Vietnamese Grilled Pork and Rice Vermicelli Noodle Bowl 

You usually think about pho when going to a Vietnamese restaurant, but it’s time to graduate to bun! Bun is a type of noodles, made of rice like pho but thinner and springier. They are cooked, chilled and then used as a base for cold noodle bowls. My favorite protein to top these bowls with is this delicious sweet, smoky lemongrass pork. I love cooking this on a hot griddle to get a great sear.
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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 1 hr 10 min (includes marinating time)
  • Active: 20 min
  • Yield: 4 servings
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Ingredients

Nuoc Cham Dipping Sauce:

2 tablespoons (30 milliliters) lime juice

1/4 cup (60 milliliters) fish sauce

1/4 cup (60 milliliters) water

1 tablespoon (15 milliliters) rice vinegar

1/4 cup (50 grams) sugar

1 garlic clove, minced

1 Thai chili, finely chopped

Pork:

1 large or 2 medium shallots, sliced thin

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tablespoon (30 grams) minced lemongrass

2 tablespoons (30 grams) water

3 tablespoons (45 grams) granulated sugar

3 tablespoons (45 milliliters) fish sauce

Heavy pinch black pepper

1 pound (450 grams) pork butt, sliced paper-thin against the grain (see Cook's Note)

2 tablespoons (30 milliliters) vegetable oil

8 ounces (240 grams) Vietnamese thin rice sticks (bun)

Assembly:

1/2 cup (95 grams) shredded daikon radish

1/2 cup (95 grams) shredded carrot

3 tablespoons (45 grams) coarsely chopped roasted peanuts

3 scallions, thinly sliced

Directions

  1. For the dipping sauce: Combine all the sauce ingredients and stir to dissolve the sugar completely. Set aside.
  2. For the pork: Combine all of the marinade ingredients in a blender; puree about 20 seconds until smooth. Place the pork in a medium bowl, pour the marinade over the meat and massage the pork well. Marinate for at least 1 hour if time allows. Heat a grill pan, medium skillet or griddle to high and add the oil. When you see white wisps of smoke, saute the pork for about 5 minutes until cooked through.
  3. For the noodles: Soak the rice sticks in warm water for 20 minutes. Drain, then boil the soaked rice sticks in 3 quarts (2.8 liters) of water in a 4-quart (3.8-liter) pot for about 12 minutes until al dente. Rinse them well under cold water in a fine mesh strainer and reserve.
  4. Assembly: Divide the noodles into 4 separate bowls. Place the pork on top of the noodles. Sprinkle the pork with radish, carrot, roasted peanuts and scallions. Pour Nuoc Cham Sauce over the noodles and mix them well like a salad. 

Cook’s Note

For easier slicing, place the pork butt in the freezer for 20 minutes before slicing.

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