Hot Sour Salty Sweet Minted Pork Salad

By • June 28, 2012 • 7 Comments

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Author Notes: It has been over 100 degrees here for a week and the last thing I have wanted to do is turn on any variety of cooking device. I briefly considered a countertop rotisserie someone gave us- imagining it spinning outside- but decided I really craved something mostly raw and crunchy and settled on this salad. The part that cooks is pretty quick and most of it can be prepped ahead of time. I thought these veggies were a great combo but you could easily use any combination of things that look good (though I really did appreciate the variety of colors). I usually use our lime mint for this, but it appears to not be growing this year (if that is at all possible) so I used regular mint which was great. This works as an entree but could also be served in smaller portions with rice...if you can stand to cook it in this heat. savorthis

Food52 Review: Savorthis has a wonderful ‘hot weather’ salad with this one! While the salad is a bit labor intensive, it’s well worth it. The veggies make for a colorful presentation and offer a pleasing variety of tastes. The raw and crunchy texture is wonderful combined with the dressing; it makes one feel cooler in the hottest of weather. It’s a hit! -Doug WendlingFood52

Serves 2 entrees

Minted Dressing

  • 1/4 cup fish sauce
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/8 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili garlic sauce
  • juice of one lime (zest saved)
  • 1/2 cup mint, chopped

Salad

  • 2 small zucchinis, julienned
  • 1 cup carrots, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup radishes, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup sugar snap peas, julienned
  • 2 green onions, green parts sliced, rest saved for another use
  • 1/4 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon uncooked glutinous rice
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable/canola oil
  • 1 medium shallot, minced
  • 1 serrano (or jalapeno), minced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • zest from lime
  • 3/4 pound ground pork
  • 1 tablespoon black sesame seeds
  • 6-8 basil leaves
  • 1/4 cup cilantro
  1. Put zucchini in a strainer, toss liberally with salt and allow to drain in sink or over bowl. Soak onion in cold water. Allow to rest until wilted while you prep the rest of the dish.
  2. Mix all dressing ingredients together until sugar has dissolved. Can be made a day or so ahead of time.
  3. Toast rice in a dry skillet over medium heat, shaking often, until light brown. Put into spice grinder and allow to cool completely before grinding to a fine powder.
  4. Add oil to pan and brown shallots over medium heat.
  5. Rinse zucchini and red onion and pat dry. Toss with carrots, radishes, peas, green onions. Add about half of dressing and toss to coat. Allow to sit for at least 5-10 minutes while you cook the pork for any liquid to be extracted from the veggies.
  6. Add lime zest, garlic and chili (to taste) to shallots. (We shared this with a kid who does not eat spicy food and just added raw chiles to our own bowls, but you can add them here adjusting to your heat tolerance). Stir until fragrant and add pork. Cook until pork is no longer pink and some liquid has formed in pan. Add toasted rice powder and cook a bit longer until starting to brown. Remove from heat and set aside.
  7. Toss salad again and pour off excess liquid. Toss with sesame seeds and pork adding more dressing to taste. Garnish with basil and cilantro.
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about 2 years ago possiblymef

OMG. That was terrific. I got big raves from a group of discerning guests. The Fish Sauce was quite salty (it was some large factory brand) so I grilled the squash. I had to use Sriracha (used a bit extra crushed garlic to compensate). I used brined, slow cooked pork butt, that I reheated in slow cooked pork broth, instead of ground pork. Wow!! An excellent combination of flavors and textures. Nice recipe. thx.


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about 2 years ago savorthis

I'm so glad you liked it and were able to adapt to suit your needs. Thanks for the feedback!

Stringio

about 2 years ago dana_tomlin

maybe i salted the zuke too much or too long. Good suggestion, worth trying again. My family really liked it

Stringio

about 2 years ago dana_tomlin

maybe i salted the zuke too much or too long. Good suggestion, worth trying again. My family really liked it

Stringio

over 2 years ago dana_tomlin

i tested this recipe for the contest:
I was drawn to this recipe because of the lack of carbs, cooking, and red meat. It is HOT!!! and the veggies were perfect! It features plenty of fresh veggies with a flavorful sauce and a spiced pork. The recipe called for a technique that salted the zucchini – this made it soft and “cooked” it some. Awesome, because i really dont like raw zucchini. however, paired with the sauce, which called for quite a bit of fish sauce, it was too salty.The salt also caused the veggies to leach water, resulting in too much liquid in the “salad”. I did drain it like the recipe called for but it was still leaching water. I think with some tweaking this could be a really good recipe.

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over 2 years ago savorthis

Hi Dana. Thanks for your feedback! I'm sorry that it ended up too salty. Usually rinsing and patting the zucchini flavors it just enough for me- maybe a shorter soak/less salt? I drained the salad right before serving and did not see an issue with more leaching. I did not want to salt everything first because I wanted some crunch left. Maybe a shorter marinade and a final, last minute drain would help. Thanks again for the feeback.

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over 2 years ago savorthis

Hi Dana. Thanks for your feedback! I'm sorry that it ended up too salty. Usually rinsing and patting the zucchini flavors it just enough for me- maybe a shorter soak/less salt? I drained the salad right before serving and did not see an issue with more leaching. I did not want to salt everything first because I wanted some crunch left. Maybe a shorter marinade and a final, last minute drain would help. Thanks again for the feeback.