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[Paleo] Vietnamese Bun Thit Nuong


Vian

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This is a recipe I made tonight. It's modified from a recipe here: http://www.theravenouscouple.com/2009/05/bun-thit-nuong-vietnamese-grilled-pork-with-vermicelli.html

 

Equipment:

  • Grill basket
  • Outdoor grill (this can technically be made under a broiler, but it's just sooooo much better over a super hot grill.

 

Marinade:

 

  • 1.5 lbs. boneless pork "ribs". These are actually shoulder meat that is cut into something that looks like a steak...sort of. It was really cheap ($1.99 a pound) and turned out really good. Chicken or other cuts of pork would also work well.
  • 2-3 stalks lemongrass
  • 2 tbs. honey
  • 2 tbs. red boat fish sauce
  • 1 tsp. cracked black pepper
  • 2-3 cloves garlic
  • 1 shallot or the white and light green parts of 4-5 scallions
  • 1 tbs. molasses
  • 1 tbs. coconut aminos
  • 1 tbs. lime juice

Freeze the pork for 4-5 hours until it is partially frozen, but not an ice cube. Use a sharp knife to cut it into thin (about 1/4") thick strips against the grain. Cut the lemongrass stalks into 2" lengths and whack with the back of a knife to bruise it. Dice the garlic and shallot or scallions. Mix everything for the marinade in a zipper bag and add the pork. Mix it around to coat all the pork and place in a bowl in the fridge for a few hours, up to overnight.

 

Salad:

  • Your choice of finely chopped or shredded lettuce (iceberg and romaine are good choices)
  • Shredded carrot
  • Julienned cucumber
  • mung bean sprouts
  • Diced scallion tops
  • Thai basil (optional)
  • Cilantro (optional)
  • mint (optional)
  • toasted sesame seeds

Nuoc Mam Cham (dressing)

  • 1/2 c. water
  • 2 tbs. honey
  • 1/2 - 1 red chile of your choice - finely chopped (get the tiny hot ones if you like spicy, get the larger fresno chiles if you want things milder)
  • 1-3 cloves garlic - grated
  • 2 tbs. red boat fish sauce
  • 1-2 tbs. lime juice (add slowly and taste as you go)

 

Pre-heat your grill to really hot (or light the charcoal and let it get going for a while). In the mean time, chop your veggies and herbs and mix the dressing ingredients together in a bowl. Arrange the pork in the grill basket in an even layer. It's ok for the strips to be folder or wrinkled, or even laying ontop of each other, just make sure the layer is even. Place on the grill and leave until the edges of the pork are getting blackened, then flip and do the same on the other side. 

 

To serve: Arrange the veggies in a large bowl with lettuce in one half of the bowl, then the bean sprouts in one quarter, and the cucumber in the remaining quarter (then I sprinkle the carrots and herbs ontop of everything) Top the salad with the hot pork and sprinkle with green scallion tops and toasted sesame seeds if desired. Place the dressing in a small bowl on the side. 

 

This is probably my favorite salad and I'm so glad I found a decent recipe that I can make at home. I usually skip putting the dressing on the side and just dump it over the salad before devouring it.

"When I can no more stir my soul to move, and life is but the ashes of a fire; When I can but remember that my heart once used to live and love, long and aspire - O be thou then the first, the one thou art; Be thou the calling before all answering love, and in me wake hope, fear, boundless desire." - George MacDonald

 

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