Tuesday 13 December 2011

Bun Thit Nuong (Vietnamese Grilled Pork with Vermicelli)

This is my all-time favorite Vietnamese dish. I scour every city I am in to find an equivalent that matches the dish I love. I decided I was going to give it a go and try it myself. I took a recipe I read an adapted it to what I wanted in my dish. It’s a pretty time consuming dish so make sure you have some time to devote to it. The results are well worth it. This serves 2.

250-300g (½ lb.) pork shoulder or rump. (The cheap frying steaks)
4 spring onions
2 cloves of garlic
2 chillies
1 lime
3 carrots
1 tbsp. jarred lemon grass
2 tbsp. sugar
2 tbsp. fish sauce
Iceberg lettuce finely shredded
1 cucumber
Coriander (handful)
Mint (handful)
Crushed peanuts
Oil for frying
Salt and pepper to taste
Fish Sauce for serving (recipe follows)

To start:
Put your pork in the freezer for 30 minutes for easy thin slicing.
Finely slice carrot into strips or grate, shred lettuce, chop up coriander, mint and finely slice cucumber into strips. (Set aside).
Dice spring onions, garlic, chilli peppers.

When the pork is firm to the touch in the freezer, slice it as thinly as you can and place in a large bowl.
To the bowl add spring onions, garlic, chili peppers, lemon grass, sugar fish sauce lime juice marinate for 30 minutes in the fridge.

To Continue:

While that is marinating, bring a large pot of water to boil.
Blanch the carrots in the water and take out and place in ice water, being careful to save the water (Blanch means to lightly cook for a short period of time). In and out.
Put the vermicelli noodles into a large bowl and pour the boiling liquid over and sit for about 10 minutes until plumped.

To cook:

Heat a pan with the oil until the oil is smoking. (I prefer using a cast iron skillet for this)
Take the marinated meat and flash fry in the pan for about 5-8 minutes until the color is a charred type rustic grilled color. (There might be a lot of water you have to burn off before this)

To Serve:

Place the noodles on a plate or large bowl and layer with the coriander, mint, bean sprouts, blanched carrots, and peanuts.
Dress with the fish sauce (recipe below).

Fish Sauce:
I make this in a plastic seal tight container so that I can keep the extra. I kept this recipe exactly as I read it online as I really love the sauce and wanted it to be authentic.


¼ c. water
¼ c. fish sauce
3 tbsp. lime juice
2 tbsp. unseasoned rice vinegar
2 tbsp. sugar
1 garlic clove crushed
1 chili pepper sliced in rounds
1 carrot shredded or finely sliced

To Make:
Mix together all of the ingredients and mix until the sugar is dissolved.
You can adjust sugar and lime juice as needed to even out the flavor.
Make before you make your meal so the flavors can melt together.

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