Pork Salad with Glass Noodles, Mint and Ginger

This recipe comes from Takeaway by Les Hunynh, and believe me, it’s a keeper. It took me about an hour to do all the chopping, slicing and  juicing. I’d hoped for 30 minutes, but oh well. The end result was worth it.

I said good night to Gabi, and then Jeff and I nearly scarfed down all of this salad. The combination of mint, cilantro, ginger, lime juice and fish sauce make it addictive. You won’t find anything better at a Vietnamese restaurant. Lime leaves can be found at international and Asian markets. I found them in the freezer section. If you can’t find them, by all means make this dish anyway. It will still be wonderful.

Cabbage is served to the side.

Pork Salad with Glass Noodles, Mint and Ginger
adapted from Takeaway

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 pound ground pork

5 1/2 ounces (150 grams) bean thread vermicelli (glass) noodles
1 handful mint leaves, torn in half if large
1 handful cilantro leaves
1 green onion, thinly sliced
1 small shallot, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons finely julienned fresh ginger
4 tablespoons roasted unsalted peanuts, chopped
2 kaffir lime leaves, finely shredded
1 long red chile, seeded and julienned

2 small Thai chiles, sliced
1/2 teaspoon red chile flakes
3 tablespoons fish sauce
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar, preferably superfine sugar
4 tablespoons lime juice

To serve:
large wedges of cabbage

Heat the oil in a wok over high heat until smoking. Add the garlic and ork and stir-fry 3 to 4 minutes. Add 3 tablespoons water and simmer for about 2 minutes, or until the pork is cooked. Remove from the heat and leave to cool to room temperature.

To make the salad, soak the vermicelli noodles in boiling water for 5 minutes, then drain well, Cut the noodles into shorter lengths using scissors.

Combine all the dressing ingredients and stir until the sugar dissolves. Combine the pork and noodles with the remaining salad ingredients, add sufficient dressing to moisten and gently mix. To serve, transfer the pork salad to a large serving bowl and serve accompanied with wedges of cabbage.

Serves 4


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