1 1/2 pounds boneless pork shoulder, with some fat and skin attached*
2 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
4 small or 2 large shallots, peeled and thinly sliced
1 teaspoon ground black
3 tablespoon fish sauce (see note), plus more to taste
5 ounces (about
2/3 cup) canned coconut milk, shaken, plus more to taste
2 tablespoons granulated
sugar, plus more to taste
6 hardboiled eggs, shelled
Cut pork into cubes, about 1 1/2 inches each.
Combine 2 teaspoons salt with about
2 cups water in a large bowl.
Add pork and soak about 20 minutes.
Rinse well in
cold water and set aside.
In a small heavy skillet or saucepan, combine 2 tablespoons sugar and 2 tablespoons
water. Stir to dissolve and place over medium to medium-low heat. Bring to a boil
and cook, watching carefully, until it is deep brown but not burned. Set aside.
In a large pot, sauté shallots in about 1 tablespoon vegetable oil, just until
Add pork cubes and pepper and cook for 2 minutes.
from the skillet (if caramel has hardened, add a little hot water to dissolve it
Add fish sauce, coconut milk, 2 tablespoons sugar and 2 cups water.
the eggs, pushing down into the sauce. Cover and cook over medium-low heat about
Remove lid and taste sauce, adding additional sugar, fish sauce or coconut milk
if needed. Leaving lid off, cook about 30 minutes.
Remove pork and eggs with a slotted
spoon and place in a serving bowl. Increase heat to high and boil remaining sauce
for several minutes to reduce.
Pour over pork and eggs and serve.
* The fat and skin are left on the pork while it cooks, to moisten the meat,
and are removed as the dish is eaten. Other cuts from the pork shoulder, such as
butt, can be substituted. Fish sauce is available in Asian stores and in some well-stocked