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Great homemade coffee with James Hoffmann.
The Vietnamese technique of braising meat or fish in dark, smoky caramel combined with a few aromatics and fish sauce yields intensely savory-sweet, umami-rich flavors. It traditionally is cooked in a clay pot, but we use a skillet. Pork belly is the typical cut, but it’s extremely fatty and not always easy to find in grocery stores. Instead, we use shoulder, which is leaner but still well-marbled and rich in pork flavor. The meat, however, must be thinly sliced to achieve the correct tender-chewy texture with just 10 to 14 minutes of cooking. For easiest slicing, after cutting the pork into planks, freeze the pieces uncovered on a plate until partially frozen, about 20 minutes, then use a sharp knife to slice them on the diagonal no thicker than ¼ inch. To round out the meal, serve the pork with jasmine rice and a simple steamed or stir-fried vegetable.
cup white sugar
tablespoons coconut water or water, divided
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