26 Sept 2022

Philli Armitage-Mattin’s Vietnamese-inspired caramelised pork bowls recipe

Philli Armitage-Mattin’s Vietnamese-inspired caramelised pork bowls recipe

“You know that overused spag bol or chilli con carne that you love but are a little tired of? Let me introduce the caramelised pork bowl,” says chef Philli Armitage-Mattin.

“It’s ready in under 30 minutes and it’s super, super tasty.”

Vietnamese-inspired caramelised pork bowls

(Serves 4)

2tbsp neutral oil
6 spring onions, sliced, white and green parts separately
2 carrots, grated or finely chopped (I like to use a mandoline but be careful)
Pinch of salt
2.5cm piece of ginger, minced
4 garlic cloves, minced
4–8 bird’s eye or Thai chillies, finely sliced
500g pork, minced
5tbsp/60g brown sugar
3tbsp fish sauce
3tbsp soy sauce
1tsp chilli flakes
3tbsp roasted peanuts, crushed
1 lime, wedged
Handful of coriander, chopped
Handful of mint, chopped

To serve:
Steamed jasmine rice


1. If you’re serving with rice, get your rice on the go first.

2. Heat a wok over a medium-high heat with the oil, then add the spring onions (white parts only), half the carrots and the salt. Cook for three to four minutes, stirring constantly. You’re looking for the carrot to turn slightly limp. Add the ginger, garlic and chillies and cook for a further minute until aromatic.

3. Add the pork mince to the wok and turn up to a high heat, breaking up all the meat with a spatula to make sure all the pork turns white and there are no pink bits.

4. Add the brown sugar, fish sauce and soy sauce. Give everything a stir before leaving it to fully cook down and caramelise without stirring for about six to eight minutes. Stir again and then let everything fully caramelise again for about 60 seconds. Repeat until the meat is dark brown and there are little crispy bits of pork. However, keep an eye on it because it can burn quickly.

5. Taste adjust to your flavour profile, and serve over rice with chilli flakes, the rest of the spring onions, roasted peanuts, lime wedges and chopped fresh herbs.

Taste Kitchen: Asia: Six Flavours To Suit Every Taste by Philli Armitage-Mattin is published by Robinson, priced £26. Photography by Phoebe Pearson. Available September 1.

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