"This is one of my favourite hot weather meals. So lively on the palate with wonderful zingy herbs, crunchy pickles and sweet, salty, garlicky meatballs - it’s an absolute crowd-pleaser! Apart from the prepping of the pickles it's also a very quick, easy meal to put together." Poh Ling Yeow, Poh & Co.
- 1 bunch coriander
- 1 bunch mint
- 1 bunch Thai basil
- 800-900 g rice vermicelli, soaked in cold water for 20 minutes
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 350 g cabbage, washed and sliced 1.5 cm strips
- 2 medium carrots, peeled, halved lengthways and sliced 2–3 mm on a diagonal
- ½ continental cucumber, quartered lengthways, seeds sliced off and discarded, sliced 2–3 mm on a diagonal
- 5 radishes, sliced thinly
- 1 long red chilli (optional), sliced
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 cup white vinegar
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 kg fatty pork mince
- ½ head of garlic, peeled and finely chopped
- 1 tbsp fish sauce
- 2½ tsp salt
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 7 tbsp (130 g) caster sugar
- 2 tbsp honey
- ¼ cup self raising flour
- vegetable oil for greasing
Nuoc mam dressing
- 200 ml lime or lemon juice
- 1-2 tbsp fish sauce, or to taste
- 3 tbsp caster sugar
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1 small red chilli, bashed or chopped (depends how hot you like it!)
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.
Chilling time 3 hours or overnight if time permits
The pickle recipe makes about 2 cups.
Combine the vinegar and sugar in small saucepan and cook on medium heat, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and cool completely. Combine all vegetables in a colander, sprinkle with salt and toss well. Allow vegetables to wilt in fridge for 1-2 hours. Transfer colander of vegetables to sink and using the palm of your hand gently push on the mound of vegetable to remove any excess moisture. Stuff the vegies in a clean glass jar and fill with the vinegar solution. Refrigerate for a minimum of 3 hours before using. This keeps well for up to 3 weeks.
To make pork balls, combine all the pork ball ingredients in a medium mixing bowl and mix thoroughly using disposable gloves. Cover with cling wrap and refrigerate overnight or at minimum 2 hours. Using the vegetable oil to grease your gloved hands, roll the mixture into balls slightly smaller than a golf ball, flattening them slightly as you place them on a baking tray lined with foil, then baking paper. Grill in the oven or on a barbeque until the balls are golden and slightly charred. Cover with foil to keep warm.
To prepare the noodles, blanch the noodles in boiling water very briefly for about 30 seconds or until tender but al dente. Immediately drain in a colander and rinse with cold water, then toss through with oil.
To make the nuoc mam dressing, combine all the ingredients in a clean glass jar and shake until the sugar is mostly dissolved.
To serve, divide all the ingredients into 4-6 portions with the herbs at the center of the table for guests to pick herbs themselves. Mix each serve well, before eating.