How to Make: Nuoc Mau (Caramel Sauce)

What you need:
4 tablespoons sugar (enough for my thit kho recipe)
1/2 cup of warm water
silicone spatula (I like that it’s non stick, but you can use anything, really. Just don’t scratch up your pan.)

What to do:
Add sugar to the pan on 50% heat. 50% is low enough to control the process, but we will jump to the caramel stage of sugar quickly, so don’t take your eyes off the pan.


Constantly stir the sugar so it heats evenly. It will begin to clump.


Not dark enough yet! It will start to take the color of caramel, but we want it a bit darker. For Thit Heo Kho (Vietnamese Braised Pork with Egg), we are adding this to a pot of about 1-2 quarts of water so the color will be diluted. If you are unfortunate to have an electric stove like me, you can lift the pan off the heat to slow down the cooking process a bit and continue to stir until it reaches the desired darkness. Otherwise, just turn your flame down towards the end.


When it gets darker than caramel and just starts to smoke, you are done. Add the warm water to the sugar to halt the cooking process and stir until the sugar dissolves.

caramel coloring in a pan

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