Cold Asian Noodles With Pork
- 2 medium carrots, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced crosswise
- 3 Kirby cucumbers, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced crosswise
- 1/2 jalapeno pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
- 1/3 cup rice vinegar (not seasoned)
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
- 4 ounces rice vermicelli noodles
- 1 1/2 pounds boneless center-cut pork chops, trimmed of excess fat
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 tablespoon hoisin sauce, plus more for brushing
- 2 cups thinly sliced romaine lettuce
- 1 1/2 cups fresh cilantro, basil and/or mint
Make the pickled vegetables: Put the carrots, cucumbers and jalapeno in a bowl. Heat the rice vinegar and fish sauce in a saucepan, then pour over the vegetables. Add a pinch each of salt and pepper and set aside, stirring occasionally, while you prepare the noodles and pork.
Bring a small pot of water to a boil; remove from the heat, add the noodles and let stand 8 minutes. Drain the noodles and rinse under cold water, then snip into smaller pieces with kitchen shears.
Meanwhile, season the pork lightly with salt and pepper. Heat 1 tablespoon vegetable oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add the pork and cook until just cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Brush each chop with hoisin sauce; turn and cook 30 seconds. Brush with more hoisin sauce, turn and cook 30 more seconds. Remove to a cutting board and let rest 5 minutes, then thinly slice.
Divide the noodles among bowls. Strain the pickled vegetables, reserving the liquid. Stir 1 tablespoon hoisin sauce and the remaining 2 tablespoons vegetable oil into the reserved liquid; drizzle over the noodles. Top with the pork, pickled vegetables, lettuce and herbs.
Photograph by Antonis Achilleos