Fish Sauce Caramel Pork Chop with Asian Slaw Recipe

1 hour 15 minutes


  • 4 pork chops, weighing around 250g each, fat trimmed

Fish sauce caramel

  • 150g of brown sugar
  • 200ml of water
  • 150ml of fish sauce
  • 50ml of soy sauce
  • 4 garlic cloves, bashed
  • 1 star anise
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 shallot, sliced
  • 1 lemongrass stalk, bashed

Asian slaw

  • 1/4 white cabbage
  • 1/4 red cabbage
  • 1 carrot, peeled
  • 1 handful of beansprouts
  • 2 spring onions, finely sliced into strips


  • 2 tbsp of lime juice
  • 1 tbsp of rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp of soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp of fish sauce
  • 2 tbsp of sesame oil
  • 1 pinch of sugar, (optional)


  • 1 lime, cut into 4 cheeks or quarters


To make the caramel marinade, combine the brown sugar and 50ml of the water in a saucepan and heat until dissolved. Half-fill the sink (or a larger saucepan) with cold water – you’ll need this to stop the caramel when it reaches the right colour
Once the sugar has dissolved and a syrup has formed, bring the mixture to the boil and simmer. The syrup will change colour to amber and then will begin to darken into a caramel. When it reaches a deep golden brown, take the pan off the heat and lower the bottom of the pan into the cold water. The pan will hiss and spit a bit, but this cools the pan and stops the caramel from burning
Add the remaining water to the caramel along with the rest of the ingredients for the caramel. Briefly bring the mixture back to the boil, then allow to cool to room temperature
Once the marinade has cooled, pour it into a big ziplock bag with the pork chops inside. Massage the marinade into the pork and leave in the fridge overnight
The next day, preheat a grill to its highest setting. Remove the pork chops from the bag and pat away any excess moisture from the surface of each. Pour the marinade into a pan and reduce to a glaze (the consistency of thin honey)
Sear the pork chops under the grill – they should need about 4-5 minutes on each side, depending on the thickness of the chops. Turn the chops over after 4 minutes, then remove after another four minutes and brush with the glaze. Grill for another minute or so on each side – the glaze should caramelise and char a little under the heat of the grill
Take the pork chops out and rest for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, make the slaw. Finely slice the white cabbage, red cabbage and carrot on a mandoline (or with a very sharp knife) and combine with the beansprouts and spring onions. Whisk together the ingredients for the dressing and taste to check you're happy with the balance of flavours
Slice the pork chops off the bone and serve with the dressed slaw and a slice of lime on the side