I think if i went to Vietnam it would be hard to bring me back. The country looks so beautiful, the people are always nice, and the food is one of the most beautiful i've had. And yet, i rarely go to Vietnamese restaurants! In fact, i think i've only been to three or so Vietnamese restaurants in my life. And yet when i cook Vietnamese food, my family obsesses over it.
This dish is very similar to a beef salad i've done in past, with tweaks to the sauce and obviously the meat. I'm definitely in a pork neck craze at the moment; i can't believe i haven't used this cut of meat before! So tender and succulent yet full of pork flavour. It seems to work well for both a quick sear and a long stewing too.
Ingredients (Serves 4 as main)
- 500g pork neck
- 200gm rice vermicelli noodles
- 6 scallions, white part only
- 1 tbsp honey
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 4 tbsp fish sauce
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 1 large handful mint
- 1 large handful Vietnamese mint
- 1 large handful coriander
- 6 tbsp crushed peanuts
- 3 tbsp fried shallots
- 1 small cucumber
- 4 small handfuls bean sprouts
- 2 cloves minced garlic
- 1 finely chopped chilli
- 3 tbsp white vinegar
- 3 tbsp fish sauce
- 2 tbsp white sugar
- 2 tbsp lime juice
The day before, finely slice the pork neck into 3-4mm slices.
Thread the pork onto bamboo skewers.
To make the marinade, combine the sugar, honey, fish sauce and pepper together and stir until the sugar has dissolved.
Finely chop the scallions and garlic and add these to the fish sauce mixture.
Pour over the pork mixture and rub in.
Cover and marinade overnight.
The next day, seed the cucumber and chop into thin batons. Set aside.
Tear the herbs and toss together. Set aside.
Cook the rice noodles by placing in a bowl and pouring over boiling water. Leave for 3-4 minutes then drain and rinse under cold water.
Divide the noodles amongst serving bowls and top with bean sprouts, cucumber and herb mixture.
Pour 3 tbsp of the sauce over each bowl.
Bring a grill to high heat and cook the pork for 8 minutes or until charred and cooked.
Remove from the skewers and top the dishes with the pork.
Garnish with the toasted peanuts and fried shallots.
In a small saucepan, combine the sugar, water, vinegar and fish sauce.
Bring to a low heat and stir until sugar has dissolved.
Wait for the mixture to cool then stir through the garlic, chilli and lime juice.