Make your own Top Chef Caramel Pork Recipe right away – Inner Hook

After a hot, wine-filled afternoon, strolling through the French Quarter with a hurricane (obviously), an air-conditioned shelter and a home-cooked meal is the only way to end the evening.

That was exactly our situation a few weeks ago when we drove to New Orleans to the home of Chef Nene Nguyen – who you might remember from her time at the popular real-life cooking competition. top chef – Where we cooked whole nola and a Vietnamese-inspired spread with it.

After the competition for Top Chef: Kentucky And Top Chef: All StarsChef, trainer, and recipe author in New Orleans, now teaches people how to cook delicious restaurant dishes at home and posts video recipes every week on her Patreon. Nguyen specialty? Merging its Vietnamese roots with Southern New Orleans cooking in some unique, delicious (and spicy!) dishes we couldn’t get enough of.

We’ve fried catfish on her porch, peeled the biggest papaya we’ve laid eyes on and learned how to make caramelized pork in fish sauce, a delicious, slightly spicy pork belly that’s been roasted and cooked in fish sauce, Thai pepper and molasses. .

Also known as Thit Kho, this is a comforting and quintessential Vietnamese dish that uses many of the ingredients you stock in your pantry. It is also impressively easy to prepare. Cozy, considering we’ve been sipping bottles of silk and spice – a red wine that happens to be paired with a dip with Nguyen’s pork dish – all night long.

Chef Nini Nguyen serves Silk and Spice to her dinner guests.

Silk and Spice

“The softness of the wine’s silkiness and spice pairs well with the deep flavors of pork and the subtle spice of this dish,” Nguyen tells InsideHook.

The Portuguese wine brand offers a surprisingly affordable red blend that retails for around ten to thirteen dollars. But don’t let the low price point fool you, Silk and Spice isn’t like other cheap wines (in that, you know, they taste lower shelf).

Using grapes from Syrah, Baga, Alicante Bouschet, and Touriga Nacional, Silk and Spice is bold with spicy notes of black pepper and pink pepper, while the scents of blackberries and ripe plums take your nose on a pleasant journey. It’s such an accessible and complex wine that even snobs on popular wine review app Vivino give it four stars.

So once you’ve bought a bottle — or six — of this delicious grape, here’s how to make the perfect dish to pair it with:

Caramelized Pork in Fish Sauce (Thie Khu)

Serves 4


  • 1 onion, sliced ​​(medium)
  • 3 garlic cloves (chopped)
  • 1.5 pounds pork belly (cut into bite-size pieces)
  • 2 Thai hot peppers
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoons molasses
  • Half a cup of water
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • Cooked jasmine rice


1. In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, saute onions and garlic just until the aroma releases. Then add the pork to the pot and let it burn for a few minutes.

2. After the pork has been cooked for 3 minutes, add the water, Thai chili, fish sauce and molasses.

3. Leave the pot on low heat for 30 minutes or until the meat is tender and the liquid has reduced.

4. Once you are at this point, add 1 teaspoon of sugar. Let the liquid reduce completely and skim off the excess fat in the saucepan if necessary. Once the pork belly looks caramelized it is done.

5. Served with hot jasmine rice.

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