Asian marinated pork steaks with rice noodle salad

Bill Granger turns a Vietnamese street food favourite into a healthy supper for home cooks
By Bill Granger
Asian marinated pork steaks with rice noodle salad
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Prep Time: 50 minutes plus 2½ hrs marinating
  • Effort: easy

Ingredients

For the pork chops

  • 1 tbsp caster sugar
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 tbsp lightly flavoured oil, such as groundnut oil
  • 4 pork loin chops

For the salad dressing

  • 1 long red chilli, chopped
  • 1 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 3 cm ginger, peeled and finely grated
  • 55 g caster sugar
  • 60 ml rice vinegar
  • 2 tbsp lime juice
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce

For the salad

  • 200 g rice vermicelli noodles
  • 1 tsp groundnut oil
  • 2 tbsp caster sugar
  • 2 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 large carrot, shredded
  • 1/4 small red cabbage, shredded
  • 1 large handfuls mint leaves
  • 1 small handfuls leaves of basil
  • 50 g cashew nuts, lightly toasted and chopped (optional)

Method

1. For the pork chops: combine the sugar, fish sauce, garlic and oil in a shallow dish. Add the pork chops and turn to coat both sides with the garlicky mixture. Leave to marinate for 2 hours.

2. For the salad dressing: put the chilli, garlic, ginger, sugar and vinegar in a small pan, set over a medium heat and stir until the sugar has dissolved. Simmer until the sauce has reduced by half about 5 minutes. Set aside while you make the salad and, once the dressing is cool, add the lime juice and fish sauce.

3. For the salad: put the noodles in a large heatproof bowl and pour over enough boiling water to cover. Leave to soak for 10 minutes, until the noodles have softened. Rinse under cold running water, drain well then toss with the oil.

4. Combine the sugar and rice vinegar in a bowl and stir in the shredded carrot. Leave to marinate for 20 minutes.

5. Drain the carrot and add to the noodles with the cabbage, mint and basil leaves, plus the toasted cashew nuts if using. Moisten with the dressing and toss everything together.

6. Heat a large, sturdy frying pan over a medium heat and cook the marinated pork for about 4-5 minutes on each side until the meat is tender and caramelised. Serve straight away with the noodle salad.

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