This really turned out to be the perfect summer meal. It was satisfying and filling yet healthy. Simple yet packed with so many flavors. Bright and refreshing yet spicy. I'll definitely make this one again - soon!
Lemongrass Grilled Pork Tenderloin with Rice Vermicelli Salad
Source: Food and Wine
I made several small changes to the recipe noted below in italics.
- 1.5 lbs boneless pork loin (I used a pork tenderloin and did not slice it until after it was grilled)
- 3 large stalks of lemongrass
- 4 large garlic cloves (for the marinade)
- 2 large shallots, thickly sliced
- 1.5 Tbsp sugar
- 3 Tbsp Asian fish sauce (I haven't found a fish sauce I like so I used a mixture of approximately 2 Tbsp Worcestershire, 1 Tbsp vegetable broth and 1 tsp hoisin sauce in place of the fish sauce)
- 3 Tbsp vegetable oil
- 2 Tbsp soy sauce
- 1/2 lb rice vermicelli (this stuff goes far - I used 4 "nests" from the package and could have fed 6 people)
- 4 medium garlic cloves
- 3 Thai chiles or 1 jalapeno, thickly sliced
- 3 Tbsp sugar
- 1/3 c Asian fish sauce (I used my substitution again, making sure it equaled 1/3 c total when mixed)
- 1/2 c chopped cilantro
- 1/2 c finely chopped mint
- 1/4 c fresh lime juice
- 1/3 c water
- Veggies: sliced cucumber, red pepper, carrots, green onions, some sort of crunchy green (lettuce or Napa cabbage), bean sprouts
- In a food processor, finely chop the garlic, lemongrass and shallots. Add the sugar, fish sauce (or substitution), lime juice, vegetable oil and soy sauce and process to a paste. In a large shallow dish, coat the pork with the marinade. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour (I marinated this for 5 hours).
- About 30 minutes before you plan to eat: In a large bowl, cover the rice vermicelli with cold water and let soak until pliable, about 20 minutes. In the meantime, bring a pot of water to a boil (the only time you will need your stove!) Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil over high heat. Drain the rice vermicelli and add it to the boiling water. Cook, stirring, until barely tender, about 1 minute. Drain the vermicelli. Rinse the vermicelli in cold water and drain thoroughly.
- Make the dressing: In a mortar, using a pestle, pound the garlic cloves to a paste with the chiles and sugar. Stir in the fish sauce, cilantro, mint, lime juice and water.
- Grill the pork: Light a grill (heat to medium high). Lift the pork from the marinade, leaving on some of the flavorings. Grill the pork over a hot fire until nicely charred, about 2 minutes per side. Because we grilled a tenderloin instead of slices, we used Jon's tried and true method for grilling pork - sear on all sides over high heat; place foil on the grill, put pork on the foil, and let it cook over medium heat until temp reaches 150 degrees max; remove from the grill and let rest 5 minutes before slicing.
- Plate everything: place noodles on your plate and add veggies; top with some of the dressing. Slice the pork into thin slices and place over the salad.