Bún Thịt Nướng

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Pastas | Bun Cha Gio Thit Nuong

(Vietnamese rice noodles with bbq pork and vegetables)

Bun thit nuong is a simple meal from Vietnam consisting of cold rice vermicelli mixed with fresh vegetables and topped with hot barbecued pork. Served with nuoc cham sauce, it is a good summer dish — light, lowfat, healthy and cool.

Image Creative Commons by geordino

2 to 3 servings

Ingredients

  • Pork butt, partially frozen, then thinly sliced -- 1 pound
  • Shallots or scallions, minced -- 3
  • Garlic, minced -- 2 cloves
  • Thai or serrano chile peppers, minced -- 1 to 3
  • Sugar -- 2 teaspoons
  • Fish sauce -- 2 tablespoons
  • Lime, juice only -- 1
  • Salt and pepper -- to taste
  • Carrots, julienne or grated -- 3
  • Rice vermicelli -- 1 (8-ounce) package
  • Oil -- 2 tablespoons
  • Mung bean sprouts -- 2 cups
  • Greenleaf or romaine lettuce, shredded -- 1/2 head
  • Cucumber, peeled, seeded and thinly sliced -- 1/2
  • Cilantro -- 1/2 bunch
  • Mint -- 1/2 bunch
  • Roasted peanuts, roughly chopped -- 1/4 cup
  • Nuoc cham -- 1 cup

Method

  1. In a large bowl, mix together the pork, shallots or scallions, garlic, chile peppers, sugar, fish sauce, lime juice, salt and pepper. Set aside to marinate for 15-30 minutes.
  2. Bring a large saucepan of water to boil. Add the carrots and blanch for about 30 seconds. Remove the carrots with a slotted spoon to a bowl of cold water to stop the cooking.
  3. Place the rice vermicelli in a heat-proof bowl and pour the boiling water over them. Let them set for 5-8 minutes until softened through. Drain, rinse in cold water and set aside.
  4. Heat the oil in a sauté pan or wok over medium-high flame. Remove the pork from its marinade and sauté quickly until just cooked through, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat.
  5. Add equal amounts of the carrots, sprouts and lettuce to each 2 or 3 deep serving bowls. Place equal amounts of rice noodles on top of the vegetables. Then place a spoonful of pork on top of the noodles to cover them about 1/3 of the way. Place the sliced cucumber neatly over another 1/3 of the noodles. Finally, lay sprigs of cilantro and mint over the remaining 1/3 of the noodles.
  6. Sprinkle peanuts over each dish and serve with nuoc cham to pour over the noodles to taste.

Variations

  • Bun Cha Gio Thit Nuong: add a deep-fried imperial roll to the top of the dish with the bbq pork.
  • Bun Bo Nuong: substitute beef for the pork.
  • Bun Ga Nuong: substitute chicken for the pork
  • Bun Tom Nuong: substitute peeled whole shrimp for the pork.
  • A Japanese-style mandolin slicer works well to julienne the carrots. You can also shred them with a box grater, in which case blanching is unnecessary.
  • Thai basil is also good as an herb garnish for this dish.
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