I grew up eating "Tôm ram thịt" many times a week as it is one of those common Vietnamese dishes. It is besteaten with hot steamed rice and cucumber. I love the gorgeous orange hue of the shell-on shrimps blending in beautifully with thin slices of pork belly when simmered in a rich and savory caramel sauce.
The nice thing about this dish is you can make a big pot of "tôm ram thịt" and store in the fridge for the whole family to enjoy whenever someone is hungry.
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RECIPE:Tôm Ram Thịt
1/2 lb Pork Belly (thịt ba chỉ), thinly sliced
1/2 lb medium sized Shrimp with shell on and head on if preferred. Make sure to trim the sharp part of the heads and tails.
1 tablespoon minced Garlic
1 tablespoon minced Shallot
1 1/2 tablespoon Sugar
1 tablespoon Cooking Oil
1 1/2 tablespoon Fish Sauce
2 white parts of Green Onion, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1 tablespoon Annatto Oil * Making Tôm Ram Thịt
Marinate pork with white parts of green onion, 1 tablespoon of sugar, half teaspoon of black pepper and half teaspoon of salt. Set it aside. We don't want to marinate the shrimp as this will harden the shrimps.
Heat the oil in the pan. Add the shallot, garlic and saute until golden. Toss in the pork and stir for a few minutes until the curls and lose its pink color.
Add shrimps and turn the heat to high. This will cause the pork to curl and give the shrimps the gorgeous orange color. It also keep the shrimps juicy. Stir for a few minutes until meat and shimps are slightly cooked.
Add sugar, fish sauce and annatto oil. Stir for a few minute at medium low heat. During the simmering process, if it's too dry, add a tablespoon of water to prevent it from burning. Adjust the seasoning to get the sweet and salty taste you desire.