Bun Thit Nuong (Vietnamese Grilled Pork with Vermicelli)

Ingredients:
 
  • 1.5 lb pork butt or shoulder , sliced 3 mm (~1/4 in) You can ask your butcher to do this or by chilling the meat until just beginning to freeze and with a sharp knife this is quite easy to do.
  • 1/4 cup minced Lemongrass (xa bam). 
  • 1 14oz. package of vermicelli
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 Tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 Tbsp ground pepper
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced. (use more according to taste)
  • 2-3 shallots, minced.
  • Mint (rau thom), Perilla (tia to), beansprouts (gia)
  • Cucumber, diced matchstick size
  • Lettuce, thinly chopped
  • Pickled carrots and daikons
  • Roasted peanuts, coarsely crushed
  • Scallion oil ( 2 tbs chop scallions and to that, add about 2 tbs of hot olive oil and pinch of sugar and salt)
  • Dipping fish sauce (nuoc mam cham)
  • 3 Tbsp sesame oil
  • 2 Tbsp thick soy sauce (not regular soy sauce--has molasses, making it thicker and adding great color. If not available, can use caramel sauce. Both can be found at Asian groceries)
  • 3 Tbsp roasted sesame seed

Method:
 
  1. Place vermicelli in boiling water for about 6-8 min, stirring regularly so it won't stick to the bottom of the pot. To check for doneness, take a strand and taste. Should be still slightly firm but easily breaks apart. Drain and flush with cold water to stop cooking process.
  2. Cut any large pieces of thinly sliced pork into roughly 5 to 8 cm (2-3 inch) strips. This is most effectively cooked on a fired bbq.
  3. For the marinade, combine in large mixing bowl the lemongrass, shallots, garlic, sugar, fish sauce, pepper, dark soy sauce, sesame oil. Add pork and mix well and marinade for at least 1-2 hrs.
  4. Spread out the meat loosely on a bbq mesh and grill until nicely golden brown and slightly charred. You don't want this to dry out so covering the meat as it cooks will slow this. 
  5.  
  6. In large serving bowls, combine vermicelli with grilled pork (thit nuong) lots fresh herbs, cucumbers, beansprouts, pickled carrots and daikon, crushed roasted peanuts, scallion oil and dress with nuoc mam cham (dipping fish sauce).

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