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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
4.67 from 248 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 minutes
Cook Time35 minutes
Total Time40 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Asian
Keyword: caramelized pork, sticky pork
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 343kcal
Author: Tatiana


  • 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!

Recipe Rating


Friday 12th of April 2024

Recipe is great, recipe states it needs over an hour. You just need heat and patience. Stir in the love. Everyone I cook this for loves it. Thanks


Tuesday 30th of January 2024

Very tasty. My husband wanted more sauce 😃. Next time I’ll cook the pork in two batches as it steamed instead of browning.

Layne Missigman

Monday 20th of November 2023

I almost didn’t make this once I read the reviews and was glad I went with my gut and made it. Mine turned out perfectly and was a family favorite! Unsure what happened to those who said theirs didn’t carmelize…it was like candy…delicious.


Monday 4th of September 2023

I added garlic and ginger. It needed a little more flavor for me.


Thursday 10th of August 2023

I doubled recipe & used a pork butt roast. I only added 1 cup water as suggested & simmered for about 90 minutes. I had to use a TBSP of flour to thicken gravy. It tasted very good & I would make again. But next time not double brown sugar as it was to sweet, & use a slightly different cut of meat that’s not so fatty. I also added a Japanese barbecue sauce from Costco to give it more flavor! I’d load a picture but no where here for me to do it.


Thursday 12th of October 2023

@DK, did you cook covered or uncovered?