This salad is a variation of my favorite Vietnamese fast food, "Bun Cha". As a surgical resident in Grand Rapids, Michigan, I discovered a small Vietnamese restaurant. My wife and I immediately fell in love with the southeast asian flavor profiles. We have spent many meals in this restaurant with Chef and his wife Lilly sitting at our table. That was 22 years ago and today our pantry is stuffed with southeast asian staples. All of the ingredients in this recipe can be easily found in your local Asian Market. —bill
pork and marinade
pork tenderloin, sliced into bite sized 1/4 inch slices
lemongrass, white parts only, sliced thin
light brown sugar
Chili Garlic Sauce
small red onion,sliced
chopped thai basil
lemon,juice and zest
fresh ground pepper
For the Salad and garnish
rice stick (thin rice noodles)
sliced green onion
cilantro, roughly chopped
jalapeno pepper, thinly sliced
rice wine vinegar
toasted sesame seeds
salt and pepper to taste
Garnish:spring roll fish sauce, chili garlic sauce and Sriracha sauce
Combine marinade ingredients with pork in large resealable bag, mix, place in bowl and refrigerate at least one hour.
Add rice stick to large pot of salted, boiling water for 5-7 minutes. Strain and place in large bowl. Add rice wine vinegar, sesame oil and sesame seeds. Reserve.
Preheat grill to medium high. Brush grate and wipe on vegetable oil. Remove pork from marinade and pat dry. Grill pork so that outside chars and inside remains moist, about 1-3 minutes per side, depending on grill. Remove to warm plate, loosely cover with foil and reserve.
Assemble: divide noodles into 4 large bowls. Add bean sprouts, green onions, cilantro, basil, jalapeno slices and lime quarters equally. Gently toss adding additional rice wine vinegar as necessary. Salt and pepper to taste. Add equal portions of pork slices to each salad. Have bowls of fish sauce, chili garlic sauce and sriracha sauce for garnish.