Seasoned with ginger, lemongrass, Chinese five spice powder, star anise, and cinnamon, this Vietnamese style spicy braised pork stew with carrots and potatoes is both delicious and comforting. Serve it over rice or dip pieces of bread into the stew.
For the marinade:
2 tablespoons Vietnamese fish sauce
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 tablespoon minced ginger
2 teaspoon Chinese five spice powder
½ teaspoon black pepper
For the Braise:
2 pounds boneless pork shoulder steak, cut into chunks
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 medium red onion, sliced
1 medium tomato, chopped
2 tablespoons fresh ginger
4 garlic cloves, minced
3 tablespoons finely chopped lemongrass
1 teaspoon sea salt
5 star anises
1 cinnamon stick
1 serrano chile pepper
1 ½ pounds medium carrots, chopped into chunks
5-6 baby potatoes, halved
½ tablespoon crispy garlic chili oil (optional)
½ cup thinly sliced scallions
2 sprigs of basil for serving (optional)
To make the marinade, stir together the fish sauce, brown sugar, ginger, Chinese 5-spice powder, and black pepper in a bowl.
Put the pork into a large bowl and add the marinade. Massage the marinade into the pork so that it gets incorporated. Let the pork marinade for about 30 minutes. The longer the better.
Add vegetable oil to a Dutch over medium to high heat. When the oil is hot, add the cubed pork and cook them until browned. Cook them in batches so that it would brown. When all the pork is cooked, put all the pork back into the pot. Add red onions and cook for a few minutes until they become soft and aromatic.
Add tomato, ginger, garlic, lemongrass, and salt to the pot. Stir well to coat the meat and onions. Add star anise, cinnamon, and serrano pepper. Then pour in water and bring it to a boil.
Lower the heat to a simmer and cover the pot with lid leaving it slightly open. Cook for about an hour or until the meat has become tender.
Add carrots and potatoes to the pot and cook for another 20-25 minutes or so. Until both the carrots and potatoes have softened.
Skim fat from the top of the stew if needed.
Add chili oil for extra spiciness. But it is optional.
Serve the Vietnamese style spicy braised pork stew over rice or with bread.