Vietnamese Caramelised Pork Bowls - fast and unbelievably tasty!
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4.86 from 75 votes

Vietnamese Caramelised Pork Bowls

An exciting way to use ground meat (mince) to make a quick stir fry that taste unbelievable! This is great made with chicken, turkey or pork. It also works with beef though it is better made with "white meats". Serve it over rice or vermicelli noodles to make rice bowls with shredded lettuce, carrots and cucumbers on the side (very classic Vietnamese meal!). | 262 calories per serving
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Total Time20 mins
Course: Stir Fry
Cuisine: Vietnamese
Servings: 4
Calories: 262kcal
Author: Nagi | RecipeTin Eats


  • 1 1/2 tbsp cooking oil (I use peanut oil)
  • 1/2 onion , finely diced (brown, white or yellow) (~1/2 cup)
  • 2 tsp grated ginger (preferably fresh)
  • 2 large garlic cloves , crushed (~2 tsp)
  • 1 birds eye or Thai chili , deseeded and finely chopped (Note 1)
  • 1 lb / 500g ground pork (mince) (or chicken or turkey)
  • 5 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 shallot/scallion stem , finely sliced (Note 2)


  • Heat the oil in a large skillet over high heat.
  • Add the onion, ginger, garlic and chili and cook for 2 minutes.
  • Add the pork mince and cook for 3 minutes or so until white all over, breaking up the meat with a wooden spoon (Note 3).
  • Add the sugar and fish sauce. Stir, then leave it to cook without touching until all the juices cook out and the pork starts caramelised - about 2 minutes. Then stir it and leave it again, without stirring, for around 30 seconds to get more caramelisation. Repeat twice more until caramelised to your taste.
  • Serve over rice or vermicelli noodles, garnished with sliced scallions/shallots. I like to have shredded iceberg lettuce, cucumber and carrots on the side which is a classic way of making Vietnamese bowls.


1. Birds eye chilis are small red chilis that are usually around 3 to 4cm (1.5 - 2") long. They are very spicy! You can substitute with any chili you want, or even exclude it if you are making this for kids. Just adjust to your taste.
This dish is great to serve with sriracha on the side so people can add the amount of heat they want.
2. To make the shallots/scallions curl like you see in the photos, slice the green part very finely on the diagonal then place in a bowl of cold water in the fridge. Leave for 20 minutes or so, then they will curl. This is optional - you could just slice them!
3. I don't break up the meat too finely like I do when making bolognaise or similar. That's just a personal preference for this particular dish because I like having larger chunks of meat.
4. Lemongrass is a lovely and very traditional Vietnamese herb used in dishes like this. 1 stalk, white part only, very VERY finely chopped. Add it into the skillet with the garlic.
5. Nutrition is for the pork stir fry only, excludes the rice and assumes you use a lean pork.


Serving: 153g | Calories: 262kcal