Monday, April 8, 2013

Recipe: Vietnamese Grilled Pork and Vermicelli - Bun Thit Nuong

3 lbs of pork butt or pork shoulder, sliced into 1/4 inch thick and 3 inches long
4 - 5 stalks of lemongrass, minced
3 shallots, minced
5 cloves of garlic, minced (adjust to taste)
2 tbsp of honey (my mom swears by honey in marinade)
3 tbsp of fish sauce (I prefer Megachef, the blue bottle)
4 tbsp of sugar
2 tbsp of sesame oil
1 tsp of pepper (I prefer white pepper)
1 tbsp of caramel sauce (nuoc mau)

1 package of vermicelli noodles.  I like to use the following brand:

Tia to (red perilla leaves)
Hung lui (mint leaves)
Bean sprouts

Cucumbers, diced into matchsticks
Pickled carrots
Pickled daikon
Roasted peanuts
Scallion oil
Fried shallots
Nuoc cham (dipping fish sauce)

1. Combine lemongrass, shallots, garlic, honey, fish sauce, sugar, sesame oil, pepper, and caramel sauce.  Marinate the pork over night (at the least 2 hours)

2. Traditionally, pork is grilled using a grill basket, which can be purchased at Chinese and Vietnamese markets.  However, if you don't have one, you can: grill indoors on a cast iron grill, place the pork under the oven broiler until cooked/charred, or cook the pork in a pan.  These indoor methods just won't yield the same smokey charred taste as the traditional outdoor grill method.

3.  Cook the vermicelli noodles according to the directions on the packaging.  Drain the noodles and let them dry completely!  It should be dry and on the sticky side.

4. In a bowl, place sliced up lettuce leaves, herbs, and bean sprouts.

5.  Put the vermicelli noodles on top of the vegetables.  Top the noodles with the pork.  Garnish with the pickled carrots, daikon, and cucumbers.  Drizzle the scallion oil over the garnish.  Garnish the scallion oil with the fried shallots (this dish is all about layers).  Finally, drizzle nuoc cham over the entire bowl to your desire.

Bon appetit!

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