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I had a roommate many years ago that was from a Caribbean island, but I don't remember which one. His general technique for cooking almost anything was to start with a hot saute pan, add oil, a good amount of sugar, and a homemade hot sauce that had lots of mustard as well as chili heat in it. Almost similar to the Vietnamese caramel chicken. Can anyone identify which island(s) this technique might be from? Is there a name for it? Niceties to the technique?

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

Sounds like the technique for Pelau, from Trinidad, only with hot sauce added. I don't think it has a name other than "pan fry/sear in caramelized sugar"

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That sounds similar! – Michael at Herbivoracious Sep 10 '10 at 14:18

According to Food Culture in the Caribbean, the technique has no name and is common in several islands. The author attributes the technique as an adaptation from Chinese or Indian cooking. Tracking down the origins of things in the Caribbean is hard, as it gets traffic from many seafaring nations and is such a melting pot.

Stews are the most common dishes employing the technique.

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Makes a ton of sense. It does remind me of the Vietnamese caramel cooking technique. – Michael at Herbivoracious Sep 12 '10 at 19:47

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