Vietnamese Caramelized Chicken Marinade
This works just as well with pork. It’s not overly sweet, but wonderfully different. Great grilled as well. If the fish sauce is too strong, replace a tablespoon of fish sauce with water. Prep time does not include marinade time. If you don’t want to marinade, just use it as a stir-fry sauce.
1/3 cup white sugar
1/4 cup fish sauce, at room temperature
4 shallots, finely minced
1/4-1/2 teaspoon white pepper or black pepper
250g chicken breasts, thinly sliced
Cook the sugar in a small heavy saucepan over low heat, stirring constantly, until brown. It will smoke slightly.
Immediately remove the pan from the heat and stir the fish sauce into the caramel, being careful to guard against splattering (the mixture will bubble vigorously).
Return the mixture to low heat and gently boil, stirring occasionally, until the sugar is completely dissolved, about 3 minutes.
Add the shallots and ground pepper to taste; stir to combine.
Cover chicken with marinade for at least 1/2 hr, preferably more.
Grill or barbecue or stir-fry for about 3 minutes.
NOTE: Cool this sauce thoroughly before using. If cold food is added to a caramel sauce that is hot, the sugar will harden instantly and you’ll end up with a dish full of candy chips.