Vietnamese salad is always refreshing and appetising. Nuoc cham sauce is so simple to make but so delicious to accompany any Vietnamese dishes.
Lemongrass flavoured pork noodle salad is popular in all Vietnamese Cafes or restaurants in Hong Kong. I love it. It's called 'Huon mau gee pa dung mung 香茅豬扒凍檬' in Cantonese. No sure whether this is authentic Vietnamese or what it is called in Vietnamese.
The recipe is simple, consists of some char grilled/oven grilled pork marinated with lemongrass, some salad vegetables, herbs and rice vermicelli all dressed with nuoc cham sauce.
Ingredients: (for 2)
Pork and marinade:
about 400g pork chop (2 pieces)
2 tbsp finely chopped shallot (about 1 walnut size shallot)
2 tbsp finely chopped lemongrass (about 1 - 1.5 stick of lemongrass)
1 fat clove garlic, chopped
1 - 2 tsp finely chopped red chilli
2.5 tbsp fish sauce
1 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp oil
Salad and garnish:
few lettuce leaves
some raw beansprouts
some shredded cucumber
some roasted peanuts
some chopped coriander and mint
a few sprig of mint or coriander for garnish only
170 - 180g rice vermicelli (glass noodles is great too)
Nuoc cham sauce:
1 - 1.5 tbsp minced red chilli, for a fiery heat add a few bird's eyes
1 clove garlic, chopped or minced
50 - 60ml lime juice
1 tbsp white vinegar
3 tbsp fish sauce
1 heap tsp sugar (more if you like a sweeeter taste sauce)
60 - 70ml hot water
- Put pork in a plastic bag and bash with a rolling pin to loosen the meat fibres to tenderise pork and to absorb more marinade.
- Finely chop all the spices/herbs for the pork marinade. For the lemongrass use only the last few inches tender part and remove the first/two wooden layers, cut lemongrass into paper thin rings then finely chopped. Mix this with the rest of the ingredients and marinate the pork for at least 1 - 3 hours.
- Soak rice /glass noodles in warm water till softened, then drained.
- Make the nouc cham sauce. Put in a serving bowl.
- Char grill or oven grill the pork till golden brown. The left ovcr marinade I did not throw away but brown with some oil till caramelised, quite nice with the noodles.
- Prepare the salad and garnish
- Blanch the noodles in boiling water till soft. Rinse with cold water then drain thoroughly.
- Put noodles on the serving plate, garnish with salad and peanuts. Slice pork and put on noodles.
- Ready to serve. Drizzle nuoc cham sauce all over.