it around like a liquid. [I used about 3 tbsp of water]. Be careful, it will start sizzling but just mix quickly with wooden spatula. Set aside.

(1. heat sugar; 2. let it turn golden brown on stove; 3. take off stove, add water)

3. In a medium sized pot, cook the shallots and garlic in some oil until light brown.

4. Add the meat. Let it cook until no longer pink.

5. Add the fish sauce. Cook about 3-4 min.

6. Add the water and black peppercorns. Turn heat to medium-low. Cook for 10 min.

7. Add the caramel and let it simmer on low for 1 hour.

8. Once meat is done, chop it finer. [It will make it easier to eat and assemble]

9. Assemble the sandwiches. [For added healthiness, I added romaine].

(enjoy!)
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