Vietnamese noodle salad with caramelized lemongrass pork

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Lately we have been completely obsessed with Vietnamese food. If it were up to us, we’d be on a flight tomorrow to Vietnam to eat all the springrolls and pho we could possibly get our hands on. For the time being we will however have to make do with what we are able to make in our own kitchen. Luckily, this isn’t all too bad.. We made an incredibly fresh noodle salad with lots of lime and fish sauce and topped it with sweet, smoky grilled pork that we marinated in lemongrass and chili.

For the best result, we advise you to marinate the meat for about an hour or two. We marinated two pork chops (but chicken, beef or lamb would be good too) in a mixture of lemongrass paste, chili paste, sesame oil, fish sauce, lime juice, garlic and ginger.
For the noodle salad, heat up a couple of tablespoons of fish sauce with equal parts lime juice and water. Melt in about a tablespoon of sugar and don’t forget to add in some minced garlic, fresh chili and ginger. A great addition you will not regret is if you add some chopped mint. You want quite a bit of this sauce in which to properly soak your noodles and veggies (we used chopped red cabbage, thinly sliced bell pepper and bean sprouts). If you are marinating the pork anyway, you might as well soak all the veggies and noodles in the sauce in the mean time. This slightly pickles the vegetables and infuses the noodles with lots of flavor. If you don’t have time for this, don’t worry – it’ll still be delicious!

Once your meat (and noodles) have marinated, fire up your grill (pan) and grill the sliced pork until it starts to show some charring. In the last minute, sprinkle about a tablespoon of sugar over the pieces of meat in order to caramelize them. To assemble the salad, give the noodles a good toss and top with the pieces of pork; then garnish with spring onion, fresh chili and mint.

We’re telling you.. the fresh Vietnamese noodle salad and the caramelized lemongrass pork is a match made in heaven.


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