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Grilled Lemongrass Pork

MyCookbook Recipe Database
MyCookbook Member: MarthasArchive
Recipe Category: Pork
Recipe Preparation Level: moderate
    Simple, but with a complex combination of tastes, this recipe for lemongrass pork tenderloin, served with a dipping sauce and a Vietnamese table salad embodies the spirit of Vietnamese cooking. Most Asian cuisine is geared towards achieving a balance of flavors—salty, sweet, spicy, sour—and the ingredients here accomplish the same goal. This recipe is brought to us by Corinne Trang, a culinary consultant in New York City and author of “Authentic Vietnamese Cooking: Food From a Family Table.”

    (Suon Nuong Xa)
    Serves 4

    1/4 cup fish sauce
    1 tablespoon thick soy sauce
    3 tablespoons sugar
    2 tablespoons vegetable oil
    2 stalks lemongrass, outer leaves and tough green tops removed, root ends trimmed and coarsely chopped
    1 large shallot, peeled and finely chopped
    2 large cloves garlic, crushed, peeled, and finely chopped
    1 pound pork tenderloin, thinly sliced against the grain
    16 bamboo skewers, soaked for 20 minutes and drained
    1/2 cup chopped unsalted roasted peanuts
    Table Salad (sa lach dia) (recipe follows)
    Fish Dipping Sauce (nuoc cham) (recipe follows)

    1. In a medium bowl stir together the fish sauce, soy sauce, sugar, and oil until the sugar is completely dissolved. Add lemongrass, shallot, garlic, and pork, and mix to coat pork evenly. Allow to marinate in the refrigerator for 1 hour.

    2. Depending on how long the skewers are, slide 2 to 4 slices of pork onto each skewer so the meat is flat with the skewer threaded through each slice several times. Heat a well-oiled grill pan or nonstick skillet over high heat. Grill pork in batches until the edges are crisp, about 1 minutes per side. Grill remaining pork tenderloin, oiling grill pan if necessary. Place skewers on table salad. Sprinkle with peanuts, and drizzle with fish dipping sauce.

    (Nuoc Cham)
    Serves 4

    If the chiles are minced, the dipping sauce will be hotter than if they are simply sliced.

    5 tablespoons sugar
    1/3 cup fish sauce
    1/2 cup freshly squeezed lime or lemon juice (about 3 limes or 2 lemons)
    1 large clove garlic, minced
    1 or more bird’s eye or Thai chiles, seeded, and sliced or minced
    1 shallot, thinly sliced, rinsed, and drained

    Whisk together the sugar, 3 tablespoons water, fish sauce, and lime or lemon juice in a bowl until the sugar is completely dissolved. Add garlic, chiles and shallot and let stand for 30 minutes before serving.

    (Sa Lach Dia)
    Serves 4 to 6

    1 cup rice vermicelli (optional)
    1 head Boston lettuce, shredded
    1/2 cucumber, peeled, halved, seeded and thinly sliced
    2 to 3 carrots, peeled and julienned or shredded
    1 unripe star fruit, thinly sliced into stars

    1. Place vermicelli in a dish with lukewarm water to cover. Soak until pliable, about 20 minutes. Bring a pot filled with water to a boil over high heat. Drain soaked vermicelli and, working in batches, place them in a sieve and lower into the boiling water. Untangle the noodles with chopsticks. Boil until tender but firm, about 3 seconds.

    2. Meanwhile, arrange lettuce, cucumber, carrots, and star fruit on a large serving platter or several plates. Drain vermicelli, and place on platter with vegetables.

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