I just returned from Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon) where I had the most delicious grilled pork, I managed to secure the recipe.
Vietnamese Grilled Pork
• 1/4 cup sugar
• 1/2 cup water
• 5 scallions, chopped (white parts only)
• 2 teaspoons fish sauce
• 2 teaspoons soy sauce
• 1 pinch salt
• 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
• 1 lb pork loin, sliced into large pieces about 1/4-inch thick
To make the caramel - combine the sugar and water in a small saucepan.
Bring to a boil over medium heat. Stir a few times and allow to simmer until the sauce turns deep brown, about 15 minute. Meanwhile, have some extra hot water ready on a back burner.
Once the sauce reaches the desired color, carefully add 4 to 5 Tbs. hot water to slow the cooking and thin the sauce. (Be sure to hold the pan away from you so that none of the hot caramel splatters on you when you add the water.) If necessary, add more hot water. The sauce should only be thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Set aside to cool.
To make the pork - pound the shallots in a mortar and pestle or mince by hand. Transfer the shallots to a mixing bowl and combine with the fish sauce, soy sauce, salt, vegetable oil, and cooled caramel sauce. Stir well to blend. Add the pork slices and let marinate for 20 minute.
Meanwhile, heat a broiler or light a charcoal or gas grill. When the broiler or fire is very hot, cook the pork until just done, about 2 minutes on each side.
Let the pork rest for 10 to 15 min., cut into thin strips, and serve with rice vermicelli noodles and nuoc cham dipping sauce.
Vietnamese Nuoc Cham Sauce
1 clove garlic
7 tbsp fish sauce (good quality)
7 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp water
Juice of 1 lemon
Grind the garlic and chilies in a mortar and pestle until a thick paste.
In a separate mixing bowl combine the fish sauce, sugar, water and lemon juice. Stir thoroughly until sugar has dissolved.
Add the garlic and chili paste and mix. The chili should float on the surface.