Monday, August 22, 2005

Lemongrass pork noodles

When flipping through Ha Roda's A Vietnamese Kitchen, I hit upon another recipe to try. It was billed as "Grilled Pork Noodles," but instructions are given for baking or frying the noodles as well. It's pretty simple; just marinate the pork and bake at 350 degrees F for about 25 minutes. When done, serve over rice stick noodles.

The marinade is more involved than the marinade from Marnie Henricksson's similar lemongrass pork chops. Roda calls for fish sauce, soy sauce, hoisin sauce, oyster sauce, garlic, onion, scallions, lemongrass (of course) and black pepper. Both recipes recommend marinating the meat for at least three hours, but I skimped on that this time.

Another thing I skimped on was garnishes. I should've topped it with sweet-and-sour fish sauce, cilantro, mint, peanuts and bean sprouts, but the smell of the baking pork was so wonderful, I just pulled it out of the oven, dumped it on the noodles and had it as is. It was quite edible in spite of that.

The following night I added a few things, including the sweet-and-sour fish sauce. Roda gives a recipe for it; essentially it is fish sauce augmented with rice vinegar, sugar, garlic and a Thai hot pepper. The additional seasonings add an interesting depth to the fish sauce; I have a bottle of it in the fridge, so I will be trying it with other dishes in the future.

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