Barbecue pork two ways on rice vermicelli

Barbecue pork two ways on rice vermicelli

By
From
Vietnamese Street Food
Serves
6
Photographer
Michael Fountoulakis

Bun cha was traditionally sold by roving vendors, who carried it in baskets hanging on poles and served it on round bamboo trays. It is now offered by countless street stalls.

This is a very popular lunchtime dish in Hanoi, where stall holders start to fan their charcoal burners mid-morning, not only to increase the heat of the embers, but also to entice customers with the smoky aroma of the chargrilled, marinated meat.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
25ml fish sauce
3 garlic cloves, chopped
8 red asian shallots, finely chopped
1 tablespoon sugar
300g pork belly
350g pork shoulder
1 egg
10 garlic chives, sliced
600g rice vermicelli
Bun cha dipping sauce
150g bean sprouts
1 butter lettuce or stem lettuce, leaves separated
1 handful coriander sprigs
1 handful perilla leaves

Method

  1. Combine the fish sauce, garlic, shallots and sugar.
  2. Cut the pork belly into 2 cm thick slices. Cover with half of the fish sauce mixture and marinate in the refrigerator for 2 hours.
  3. Meanwhile, roughly chop the pork shoulder and then process in a food processor until finely minced. Place the pork shoulder in a large bowl with the egg, garlic chives and remaining fish sauce mixture. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator for 2 hours.
  4. Soak the vermicelli in boiling water for 4–5 minutes. Gently stir to separate the noodles, then drain and refresh under cold water. Use kitchen scissors to cut the vermicelli into easy-to-manage lengths.
  5. Using damp fingers, form the pork mince into 3 cm patties. Cook the pork patties and pork belly slices on a hot barbecue or grill for 3–5 minutes, or until grill lines appear.
  6. To serve, divide the bun cha dipping sauce among 6 small bowls. Add three pork patties and four pieces of barbecued pork to each bowl, and put the remaining pork in the centre of the table. Arrange the noodles, bean sprouts, lettuce and herbs on another platter and place within chopstick reach. Diners dip the noodles and salad into the dipping sauce before eating them with the pork.
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