Hello! It’s so good to be back to posting. I hope you all had a lovely festive season.
We had an amazing time visiting friends, family and our beloved pets in Australia. You can check out what we got up to here and here. We are back in humid Singapore now, getting ready for a full on next few months as (big news) we have decided to end our ‘Singapore sojourn’ and we will be returning to live in Canberra, Australia around the end of February. It’s been on the cards for a while now and we made the decision over a month ago, but being home for those 3 weeks over the Christmas period really solidified our decision. There really is no place like home *taps heels*
I will definitely continue with this blog, but the next few weeks will be hectic and I will be going back to work full time once we are in Canberra. So starting now, posts will definitely be scaled down and probably even non-existent while we move internationally, house hunt and I apply for jobs. There will still be weeks that I post 4 times, but other weeks, I might only post 2 recipes and a Singapore Life post (I’m going to have to think of a new name for that type of post too I suppose) Remember, if you don’t want to check the blog every day to see if I have posted that day, then you can either subscribe via email here to receive an email notifying you when I have posted, or you can like my page on facebook where I always add a link and a quick summary of the post when there is something new on here.
Housekeeping done, now onto this recipe that I have been looking forward to sharing with you.
This is a lovely fresh recipe to start off for the year. I am a big fan of Vietnamese cuisine and I based this off a grilled pork noodle bowl that I have had multiple times at a great restaurant in Geylang called Sen. Even I was surprised at how well this all came together though. Honestly, it’s my second favourite dish that I have ever made! On the day we ate it, Key knew I was enjoying it as I kept making my moaning, nom nom noises as I was eating it. Yep…I’m a keeper.
As is often the case with noodle bowls, you do need a few ingredients and a bit of patience with preparation to bring this all together. It’s well worth it though and elements like the pickle and nuoc mam cham can be prepared a few days earlier. The meat could also be marinaded in the morning if you want to cut down time spent on that component later in the day.
The spring roll choice is up to you. I like chicken but vegetarian or pork would also be fine. Just cook them as per the packet instructions.
The pork just needs a fairly quick marinade for about half an hour. If I’m just doing a quick marinade then I do it out of the fridge so that the meat can start coming up to room temperature which makes it cook better. If I’m marinading for longer though, then I’d cover the bowl and let it marinade in the fridge.
The cold crisp cucumber and lettuce are a great contrasting texture for the dish.
Cooking the rice vermicelli noodles couldn’t be easier. Pour over hot water, drain and refresh with cold water. The noodles don’t need to be hot in this dish, so they can sit in the strainer until you are ready to assemble the bowls.
Because the pork has been sliced quite thinly, it will only need a very quick fry to cook through and get some lovely caramelisation on it from the sugar in the marinade.
To assemble, place your noodles in first and then place the extra goodies on top.
I like to place the components separately from each other to serve, but then I mix it all in when it’s time to eat. Make sure you garnish with lots of fried shallot, peanuts, coriander and mint.
Indonesian kecap manis is not a traditional condiment for this dish, but the sweet and sticky sauce pairs so nicely with the pork that I like to drizzle just a touch over everything. If you can get your hands on some ABC brand kecap manis then definitely grab some, it is truly amazing stuff.
Vietnamese Grilled Pork Noodle Bowl with Spring Rolls
Ingredients – Serves 2
- 200g of pork fillet, sliced as thinly as possible
- 2 tbs of fish sauce
- ½ tsp of honey
- ½ tsp of fine white sugar
- Pinch of ground white pepper
- 1 clove of garlic, finely grated
- ½ a cup of nuoc mam cham, recipe here
- 1 portion of carrot and daikon pickle, recipe here
- 4 packaged medium spring rolls – your choice of chicken or vegetarian
- 75g of rice vermicelli noodles
- 1 cup of shredded iceberg lettuce
- ½ of cucumber that has been cut into thick matchsticks
- 1/3 cup of bean sprouts
- 3 tbs of chopped spring onions, white and green parts
- 2 tbs of fried shallots
- 2 tbs of crushed, roasted peanuts
- Small handful of fresh picked coriander leaves to serve
- Small handful of fresh picked mint leaves to serve
- kecap manis – optional to serve
- To marinade the pork, place the fish sauce, honey, sugar, pepper and garlic into a small mixing bowl. Stir it together well until most of the sugar has dissolved, then add the meat and marinade for a minimum of 30 minutes up to a few hours.
- While the meat is marinating, use this time to prepare the nuoc mam cham, the pickle, cook the spring rolls as per the packet instructions and prepare the rest of the ingredients.
- Once the meat has almost finished marinating place the vermicelli noodles into a large bowl and cover with boiling water. Let them sit for 5 minutes or until soft and then drain and refresh them in cold water. Drain again.
- Heat a frying pan over medium to high heat with a splash of neutral oil in it. Cook the pork pieces on both sides until just cooked through. This should only take about 1 minute each side. Complete in batches if necessary. Rest the meat for a few minutes once cooked.
- To assemble, place a handful of the cool noodles into 2 bowls. Around the edge of the bowl, place the lettuce, cucumber, bean sprouts, carrot and daikon pickle on top of the noodles with the hot meat in the middle of the bowl.
- Cut the cooked spring rolls into pieces and place these to one side of the pork. Garnish with the peanuts, spring onions, fried shallots and lots of the herbs.
- Spoon over generous amounts of the nuoc mam cham and serve with the kecap manis as a condiment if you wish.