Whenever I go to a Vietnamese restaurant, I always have the same dilemma. Should I order pho, a rice plate, or a vermicelli salad? Equally delicious in their own way, I have fallen in love with all three dishes. With spring bringing warmer days, I decided to make my own Vietnamese caramelized pork and vermicelli salad at home, because, well, why not?

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viet vermicelli (6)

viet vermicelli

Vietnamese lemongrass pork and vermicelli salad
Serves 4
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Total Time
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr
769 calories
121 g
189 g
11 g
46 g
3 g
581 g
4719 g
63 g
0 g
7 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
581g
Servings
4
Amount Per Serving
Calories 769
Calories from Fat 95
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 11g
17%
Saturated Fat 3g
14%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 3g
Monounsaturated Fat 4g
Cholesterol 189mg
63%
Sodium 4719mg
197%
Total Carbohydrates 121g
40%
Dietary Fiber 5g
22%
Sugars 63g
Protein 46g
Vitamin A
103%
Vitamin C
42%
Calcium
18%
Iron
35%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Lemongrass pork
  1. 1 lb pork tenderloin, cut into 2-3 inch strips
  2. 4 cloves garlic, minced
  3. 1 inch knob ginger, peeled and minced
  4. 1 shallot, minced
  5. 2 green onions, chopped
  6. 3 tbsp lemongrass, minced
  7. 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
  8. 1 tbsp fish sauce
  9. 1 tbsp honey
  10. 1 tbsp palm sugar
  11. 2 tbsp soy sauce
  12. 1 tsp black pepper
Pickled carrots
  1. 1 medium carrot, cut into 3 inch lengths, julienned (about 1 cup)
  2. 1 3 inch daikon, julienned (about 1 cup)
  3. 1/2 cup white sugar
  4. 1/2 cup water
  5. 1/2 cup rice vinegar
  6. 1 tsp salt
Nuoc cham
  1. 1/2 cup fish sauce
  2. 1/2 cup white sugar
  3. 1/3 cup fresh lime juice
  4. 1/2 cup warm water
Remaining ingredients
  1. 8 ounces thin rice vermicelli noodles
  2. 2 cups romaine, chopped
  3. Fried egg rolls (optional)
  4. 4 ounces shrimp, cooked
  5. 3 sprigs Thai basil, leaves picked and cut chiffonade
  6. 1/4 cup mint, chopped
  7. 1/4 cup cilantro, roughly chopped
  8. 1/4 cup crushed roasted peanuts
Instructions
  1. Whisk together all ingredients for pork marinade from garlic - black pepper. Add pork and turn to coat. Marinate for 1 hour.
  2. Meanwhile, pickle the carrots and daikon. Combine rice vinegar - salt in a small sauce pot. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Remove from heat and pour over the carrots and daikon. Let cool.
  3. Prepare the dressing (nuoc cham). Stir together fish sauce, sugar, lime juice and warm until sugar dissolves. Set aside.
  4. Cook noodles according to directions on package. Drain, rinse in cold water and set aside.
  5. Heat grill to high. Remove pork from marinade and cook on grill until grill marks appear. Flip and cook on the other side. Remove and keep warm.
  6. Assemble the bowls. Line each bowl with chopped romaine. Top with vermicelli noodles followed by pickled carrots and daikon, pork, egg roll, shrimp, herbs and crumbled peanuts. Drizzle nuoc cham, serving extra on the side.
beta
calories
769
fat
11g
protein
46g
carbs
121g
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**Helpful tips and common mistakes

Vietnamese vermicelli salads, also know as Bun Bo Xao) all have the same base ingredients but vary with toppings. Every salad comes with chopped greens, fresh herbs, thin rice vermicelli noodles and nuoc cham dressing on the side; which protein you prefer is all up to you. Grilled pork, beef, shrimp are all common choices along side fried egg rolls, pickled carrots and daikon and crumbled peanuts. 

Although this recipe is intended for pork, you can substitute it for beef or chicken. I’ve prepared the pork on the stove top, in the oven and on the grill and have discovered that the grill is the optimal cooking method. The high temperatures achieved by the grill allow the meat to caramelize in a way that other methods do not. 

I decided to go extra fancy today and added the egg roll and some shrimp but pairing the salad with just noodles, greens, herbs, pickled carrots and daikon with the meat is just as delicious. Don’t forget the finishing touch – the crumbled peanuts!

Just like all other Vietnamese dishes, this Vietnamese caramelized pork and vermicelli salad is a layer of flavors. Fresh ingredients paired with a savory pork, finished with a balanced sauce brings together a lovely noodle salad. The best part? This dish is actually healthy! 

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Looking for someone to come to your house and prepare these dishes for you? It is possible! If you are in Los Angeles and looking for a private chef, please feel free to contact me. For more information, visit Private Kitchen Los Angeles

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