Bun Cha (Vietnamese Pork Meatball and Noodle Salad)
Hanoi street food, adapted from a recipe by Lauren Shockey in "Four Kitchens" (Grand Central Publishing, 2011), published in Saveur. Shockey likes this dish for breakfast on the weekend.
- Ready In:
- 1hr 40mins
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 5 tablespoons water
- 1 lb ground pork
- 1 large shallot, minced as small as possible
- 3 tablespoons fish sauce
- 1⁄4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons fish sauce
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 1 -2 teaspoon brown sugar
- 1 cup water
- 1⁄2 teaspoon minced garlic (or grated)
- 1 red Thai chile, minced
- 1 lb thin rice noodles
- 1⁄2 head lettuce, torn into small pieces (use soft leaf lettuce, red adds more color, but green is fine)
- 2 cups loosely packed of a mixture of asian herbs (such as cilantro, mint, shiso, Thai basil, etc.)
- In a small saucepan, combine the sugar with 3 tablespoons water and cook over high heat until a dark brown caramel forms, about 8 minutes. Remove from the heat and add 2 tablespoons cold water, swirling the pot.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the pork, shallot, fish sauce, caramel sauce, and pepper, and marinate in the refrigerator for 90 minutes to six hours.
- Meanwhile, combine all ingredients for the sauce in a large mixing bowl.
- When the pork is through marinating, remove from the refrigerator and shape into small patties, about 15 to 20 in all. Heat a charcoal grill or a broiler to high. Bring a pot of water to a boil and cook the noodles according to the directions on their package. Drain, then rinse under cold water to halt the cooking process.
- Meanwhile, grill or broil the pork patties until fully cooked and slightly charred, about 4 minutes per side.
- Spoon the sauce into four bowls, then place the pork patties over the sauce. Place the herbs and lettuce in one large communal bowl and the noodles into another large communal bowl. To eat, dip some of the noodles into the sauce and eat with the patties and herbs.
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