I’m always up for trying different kinds of Asian foods. There’s something about the different flavors and textures and how everything comes together. . . and I wanted to make a dish using lemongrass!
I found this recipe on Food & Wine, one of my favorite go-to places for great recipes. I love that they show you all kinds of cuisine and recipes at all levels; easy, intermediate and hard. . . and of course, because they are Food & Wine, they suggest wine pairings that go well with your dish- fabulous!
If you like Vietnamese food, you must give this one a try. Pork loin is relatively inexpensive (compared to steak and fish) and is marinated in an aromatic and pungent marinade made up of lemongrass and fish sauce (two quintessential Vietnamese ingredients). This pork is truly delicious. I changed a few things up and omitted a few things as well. When serving, you don’t need a lot of the fish sauce dressing. . a little goes a very long way!
Lemongrass-Barbecued Pork with Brown Rice Vermicelli Noodles
- Active time: about 1 HR
- Total time: 2 hours including marinating
- Servings: 6
- 4 large garlic cloves, thickly sliced
- 3 large stalks of fresh lemongrass, tender inner white bulb only, sliced crosswise
- 2 large shallots, thickly sliced
- 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
- 3 tablespoons Asian fish sauce
- 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 1/2 pounds boneless pork loin, sliced 1/4 inch thick
- 1/2 pound rice vermicelli; I used brown rice noodles
- 4 medium garlic cloves, quartered
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 1/4 cup Asian fish sauce
- 1/2 cup finely chopped cilantro
- 1/2 cup finely chopped mint
- 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
- 1/3 cup water
- 2 large cucumbers—peeled, halved lengthwise, seeded and thinly sliced crosswise or julienned
- 3-4 scallions; chopped (for garnish)
- crushed peanuts (optional)
- In a food processor, finely chop the garlic, lemongrass and shallots. Add the sugar, fish sauce, lime juice, vegetable oil and soy sauce and process to a paste. In a large shallow dish, coat the pork with the marinade. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. If you can marinate this for a few hours, it will taste even better.
- In a mortar, using a pestle, pound the garlic cloves to a paste with the sugar. Stir in the fish sauce, cilantro, mint, lime juice and water.
- Cook the vermicelli according to the directions on the package. I boiled my noodles for about 6 minutes. Drain and rinse.
- Transfer the vermicelli to a large bowl, add the cilantro-and-mint dressing and toss well. Scatter the sliced cucumbers over the rice-vermicelli salad. OR if you don’t want to mix all of your vermicelli with the cilantro-and-mint dressing, you can plate the vermicelli and spoon on – only 1-2 tablespoons max of the dressing (depending on how much vermicelli you have; start out with less dressing and you can always add more if needed), and garnish with the cucumbers.
- Light a grill. Lift the pork slices from the marinade, leaving on some of the flavorings. Grill the pork over a hot fire until nicely charred, about 4-5 minutes per side. If your pork is sliced thinner, you may only need to cook for about 2-3 minutes per side. Just watch the pork and don’t under cook it.
- Slice up and top the rice vermicelli noodles with the pork and garnish with chopped scallions and peanuts (if desired).