Vietnamese Recipes: Traditional Method

Less Time, But Fickle


  • ½ cup Sugar
  • ¼ cup Water


  1. Place sugar in a dry, super-clean 2-quart saucepan. Heat over medium heat without stirring until sugar begins to liquefy and turn brown around perimeter of sugar—at least a inch border of melted sugar.
  2. Stir occasionally with a wooden spoon or heatproof spatula until it turns very deep brown. It will be foaming, and smoke will start to rise. Color should be reddish-black.
  3. Stand back as you cautiously add water: it will boil vigorously and a lot of steam will rise. Be careful.
  4. Whisk to dissolve any seized sugar. Cool, transfer to a container to use as needed.