Most of this dish can be made ahead of time. All you need to do is grill the meat while you boil the noodles and dinner is served. We really enjoyed the flavor of the meat and the dish combined. The sauce had a kick to it, but that’s because I had a fresh jar of red pepper flakes which have more heat than one that has been open for a while. Highly recommend this dish for a quick weeknight dinner.

Vermicelli Noodles Topped with Chargrilled Pork
(Adapted from Joyous Apron)

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Grilled Pork
2 lbs pork shoulder
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 tbsp fish sauce
1/2 tbsp soy sauce
3-4 cloves garlic
1 tbsp shallots
~2 inch lemongrass bottom white part
3 tbsp vegetable oil

Remove some of the fat from pork shoulders (but it is not necessary to remove all the fat), and slice pork into thin slices. Bring them into a large ziplock bag.

Combine and blend the rest of the ingredients listed under “Grilled Pork” in food processor/blender to create marinate, and add to zip lock bag. Make sure pork is evenly coated with marinate. Marinade pork for at least 1 hour, or up to a few hours.

Grill pork on a grill pan or outdoor grill. Pork can be pan-fried on a skillet as well. Grill under indirect heat (if using charcoal grill), or medium/low heat (if using grill pan, electric grill, or skillet) to make sure the insides of the pork is completely cooked. Note that because there is sugar in the marinate, pork will brown/burn quickly on the outside.

7-8 oz dried rice vermicelli noodles

Cook noodles based on package instructions. It usually cooks quickly! If noodles need to sit for a while before combining with the other ingredients, rinse them in cold water to prevent them from sticking to each other, continuing to cook and turning mushy.

Vegetables and Garnishes
1 1/2 cups cucumber shredded
1 1/2 cups carrots shredded
1/2 cup rice vinegar
1/2 cup hot water
1/4 cup sugar
A few leaves lettuce
A handful cilantro
A handful mint leaves
1/2 cup peanuts chopped
1 fresh lime

Bring hot water and sugar (see ingredients under “Vegetables and Garnishes”) together in a bowl to dissolve sugar. Add rice vinegar. Stir to combine.

Add shredded cucumber and shredded carrots to bowl with vinegar mixture. Or, if desire, separate vinegar mixture into two bowls and separately pickle cucumber and carrots.

Press the carrots and cucumber down so that they are completely submerged in the mixture.

Pickle for 30-60 minutes.

Drain vinegar mixture.

Prep/chop the rest of the vegetables and garnishes – lettuce, cilantro, mint leaves, and peanuts.

Slice lime into a few wedges.

Sauce (Nuoc Cham)
1/2 cup hot water
3 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp fish sauce
2-3 tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice or to taste
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes or to taste

Combine hot water and sugar to completely dissolve sugar. Then add the other sauce ingredients. Stir to combine.

Bring noodles to bowl, and top with grilled pork, vegetables, and garnishes. Serve with sauce, and enjoy!

Tip: I typically start by marinating pork and pickling the carrots and cucumber. While waiting on the marinate and pickling, I work on chopping/prepping vegetables, creating the sauce, and cooking the noodles.

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