Vietnamese (ish) Sauce and Marinade for Pork

PorkBunSlicedbfLOSee, here’s the deal: Rich and I joined some friends for dinner at Cheesecake Factory a while back, and were really pleased that they offered an assortment of small plates, as opposed to the more usual serving for a small hoard we were used to facing when we ate there. One of the small plates that we shared and really enjoyed was the Vietnamese tacos – steamed Asian buns filled with roasted pork, marinated veggies, sesame seeds, and stuff – think Char Siu Bao without the closed bun. I knew I was gonna have to try and make them.

01VietSauceIngredientsbfLOThing was… how? Da Google was surprisingly little help, so I set about considering other options.

I had a plan for the buns, and some ground pork for the filling, now I just needed some Vietnamese elements to fill in the pieces. This is what I came up with:

Basic Sauce:
•1/4 cup tamari (or soy sauce)
•1 tbsp fish sauce (3 Crabs is good)
•1 tbsp sugar
•2 tsp white vinegar
•1 tbsp maple syrup
•1/4 tsp dried garlic
•1/4 tsp dried onion
•1 tsp hot chile sesame oil
•1 tsp sesame oil
•1/4 tsp hot sauce (Earl’s)
•1/8 tsp black pepper

•1 tbsp Jerk sauce
•2 tbsp basic sauce
•1 tsp tamari (or soy sauce)

•1 lb ground pork

Combine all the ingredients and give it a good whizzz with a whisk or your immersion blender. Transfer the sauce to a lidded jar.

04bVietPorkMarinadebfLOTo make the marinade, I found a Chinese pork marinade recipe that I played I played around with and came up with this combination of sweet and spicy and not really at probably traditionally Vietnamese, but it’s still tasty.

Stir the two tablespoons of basic sauce together with the Jerk sauce and tamari, then work it well into one pound of ground pork in a small bowl (sorry, the best way to do this is to use your hands), then cover and stash in the fridge for five hours or overnight.

The pork is almost ready to go at this point, but there’s one more sauce to make, and then it’s time to think about buns! Details to come, tomorrow and Thursday, I think.

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