Tuesday, June 8, 2010

What's for dinner? Vietnamese Carmelized Pork with Rice Noodle Salad

Well, this recipe is for those of us who really like to cook. You really have to want to spend lots of time in the kitchen cutting and mixing and getting every board and bowl dirty. But it is so worth it.

Yummy, low fat, very little calories- plus you can eat it for lunch for the next few days.

It is adapted from the Cooking Light website.


3/4 cup water
4 1/2 tablespoons granulated sugar
3 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 1/2 tablespoons fish sauce
2 teaspoons minced peeled fresh ginger
3 garlic cloves, minced

1 (6-ounce) package rice vermicelli
1 pound pork tenderloin, trimmed
2 teaspoons fish sauce
1 teaspoon Sriracha (hot chile sauce, such as Huy Fong)
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons brown sugar
Cooking spray
2 cups thinly sliced red leaf lettuce
1 cup matchstick-cut peeled English cucumber
1 cup matchstick-cut carrot
1 cup bean sprouts
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
3 tablespoons chopped fresh mint

To prepare dressing, combine the first 8 ingredients in a small saucepan; cook over medium heat 5 minutes or just until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat; cool.

To prepare salad, place vermicelli in a large bowl. Cover with boiling water. Let stand 20 minutes or until tender. Drain and rinse under cold water; drain.

Prepare grill.

Cut tenderloin in half lengthwise. Cut each piece in half crosswise. Place each pork piece between 2 sheets of plastic wrap; pound to an even thickness using a meat mallet or small heavy skillet. Combine 2 teaspoons fish sauce and 1 teaspoon Sriracha; drizzle over pork. Sprinkle evenly with garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Pat brown sugar onto pork.

Place pork on a grill rack coated with cooking spray. Grill 12 minutes or until slightly pink in center, turning pieces occasionally to prevent burning. Place pork on a cutting board; let stand 5 minutes. Cut across grain into very thin slices.

Combine vermicelli, lettuce, and next 6 ingredients (through mint) in a large bowl. Pour dressing over salad; toss well. Top with pork and nuts. Serve with lime wedges, if desired.