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Sweet caramelized pork with rice

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So much flavor in your plate-try this sticky caramelized pork with rice and you will enjoy every bite of it,i promise!

close shot of caramelized sticky meat on top of white rice

What can i say about the most delicious pork i ever tried? A perfect balance of salt from soy sauce and brown sugar gives this dish an incredible taste!

And when you simmer it for a while, it gives it that caramel effect, so beloved by everyone. Add some simple white rice and the dish is complete.

What part of pork to use?

I don’t recommend to use any lean part of pork, like loin or tenderloin. The dish will be pretty dry! The best meat to use will be pork shoulder ( that’s what i used here), pork belly or boneless pork ribs. It has just right amount of fat to keep the pork tender and moist.

How to serve caramel pork

The best way to serve this pork recipe would be probably with plain white rice. It will be a perfect fit for a flavorful pork sauce. Another delicious option for the side will be sauteed vegetables. Leave them on a crunchy side to freshen up your plate.

pork and rice dish with chopped green onions on top in a white bowl

Perfect sticky pork tips

I received lots of comments about this recipe, here and on Pinterest. People love the recipe! But also i got a number of complaints, so lets try to fix mistakes before you actually make them.

  • It doesn’t caramelize! Before you start cooking, make sure that your cooking pan is actually a pan and not a pot. You need a large surface to let the liquid evaporate faster. If you will use a deep pot in this recipe, it will take forever for the sauce to get thick.
  • It smells too intense during cooking! This recipe calls for a fish sauce. Fish sauce is widely used in East Asian and Southeast Asian cuisine. It is made from fish or krill that has been salted and fermented for up to two years. This is why it smells pretty intense for some people. But fish sauce is recognized by its UMAMI flavor in dishes, and that exactly what we are looking for while making this caramelized sticky pork dish
  • WHY i use so much water. We need pork to not just be cooked through, but to be very tender. That is why i used 2 cups of water to let it cook well. Do not cover it with the lid, you need that water to evaporate and the sauce to thicken.
  • If your pork piece is too fatty, use less water because the pork will release lots of liquid itself. Stir it every once in a while while cooking.

All the sauces used in this recipe can be found in the Asian market or any grocery store at the Asian food section.

Rice i used for this dish

I prefer basmati rice for most of my dishes. Big supermarkets sell it in huge bags for a good price. Last time i got the 50 lb bag of Indian basmati rice and we will probably eat it for the whole year.

When i have to store it in the summertime, i prefer dry cool places and an air tight container. It will prevent the rice from being contaminated with food moth. Fridge is also a great place to store rice, but not everyone will have that much in the refrigerator.

In winter we have no problems storing rice just in the pantry 🙂

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close shot of sticky pork pieces
Print Recipe
4.68 from 70 votes

Sweet caramelized pork with rice

Flavor explosion in your plate-try this sticky caramelized pork and you will enjoy every bite of it,i promise!
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time35 mins
Total Time40 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Asian
Keyword: caramelized pork, sticky pork
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 343kcal


  • 2 lb pork butt or boneless ribs
  • 1/2 onion
  • 3 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1-2 cups water UPDATE: start with 1 cup and than add more if needed
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tspn olive oil
  • cooked white rice
  • green onions for garnish


  • Chop the onion and cut pork in small pieces. Heat olive oil in a large WIDE skillet and cook onions and pork for about 5 minutes until the meat is well browned.
  • To the same skillet add water, soy sauce, sugar and fish sauce, bring to a light boil and simmer for the next 30 minutes to 1 hour ( or until almost all the water will become a thick, brown caramel like sauce)
  • Stir it and serve your caramel pork over rice with some green onions for garnish


The nutrition information is calculated without rice


Calories: 343kcal | Carbohydrates: 10g | Protein: 43g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 136mg | Sodium: 408mg | Potassium: 810mg | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 46mg | Iron: 2.9mg

Nutrition information is provided as a courtesy and is an estimate only. This information comes from online calculators.

Tried this recipe?Follow me at @Myberrymaple and tag #berrymaple!

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Recipe Rating


Thursday 1st of April 2021

This is a great base recipe. I am making it for the 3rd time today. It takes about 45 minutes to an hour for me, but I have never had an issue with the pork not caramelizing. For reference, I cook it in a 12 inch stainless steel pan. After the first try, I did decide I wanted a bit more of a kick, so I added minced garlic, ground ginger, and sriracha sauce the 2nd time, as well as cooked some stir fry vegetables in the last 5 minutes of cooking. It was amazing. The base recipe is on point with technique and has a great umami quality. Thank you for a family favorite!

Tammy D.

Wednesday 31st of March 2021

Recipe is so easy and I have made it with with different cuts of pork. Comes out great everytime. If it looks like it is too watery I just adjust the burner setting. I use Worcestershire sauce as the Unami and I t taste great. Absolutely perfect instructions on how to make it work everytime.


Monday 22nd of March 2021

This was super easy and so DELICIOUS!!! My PICKY eaters LOVE it!!! I make it exactly how the directions say. I use this as a during the week meal now. Thank you v for the recipe!!!


Thursday 18th of February 2021

I didn't have any sauce form. Followed the recipe exact and no sauce. It all just evaporated and left me with the meat that looks.. yuck.


Tuesday 16th of February 2021

I used pork butt that I trimmed as much fat off as I could. I did that because of the cooking method. My pork butts usually go on the smoker for hours or in the slow cooker also for hours. I felt it would be tough and chewy cooking so quickly. I still had so much liquid from the rendered fat that I did not add any water.

In about 45 minutes it was done and it was close to tender but the taste was lacking. It was not what I expected at all. My wife liked it but said "Meh, wouldn't ask for it again".

But I then took what was left and added some extra flavor like Hosin Sauce and some Thai Chili and it was better but still not as good as some other recipes.

Lastly, more sauce for the rice would be good.