Bun Thit Nuong (Vietnamese grilled pork over rice noodles)
Growing up, my mom often made this for us, especially on hot days. Summer generally doesn’t arrive in San Francisco until September, when I get home from work and don’t want to turn on the oven.
I often order these bowls when eating at Vietnamese restaurants and thought it would be a pain to put together at home. Turns out it really isn’t that hard, especially when you already have the marinated meat in the freezer (left over from an undocumented dinner party several months ago), the peanuts and noodles in the pantry, and pickled veggies in the fridge. You can easily put together the nuoc mam pha earlier in the week so that when you get home, all you have to do is boil the noodles, grill the meat and put everything together.
Thit Nuong / Vietnamese Grilled Pork
(thanks to Ravenous Couple for recipe guidance)
- 1.5 lb thinly sliced pork butt or shoulder (mine was sliced a bit too thick)
- 1/4 cup lemongrass
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 2 Tbs fish sauce
- 1 Tbs ground pepper
- 3 cloves garlic
- 3 shallots
- 3 Tbs sesame oil
- 1 Tbs thick soy sauce
- 3 Tbs sesame seeds
- Whirl everything in the food processor (finely mince everything if you don’t have one) and marinate the meat for 1-2 hours.
- Grill outdoors or use a grill pan like I did below:
Nuoc Mam Pha
- 1 part lemon/lime juice, or rice wine/white vinegar (I prefer lime juice)
- 1 part nuoc mam
- 1 part sugar
- 2 parts water
- Add to taste: minced garlic, minced jalapeno or serrano peppers, or sambal oelek
All of this is adjusted to personal tastes…and everyone mixes theirs differently.
Bun Thit Nuong
- Thit nuong (above)
- Nuoc mam pha (above)
- 1 bunch of rice stick noodles per serving (I like Three Ladies Brand JiangXi Rice Stick)
- Greens (traditionally shredded lettuce but we had arugula on hand)
- Do chua (pickled carrots & daikon)
- Roasted unsalted peanuts (crush them. I was lazy and didn’t bother)
- Stuff I didn’t have on hand but is traditionally included:
- fresh mint
- bean sprouts
- Cook the noodles according to package directions. Rinse with cold water.
- Use a large bowl to assemble everything. Add noodles, thit nuong, vegetables and pickled carrots & daikon. Sprinkle the top with crushed roasted peanuts.
- Dress with nuoc mam pha to taste.