MMMMM----- Recipe via Meal-Master (tm) v8.01
       Title: Caramel Sauce
  Categories: Vietnamese, Condiment, Ceideburg 2
       Yield: 1 servings
     1/3 c  Sugar
     1/4 c  Nuoc mam (Vietnamese fish
       4    Shallots, thinly sliced
            Freshly ground pepper
   Thought your reference to cooking sugar syrup to “caramelize” it was
   interesting.  It reminded me of a sauce that’s used in Vietnamese
   cuisine. It’s used in a variety of recipes and turns out to be the
   “secret” ingredient that gives barbecued Vietnamese stuff that unique
   taste when used as a marinade for strips of beef, chicken or pork.  I
   use it in Satay recipes.  The result is a subtle, delicious taste.
   It also gives a nice glazed finish to stuff.  Its use shouldn't be
   limited to Asian cuisine. In fact, I suspect that this is originally
   a French influence...
   “...the only rule to remember is to turn off the smoke alarm and open
   all the windows, as the sauce will smoke heavily, with a pungent
   smell.” [I didn't find this to be much of a problem.  S.C..] Cook the
   sugar in a small heavy saucepan over low heat, swirling the pan
   constantly, until brown. It will smoke slightly.  Immediately remove
   the pan from the heat and stir the fish sauce into the caramel, being
   careful to guard against splattering (the mixture will bubble
   Return the mixture to low heat and gently boil, swirling the pan
   occasionally, until the sugar is completely dissolved, about 3
   minutes. Add the shallots and ground pepper to taste; stir to
   combine. Use in recipes where required.  [Or, as I noted, as a
   marinade for BBQ stuff. S.C..]
   NOTE:  Cool this sauce thoroughly before using.  If cold food is
   added to a caramel sauce that is hot, the sugar will harden instantly
   and you'll end up with a dish full of candy chips.
   Yield: 1/3 cup.
   From “The Foods of Vietnam” by Nicole Rauthier.  Stewart, Tabori &
   Chang. 1989.
   You can multiply the recipe and keep it on hand for when needed.  It
   stores well.
   Posted by Stephen Ceideburg; December 20 1990.