Holiday dining at home: Chicago chef Kaze Chan’s recipe for Vietnamese pork

“This recipe has been in my family for generations. I first remember my grandmother making this at her restaurant back in the 1950s in Saigon,” says Sushi-san’s chef Kaze.

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Master sushi hef Kaze Chan is photographed at his restaurant, Sushi-san, in River North.

Master sushi hef Kaze Chan is photographed at his restaurant, Sushi-san, in River North.

Anthony Vazquez/Sun-Times

We asked Chicago chefs to share their favorite holiday recipes, dishes that reflect their cultural traditions, and to tell us why the recipes mean so much to them. Here is one recipe to make at home during the holiday season or any time of year.

Master Sushi Chef Kaze Chan

The Omakase Room at Sushi-san, 63 W. Grand Ave.

Dish: Vietnamese Pork (Berkshire pork with fresno chili, green onion and cilantro caramelized over binchotan charcoal)

“This recipe has been in my family for generations. I first remember my grandmother making this at her restaurant back in the 1950s in Saigon. This dish has its origin with my family’s restaurant, but it has continued to be a Chan family staple, with my mother and aunt cooking it for me regularly throughout their lives. Today, this 70-year-old recipe lives on at Sushi-san. The high quality elements of the recipe remain the same, but we have elevated the dish by sourcing pasture-raised Berkshire Pork, a heritage breed of pig that is common in Japan.” — Master sushi chef Kaze Chan

Chef Kaze’s Vietnamese Pork and Marinade

Vietnamese Berkshire Pork with fresno chili, green onion and cilantro is caramelized over binchotan charcoal and plated at Sushi-san.

Vietnamese Berkshire Pork with fresno chili, green onion and cilantro is caramelized over binchotan charcoal and plated at Sushi-san.

Anthony Vazquez/Sun-Times

Serves: 2

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup fish sauce
  • 3 tbsp minced lemongrass
  • 3 tbsp minced garlic
  • 3 tbsp minced shallot
  • 4 minced Thai chilis
  • 1 tsp of fresh cracked black pepper
  • ½ lb pork shoulder, cubed
  • grill-safe skewers

DIRECTIONS:

1. Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl ensuring all ingredients are well incorporated.

2. Add the cubed pork shoulder and the marinade into a Ziploc bag. Seal and refrigerate for 1-3 hours.

3. Preheat the grill to medium-high for 3 minutes, and soak skewers in a shallow pan filled with water for 10 minutes to prevent scorching. Once soaked, thread the marinated pork onto the skewers.

4. Place marinated pork on the grill and cook evenly on both sides until thoroughly cooked and caramelized, approximately 2 minutes per side.

5. Transfer to a plate and serve immediately

A casual vibe beckons diners to Sushi-san restaurant, which also features an an intimate, 10-seat Omakase Room with an 18-course tasting menu.

A casual vibe beckons diners to Sushi-san restaurant, which also features an an intimate, 10-seat Omakase Room with an 18-course tasting menu.

Anthony Vazquez/Sun-Times

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