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Feb 24, 2007 04:42 PM

Vietnamese caramel sauce vs. Korean caramel sauce

I am going to make the yummy sounding Vietnamese clay pot chicken but have a jar not of Vietnamese caramel sauce, but of Korean caramel sauce. That is, the label is in English and Korean, no Vietnamese. I tasted the stuff (after getting the jar open, the feat of Hercules) and expected it to be sort of sweet, however it is dark brown/black and tastes more like molasses with a slight burnt edge. The ingredient label says "sugar". Only. So are V caramel sauce and K caramel sauce the same, or not?


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  1. Vietnamese claypot is made with caramel, but I've always just made the caramel from scratch. Caramelize sugar, carefully add water, and let cool. Mix a bit of the caramel with Vietnamese fish sauce, black pepper, and scallions, and that's basically it.

    What ingredients are listed on your Korean caramel sauce?

    2 Replies
    1. re: david kaplan

      As I said in the OP, the ingredient label lists sugar. Only.

      1. re: Louise

        Oops, sorry. In that case, my guess is that you'd be fine with the caramel you have and the other ingredients for claypot. When I make it, the recipe I use includes the sugar caramelization, and those instructions result in a thin caramel from the addition of the water. Whatever amount of caramel your recipe says, you might want to put in less (at least at first) if the Korean sauce is at all thick, which I'm guessing it is from the color you described.

    2. I think you would be fine with it. I grew up eating Viet claypot chicken and the caramel my mom made (and that I now make) is indeed a bit like molasses but less viscous with a burnt edge to it. It's pure sugar and water. My guess is the K sauce and V sauce are one and the same. They might vary in intensity if the K one lacks the addition of water. You can solve that by adding more water to your recipe. It will be sort of trial and error on your part to use just the right amount to achieve the flavor you're looking for.