Char-grilled pork neck with vermicelli noodles

Luke Nguyens pork dish, Bun Thit Nuon, makes a wonderful addition to a weekend barbecue
By Luke Nguyen
Char-grilled pork neck with vermicelli noodles
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4-6
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Prep Time: 40 minutes plus overnight marinating
  • Effort: medium

Ingredients

  • 6-8 spring onions, (white part only), finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 4 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 500 g pork neck fillets, finely sliced across the grain into 3mm pieces (see Cooks tips below)
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil

Tips and Suggestions

To make it easier to slice your pork thinly, wrap it in cling film and put it in the freezer for about 1 hour before slicing.

Perilla leaves, Vietnamese mint leaves and jars of fried red Asian shallots are available at Asian supermarkets and greengrocers.

Unsure about any of these ingredients? See our Vietnamese food glossary for help and alternative recommendations.

Method

1. For the spring onion oil: put the vegetable oil and spring onions in a saucepan over medium heat and cook until the spring onions just start to simmer in the oil, then remove from the heat and allow to cool. Put the mixture into a clean container and seal. (You can also strain off the oil and discard the onions if you prefer.) This will last for up to 3 weeks.

2. Grind the chopped spring onion in a mortar and pestle until you have a fine paste.

3. In a large mixing bowl, combine the sugar, fish sauce, honey and pepper and stir until the sugar has dissolved. Mix in the spring onion paste and garlic.

4. Add the pork neck to the marinade and toss so that the meat is well covered. Pour over the vegetable oil, then cover and marinate overnight or at least 2 hours.

5. For the rice vermicelli salad: cook the rice vermicelli noodles following the packet instructions, then drain and set aside to cool.

6. Put the cooled noodles in a large bowl and add the chopped herbs, cucumber and bean sprouts and toss to combine. Set aside until ready to serve.

7. Put the bamboo skewers or split chopsticks into a bowl of water and allow them to soak for at least 20 minutes, before draining. This will stop them from burning when you cook the meat.

8. Thread the pork onto the bamboo skewers or between the prongs of the split chopsticks and char-grill or barbecue on medium to high heat for 1-2 minutes on each side or until brown and cooked through.

9. To serve, divide the rice vermicelli salad between 4-6 bowls and add the pork from 2-3 skewers to each bowl. Top with a little pickled vegetables, dress each bowl with 2 tablespoons of dipping fish sauce and 1 teaspoon of spring onion oil, and sprinkle with fried Asian shallots and crushed peanuts.



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