Surf ‘n’ turf happens the world over. It’s popular too in Hue’s Hang Da morning market, where the indoor kitchens serve this topped with fried niblets of weeny salt-preserved fish and a dish of pickled vegetables alongside. The sweet, the crunchy and the bland, with the salted tartness of the preserved. Balance is all in Vietnam - and they’re brilliant at it. If your thrust is for authenticity, then top the dish with some deep-fried salt-preserved dried fish - south-east Asian stores stock them vac-packed in small plastic bags.
Pack the sliced greens into a small bowl or jar. Hix the remaining
Tip the pork into the cool caramel sauce and bring to a bubble, then turn the heat to very low and gently stew for 40 minutes. Add the prawns to the pork for the final 15 minutes of cooking and stir through to coat. Keep an eye on it so it doesn’t catch and burn. Add a tbsp or two of water if things start to look too sticky and dry. Serve piled on to bowls of rice with the pickled greens alongside.
© 2004 Alastair Hendy. All rights reserved.