Vietnamese pork and rice vermicelli salad
If you don't have any kecap manis, soy sauce mixed with a little soft brown sugar can be substituted.
Have your say
- 1 lemon grass stem, white part only, roughly chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled
- 4 cm (1 1/2 inch) piece ginger, roughly chopped
- 1 large red chilli, seeded and roughly chopped
- 500 g (1 lb 2 oz) minced (ground) pork
- 200 g (7 oz) dried rice vermicelli
- boiling water, for soaking
- 50 g (1 3/4 oz/1/3 cup) toasted peanuts, chopped
- 250 g (9 oz) baby roma (plum) tomatoes, halved
- 4 spring onions (scallions), finely sliced (including most of the green stem)
- 1 Lebanese (short) cucumber, halved lengthways and finely sliced
- 1 large handful coriander (cilantro) leaves
- 1 very large handful mint, torn
- 4 tablespoons lime juice
- 3 tablespoons fish sauce
- 2 large red chillies, seeded and finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon grated palm sugar or soft brown sugar
- 4 tablespoons kecap manis
1. Put the lemon grass, garlic, ginger and chilli in a food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Empty the mixture into a large bowl and add the minced pork and 1 teaspoon of salt. Use clean hands to mix until well combined.
2. Line the base of a large steamer with baking paper and punch with holes. Carefully scatter the pork mixture over the base of the steamer and cover with a lid. Sit the steamer over a wok or saucepan of boiling water and steam for 5 minutes, or until cooked through. Stir occasionally with a fork to break up any of the lumps. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool a little (it should still be warm).
3. Put the vermicelli in a large bowl and pour in enough boiling to cover. Leave to soak for 10 minutes, or until translucent and softened.
4. Meanwhile, to make the dressing, combine the lime juice, fish sauce, chilli, sugar, kecap manis and 2 tablespoons of water in a bowl. Stir until the sugar has dissolved.
5. Drain the vermicelli into a colander and rinse with cold water. Drain well. Using scissors, cut the long strands in half then tip the noodles into a large bowl. Pour the dressing over the top and leave for 10 minutes. Add the pork, then stir in the remaining ingredients and toss well.