Monday, August 31, 2009


i'm still here! i promise...i've just got to get back into the swing of things. and much like the cotton candy cupcakes, this salad is worth the wait. plus, with summer winding down, this is the perfect way to get another grilling session in. i heard from my mom that my hometown (in northern wi) was under frost advisory this morning (yes, it is still august). i suppose their grilling season will come to a close well before mine...

i found this salad while looking through old cooking light magazines. i keep them because i love to review and revisit...and since i had not tried this one when the issue came out, it deserved some attention.

vietnamese caramelized pork and rice noodle salad (adapted from cooking light june 2007)
3/4 c water
4 1/2 tbsp granulated sugar
3 tbsp rice vinegar
2 tbsp lime juice
1 1/2 tbsp fish sauce
2 tsp minced peeled ginger
3/4 tsp sriracha sauce
3 minced garlic cloves

1. combine ingredients in a saucepan
2. cook over medium heat 5 minutes or just until sugar dissolves
3. remove from heat and cool

1 (6-ounce) package rice vermicelli
1 lb pork tenderloin, trimmed
2 tsp fish sauce
1 tsp sriracha sauce
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
3 tbsp brown sugar
2 c thinly sliced red leaf lettuce
1 c matchstick-cut peeled English cucumber
1 c matchstick-cut carrot
1 c bean sprouts (i omitted because i had none)
1/4 c chopped fresh basil
1/4 c chopped fresh cilantro
3 tbsp chopped fresh mint

1. place vermicelli in a large bowl
2. cover with boiling water and let stand 20 minutes or until tender
3. drain and rinse under cold water
prepare grill
cut tenderloin in half lengthwise then in half crosswise
6. place each pork piece between 2 sheets of plastic wrap and pound to an even thickness
7. combine 2 tsp fish sauce and 1 tsp sriracha and drizzle over pork
8. coat pork evenly with garlic powder, salt, and pepper then pat on brown sugar
grill 12 minutes or until slightly pink in center, turning pieces occasionally to prevent burning
10. let stand 5 minutes then cut across grain into very thin slices
combine vermicelli, lettuce, and next 6 ingredients (through mint) in a large bowl
12. pour dressing over salad, toss, and top with pork

make it today

it seems long and tedious, but it isn't. it's amazing. the grilled pork is caramelized and just slightly spicy. the salad is refreshing and the dressing brings it all together like whoa. both husband and i ate full platefuls like no tomorrow, all the while singing praises. it should have been obvious, though. you just can't go wrong with pork loin. plus, husband's outstanding track record on the mini grill (leave him alone, neighbors!) left me with no doubt. we'll have this salad again before frost hits our neck of the "woods".


FIL said...

This looks fantastic! I would love to try this some time.

Mary Ellen said...

This looks great! My dad and sister recently traveled back to Vietnam and I have been promising them that I'd cook some Vietnamese food. Bookmarking this one!

Joelen said...

This looks delicious and I love all the flavors involved!