100 Favorite Dishes

100 Favorite Dishes, No. 52: Clay Pot Pork Belly at 45 Mint Vietnamese Bistro

Leading up to September's Best of Dallas® 2016 issue, we're sharing (in no particular order) our 100 Favorite Dishes, the Dallas entrées, appetizers and desserts that really stuck with us this year.

It’s rare to find a form of sizzling meat that Texans haven’t embraced. But through some shameful oversight, we are still not fully in tune with the beauty of a cut of pork or fish caramelized in a clay pot.

This technique comes to Dallas from Vietnam, and is often referred to as “hotpot.” In Vietnamese, it’s kho, which roughly translates to “stew” but also indicates the method of slowly braising the protein in a clay pot, with a touch of fish sauce and sugar. The result should be falling-apart tender and intensely savory, a meat-lover’s delight and great for dipping a slice of bread.

45 Mint Bistro in North Dallas offers clay pots with either chicken, pork belly or catfish, mixing in a generous grind of black pepper and a lot of green onion. The pots arrive lid still on, sauce still bubbling, and come with steamed rice and garlicky veggies on the side. Dig in to the fork-tender pork or fish and marvel at yet another glorious way of eating meat.
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Brian Reinhart has been the Dallas Observer's food critic since spring 2016. In addition, he writes baseball analysis for the Hardball Times and covers classical music for the Observer and MusicWeb International.
Contact: Brian Reinhart

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