In a medium saucepan set over medium-high heat, cook the sugar with about 2 Tbsp water, swirling the pan often, until it turns the colour of maple syrup.
Remove from heat and stir in the fish sauce. If it solidifies, keep stirring until it melts again.
Preheat the oven to 300°F.
Drizzle some oil into a large Dutch oven set over medium-high heat, season the pork with salt and pepper and brown the meat on all sides.Transfer to a plate and add the shallots, garlic and chilies to the pot; cook for a minute or two.
Return the pork to the pot, add the caramel and enough coconut water to go about halfway up the side of the meat.
Cover and cook for 2 1/2-3 hours, or until very tender.
Remove the lid, turn the heat up to 400˚F and cook for another 20 minutes, or until the exposed tops of the pieces turn golden.
Serve with steamed rice.