Meat in Fish Sauce Brine
The Lunar New Year is just around the corner and this is the time of the year when Vietnamese families are busy preparing all the good food for Tet. We tend to make kind of food that can be made ahead of time so that we can all enjoy family during these holidays. One of those dishes is Meat in Fish Sauce Brine. It’s an easy yet super tasty dish that anyone can make. In this post I’ll share with you my own recipe. Let’s begin!
2 lbs beef shank (can be substituted with other cut of beef, or pork belly/pork shoulder)
1 cup fish sauce
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
1/2 white vinegar
garlic, chili pepper, cinnamon stick, star anise, ginger
Step 1: Wash the meat carefully, then put into a pressure cooker with some ginger slices. It takes approximately around 45 minutes to 1 hour until the beef shank is tender. If you don’t have a pressure cooker, you can cook it as usual on the stove. The cooking time will be doubled, around 1.5 – 2 hours. Try not to overcook the beef shank because it can turn very mushy and that’s not what we want.
Step 2: Make the brine with fish sauce, sugar, vinegar and water as the ratio mentioned above. This ratio can also be adjusted to your taste, just experiment to find out what works best for you. You can speed up the process by quickly cook the brine until the sugar is dissolved. Then off with the heat and let the brine cool down completely.
Step 3: Roughly toast the pepper corn, star anise and cinnamon stick to bring up the aroma. Then set aside.
Step 4: When the beef shank is tender. Remove from the cooker and put into a large bowl filled with cold water to prevent it from darkening. Then cut into chunk so that they’re fit into your jar.
Step 5: Place garlic, chili pepper, star anise and cinnamon stick at the bottom of the jar. Then add in the beef shank. After that, pour the brine into the jar so that the brine level covers all the meat. Let it set for at least 3 days, and then your beef shank in ready to go.
You can eat this dish as appetizer, with beer, wine, with rice of wrap it with rice paper together with your favorite herbs. It tastes amazing!
I hope you’ll give this recipe a try and have wonderful holidays!