Barbecued Pork Fillet with Vietnamese Caramel Sauce

From Bill’s Everyday Asian

For my second experiment with Everyday Asian I had to try this recipe – I couldn’t resist the promise of barbecue, caramel and chilli so I apologise for posting another pork recipe so soon but I think you will forgive me if you try this out – it is really delicious!

Similarly to the last recipe this has few ingredients and is a really quick and easy dish to prepare. I was curious to know how the caramel sauce would work – I wasn’t sure if it would be too much but it works perfectly thanks to a little sourness from the lime juice and heat from the chilli.  I also admit to being a bit sceptical when I removed the pork from its marinade – the fish sauce was quite strong but once cooked it gives the meat the most amazing savouriness – I imagine this is similar to the umami effect of pairing anchovies with lamb.  My husband and son wanted to eat the pork straight from the griddle pan.  Don’t be put off by the ‘barbecue’ in the title – although I am sure it would be great cooked outside on a char-grill it can also be done on a griddle or frying pan.  I didn’t quite reduce the sauce enough – it was still delicious but next time I will give it a little more time on the hob which will make it that little bit thicker and stickier. The recipe says that the pork should be cut in to two pieces however I did 4 which made it that bit quicker to cook.

Serves 4

For the marinade:

  • 1 whole pork fillet (about 600g)
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1 teaspoon caster sugar
  • 2 garlic cloves crushed with the flat of a knife
For the Vietnamese Caramel Sauce:
  • 2 tablespoons soft brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons caster sugar
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 2 tablespoons light flavoured oil (I used sunflower)
  • 1½ tablespoons fish sauce
  • 1½ tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 long red chilli, finely sliced
Cut the pork fillet in half crossways and then each piece in half lengthways so you have four long pieces around 1-1.5 inches thick. Combine the fish sauce, sugar and garlic in a shallow dish and then add the pork, turn to coat the meat and then cover and leave to marinade in the fridge for 10 minutes or longer if you can. I find freezer bags best for marinating things like this – it helps ensure the liquid covers all of the meat.
Lightly oil a griddle pan over a medium-high heat and cook the pork for around 3-4 minutes on each of the four sides or until just cooked.  Rest for 5 minutes before serving.
Whilst the meat is resting make the Caramel Sauce by placing the sugars and water in a small pot on a low heat until the sugar has dissolved.  Turn up the heat to medium and cook for a further 2 minutes until the liquid has reduced a bit.  Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly then add in the oil, fish sauce, lime juice and chilli and stir to combine.  Drizzle over the rested meat and serve.


  1. I have a Bill Granger recipe for salmon with a Vietnamese caramel sauce and the whole family loves it. In fact, I love it so much that it’s really the only way I want to cook salmon these days. I must try it with pork as well!

    • Oh there is a salmon recipe in this book too that looks devine…and yet I am not a huge fan of salmon. Perhaps Bill can change that :) I think the caramel sauce would be delish with it.

  2. This looks gorgeous, I’ll definitely be trying it out.

  3. VanillaLime says:

    Sounds lovely!! Also like the sound of the previous recipe!! I like the new look and looking forward to new posts coming up!

  4. I love the die-cut header! Really sweet….looks super. And this recipe looks/sounds amazing too, YUM!!!!!

  5. PS. I guess I should change your blog name on my blogroll from Gluttony for Beginners to The Glutton’s Kitchen?

    • Oh yes thanks for that Imen – I badly need to update my blog roll too and will change your name to Farmette (which I love by the way!).

      • Oh, thank you! That would be lovely….glad you like the name too. I just love the word Glutton…so perfect for a food blog, we are all gluttons! lol. xx

  6. That looks very tasty. I bet it is even nicer cold, if any makes it that far…..

  7. Thanks for sharing this recipe, it looks really good. I love pork and I’m trying to learn a bit more about Asian cooking this year. So many interesting flavour combinations to try out! Definitely book-marking this recipe for a Saturday lunch. Yumbo!

  8. This looks delicious and I’m pleased to find a use for the fish sauce I bought to make a Thai Green Curry.