(don't you say "uber" too? Yeah, I thought so.) rice noodle salad with flame broiled pork. It's called Bun Thit Nuong (according to the Saigon Grill's take out menu), and it is the most amazing combination of textures and flavors. It's loaded with crunchy raw veggies, al dente warm rice noodle vermicelli, hot off the grill pork, and drizzled with an Asian sweet/sour/salty/spicy dressing. I could eat it every day for the rest of my life.
(and I'm pretty good with a knife), I had a lot of time to run through various scenarios of said situation in my head. Plus, it's a good thing to get me to slow down a bit and enjoy the process, not just the end result. Ahem. But I digress. Back to the recipe. Once you have finished prepping everything, it comes together toot-sweet.
Here we go:
Vietnamese Rice Noodle Salad with Pork
1 pkg Asian Rice Noodles - thin, vermicelli style
3 boneless pork chops, 1 inch thick, sliced ultra thin against the grain
2 teaspoons soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon powdered ginger
salt and pepper
1 teaspoon sugar
2 tablespoons canola oil
5 cups chopped romaine lettuce
4 carrots, sliced matchstick thin (I used one of those serrated veggie peelers)
2 cucumbers, peeled, sliced in thin 1/2 rounds
1 cup bean sprouts
2 green onions - chopped thin
1/4 cup white onion, sliced in thin 1/2 rounds (optional)
1/4 cup cilantro - chopped
1/2 cup salted cocktail style peanuts, chopped
6 tablespoons fresh lime juice or lemon juice
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons rice vinegar, or use cider vinegar is you don't have the rice one
6 tablespoons fish sauce (called Nouc Cham) (It's stinky, but tastes better than it smells)
1 clove garlic, minced
1 chili chopped, or 1/4 teaspoon chili flakes
6 tablespoons water
On a cutting board, toss the pork strips with the soy sauce, ginger, garlic powder, salt, pepper, and oil. Let sit and marinate while you chop the bazillion veggies.
Meanwhile, back at the ranch. I've always wanted to say that. Plus, just wanted to see if you were still with me. hehe Anyway, meanwhile, prepare the rice noodles according to package directions. NOTE: The noodles cook really quickly; take care not to over cook them. Drain and keep warm.
This is an interesting salad in that it is sweet, sour, salty, and spicy. It's also crunchy, soft, and chewy. Let's not forget that it has warm (noodles), hot (meat), and cold (veggies) taking place, too. Somehow, and I'm not quite sure why that is, it all works together beautifully. Plus, it's lovely to look at. It's great all year long, but I particularly like it in the spring and summer. It's a non-traditional salad (for us that is), and I love it.
What's your favorite non-traditional salad? Do share!