Vermicelli noodle salads make a fantastic quick meal and are perfect in the hotter months. This one brings together tender, marinated pork and fresh veggies.
- 600 g (1 lb 5 oz) boneless pork shoulder, thinly sliced
- 200 g (7 oz) vermicelli bun (rice noodles)
- ½ butter (bibb) lettuce, shredded (optional)
- 2 Lebanese (short) cucumbers, julienned
- 2 tbsp fried shallots
- 1 bunch mint, leaves picked
- 1 bunch Vietnamese mint, leaves picked
- 100 g (3½ oz) roasted peanuts
Spring onion oil
- 3 spring onions, thinly sliced
- pinch salt
- 100 ml vegetable oil
- 2 shallots, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1 tbsp honey
- 3 tbsp fish sauce
- 3 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 tbsp caster (superfine) sugar
Nuoc mam dipping sauce
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 3 brid's eye chillies, finely chopped or sliced
- 150 ml fish sauce
- 100 ml white vinegar
- 140 g caster (superfine) sugar
Pickled carrot and daikon
- 150 ml (5 fl oz) white vinegar
- 100 g caster (superfine) sugar
- 1 kg carrots, cut into matchsticks
- 300 g daikon (white radish), cut into matchsticks
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
This recipe needs to be started 2 days in advance if making the pickled carrot and daikon component.
Marinating time: 4 hours
1. To make the pickle liquid, combine the vinegar and sugar in a bowl and add 100 ml water. Stir until the sugar has dissolved. Rinse the daikon and carrot under warm running water for 5 minutes, then drain thoroughly and pat dry with paper towel. Transfer to a large plastic container or non-reactive bowl. Pour the pickle liquid over the vegetables and set aside in the fridge for 2 days, after which time the pickles will be ready to use. Makes 1.3 kg. Leftover pickle will store in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
2. Combine the marinade ingredients in a large bowl and stir until the sugar and honey have dissolved. Add the pork and mix well. Set aside in the fridge to marinade for at least 4 hours or, preferably, overnight.
3. Make the dipping sauce by combining the ingredients and 200 ml water in a bowl and stiring through until the sugar has dissolved. Makes 600 ml, the remainder can be kept in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
4. To make the spring onion oil, place the spring onion and salt in a metal bowl. Heat the oil in a small saucepan to 150ºC (300ºF) on a kitchen thermometer, then pour the oil over the spring onion. Stir and set aside to infuse until you are ready to use. Use on the same day it's made.
5. Prepare a charcoal grill or preheat a barbecue grill to medium–high.
6. Cook the noodles according to the packet instructions, then drain and run under cold water until cool. Drain again and set aside.
7. When the charcoal grill is ready (the embers should be glowing red with a small flame on the charcoal), place the pork on the grill and cook, turning frequently, for 8–10 minutes until golden brown. Transfer to a plate.
8. Divide the noodles among four bowls and add the lettuce (if using), cucumber and pickles. Top with the pork and fried shallots and drizzle over the spring onion oil. Garnish with a handful of herbs and serve with the peanuts and nuoc mam on the side, to add as you wish.
Recipe from Street Food Vietnam by Jerry Mai, Smith Street Books, RRP $39.99