Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Presto Pasta - Vietnamese Pork and Noodles

You guys. Oh, you guys. I had a big intro to this post planned, talking about the differences (for me) between big city and smaller city living. What I miss about Calgary, including certain restaurants and cuisines. About how I have gone from eating Vietnamese food once or more a week to having it only once (ONCE!) in the past year and a half. sob. How I haven't wanted to try making Vietnamese food at home cause I've been afraid of messing it up, but that I found a recipe I'd saved in my del.icio.us that sounded so good and easy I had to try it.

I was going to write all about that stuff, but then I had the first bite of my dinner and damn, my brain is fried mush with the deliciousness of it all.

Here's what I did to make a (in my opinion, and Scott's opinion too) mind blowing - yummy - pretty close to our favorite restaurant dish - Vietnamese Pork and Noodles.

First prepare your pork. The pork recipe comes from Waterlily at Group Recipes. I made a couple of small changes.

1 tablespoon molasses
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 large cloves garlic, crushed
1 shallot, finely chopped (substitute 1/2 small mild onion, if necessary)
2 teaspoons sugar
1 pound boneless pork loin, chopped fine (I pulsed mine in the food processor)

Whisk together the molasses, soy sauce, garlic, shallots and sugar. Mix into the pork and mix well. Cover and refrigerate at least 3 hours, or overnight.

You'll also need -

rice noodles
green onions
bean sprouts
spring roll sauce
hoisin sauce

When you're ready to cook, start by preparing your rice noodles according to the package directions. What I did for mine was to bring a pot of water to the boil, then add the noodles and cook and stir for 2 minutes. Then I removed them from the heat, covered, and let them sit until I was ready to plate.

When your noodles are sitting, form your pork mixture into small patties. Heat a large pan over medium heat with a bit of vegetable oil. Cook the patties, turning once or twice, until brown and cooked through.

While the patties are cooking, finely chop your green onions and shred your lettuce into long thing strands. When the patties are done, drain your noodles.

To plate, start by placing a handful or so of shredded lettuce in the bottom of each bowl. Then top with some noodles.

Place your pork patty on top, then scatter your chopped green onions and your bean sprouts. I took the final photo at this stage, because what I do next to my own dish isn't pretty.

The dish that is like this that I order in restaurants comes with sliced spring rolls on top and a side of dipping sauce. What I like to do is eat the spring rolls first, then pour the rest of the dipping sauce over the bowl and mix it all up. What I did here was to use my fork to chop the pork patty into pieces, then drizzle the dish with spring roll sauce and hoisin sauce, and mix it all together. Looks horrible, tastes divine. I had planned to make my own sauce, like this one, but we were late to start dinner so I used a bottled spring roll sauce instead.

This was GOOD. The pork makes enough to feed at least 4 people, and I just winged it on amounts for the rest of the ingredients. We were both surprised at how great this was and were a little piggy about how much we ate. But I'm sure the lettuce, onions and bean sprouts make up for that, right?

Since this dish is fully of noodle-y goodness, I'm sending it to Ruth for her Presto Pasta Nights. Ruth is hosting this week, so make sure you get your pasta posts to her by Friday.

(Original pork recipe here)


natalia said...

Ciao Sara ! Even I wouldn't call Roma a small city we only have one vietnamese restaurant ! Your noodles looks wonderful !!

nath said...

Sound delicious but I've never tried vietnamese food before..hiks..

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

That is a wonderful read!
Makes me smile the whole time I'm drooling all over the keyboard.

Juliana said...

I love Vietnamese food...the one that you feature looks really delicious...with pork chops...yummie...can have it right now. Nice pictures.

Deborah said...

I am actually not even sure if I've ever had Vietnamese food before - but this sure does look good!

Deb in Hawaii said...

I love Vietnamese food and this looks amazing. I was just thinking of a fish and rice noodle dish I used to get in Seattle that was a Vietnamese fusion dish and wondering how to recreate it. You have given me the inspiration to try making it!

Annie said...

I have never tried Vietnamese food ever! But I think I may be missing something after this post!!

Katerina said...

I swear one of my fears of living in a small place is my lack of available sushi and Vietnamese food, it is comforting to know that one can survive without. If necessary.

Sara said...

Katerina, yes it is possible to live without certain kinds of food, but I wouldn't recommend it.
I will be finding some more Vietnamese recipes from my notebooks to try, we are going to Calgary in August, but damn, that's far away.

gaga said...

Yummy! I can never decide between ordering this and pho when I go out for vietnamese. It's definitely one of my favorites!

Ruth Daniels said...

The dish looks great and I'm sure once you add the rest...will taste awesome. Thanks for sharing with PResto Pasta Nights.

As for Vietnamese restaurants...Halifax only has a few higher end ones. Nothing like the million in every neighborhood in Toronto with the best cheap eats ever. Oh well, now I have a dish to do up right at home.

Alisa - Frugal Foodie said...

Mmmm, this sounds delicious! I love Vietnamese spiced dishes, may have to try.

Lis said...

Wow.. this sounds amazing. You make me want to try Vietnamese cooking too! And I don't even know much about it - nor have I ever ate in a Vietnamese restaurant!

Bourdain is the reason I'm dying to try it.. specifically Pho. It looks amazing. Hubbs keeps promising me that we'll find a good Vietnamese restaurant in Cleveland, but I'm still waiting...

In the meantime, I should make this - I've got all the ingredients! Sweet!


Sara said...

Lis - take a look at this recipe for Pho - http://iliketocook.blogspot.com/2009/02/notebook-two-littlest-book.html
Very easy to customize, and delicious!

pam said...

I love the sound of this! I am currently on a cooking Vietnamese phase, and I am loving every minute of it!

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