Sarah DiGregorio's Top 10: No. 9 - 2010
Cooking savory proteins in sweet caramel sauce is a common technique in Vietnam, and at Co Ba it results in the clay-pot caramel pork belly, one of the richest, most luscious dishes I've eaten in a long time. Chef and restaurateur Steven Duong first marinates the pork belly in fish sauce and pepper, then braises it in young coconut water, and combines it with daikon and tiny quail eggs in a simple caramel sauce. Finally, he simmers it gently for hours until the sauce is reduced to a dark, intensely flavorful sludge and the pork belly is tender and sticky. If you're sick of pork belly, this is the antidote.