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Bun Thit Nuong in a bowl surrounded by chopsticks, salad and dishes of pork fat and crushed peanuts
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5 from 6 votes

Bun Thit Nuong (Grilled Pork Noodle Salad)

Our Bun Thit Nuong has rice noodles topped with fresh herbs, pork and a sweet and sour dipping sauce. Prep in advance for an easy meal!
Prep Time1 hr
Cook Time1 hr
Total Time2 hrs
Course: Dinner, Lunch, Main Course
Cuisine: Asian, Vietnamese
Servings: 6
Calories: 2198kcal
Author: Jeannette

Equipment

  • Skewers (soaked in water for 15 minutes)
  • Food processor

Ingredients

For The Marinade

  • 1 kg / 2.2 lb pork belly (or your preferred cut)
  • 2 stalks lemongrass
  • 2 red shallots
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 2 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 3 tbsp Maggi soy sauce (or any light soy sauce; to taste)
  • 1/2 tbsp hoisin sauce
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp condensed milk (or to taste)
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 2 tbsp white sesame seeds
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • 1 tbsp chicken bouillon powder
  • 1 tbsp pepper
  • 2 tbsp annatto seed oil (optional)

For The Pickles

  • 500 g / 1.1 lb carrots
  • 500 g / 1.1 lb white radish
  • 1/4 US cup sugar (or to taste)
  • 1/8 US cup vinegar
  • 1/2 US cup water

For The Spring Onion Oil

  • 200 g / 0.44 lb pork fat (cut into 1cm/0.4" cubes)
  • 3 sprig spring onion
  • 1/4 tsp salt (or to taste)

For The Garnish & Salad

  • 1 packet rice noodles (Vietnamese bún)
  • Vietnamese dipping sauce
  • fried shallots
  • toasted peanuts
  • bean sprouts
  • cucumber
  • lettuce
  • mint
  • Thai basil
  • Vietnamese coriander
  • fish herb
  • bean sprouts

Instructions

Preparing The Pork

  • Remove the top skin by running a sharp knife through the fat just next to the skin. Pull the skin towards you while pushing the knife away. When the whole skin is removed, discard it.
    Note: To make it easier, keep the pork skin side down.
  • Slice the pork into thin strips, roughly 0.5cm (0.2") thick and put them in a large bowl.

Making The Marinade

  • Cut the lemongrass, shallots and garlic into smaller segments to make it easier for the food processor.
    Optional: Reserve 1-2 lemongrass ends and cut an X through the tip to use as a basting brush.
  • Blitz the aromatics in a food processor until fine. Alternatively, finely chop using a knife.
  • Pour the mixture onto the pork and mix in the blitzed contents.
  • In a separate bowl, combine the pepper, chicken bouillon powder, oyster sauce, soy sauce, sugar, curry powder, condensed milk, annatto seed oil, honey, hoisin sauce, sesame seeds and oil.
  • Marinate the meat with the sauce and set aside as you work on other ingredients.

Pickling The Vegetables

  • Combine the sugar, water and vinegar until the sugar has dissolved.
  • Julienne the carrots and white radish into thin strips, then add them to the pickling liquid.
  • Keep it in the fridge as you work on the other steps.

Making The Spring Onion Oil

  • Finely chop the spring onions in a small heatproof dish then stir in the salt and set aside.
  • Cook the pork fat cubes over low heat until golden and crispy.
  • Pour the lard over the spring onions and stir until combined. You can add some pork fat cubes into the oil or keep them separate as a garnish.

Cooking The Skewers & Noodles

  • If you're using an oven, preheat it to 200°C (390°F). Alternatively, use a grill.
  • Skewer the marinated pork onto the skewers. To do so, push one end of the meat through the stick, fold the remaining part over the tip, then push that through.
    Repeat this folding pattern until the skewer is 3/4 full.
  • Lay the skewers on a grilling rack and cook in the oven for 15 minutes or until cooked through and golden.
    Tip: For extra flavor, baste the meat by using the end of a lemongrass stalk to brush over the remaining marinade liquid at the 5 minute mark as it cooks.
  • Meanwhile, bring a pot of water to a boil and cook the rice noodles for 5 minutes or until al dente. Drain and set aside for later.

Assembling The Noodle Salad Bowl

  • Add the salad in a bowl to preference.
  • Lay a serving of cooked noodles in a bowl.
  • Add the pickled carrots and radish.
  • Remove the pork from the skewers and put it over the salad.
  • Add the spring onions, peanuts, fried shallots and lard crisps, then drizzle with Vietnamese Dipping Sauce.
  • Mix well and enjoy fresh as is!

Notes

  • Use a charcoal grill. In the streets of Vietnam, this is what vendors would use for a smoky flavor. It also adds a nice char that goes well with the noodles.
  • Marinate the meat overnight. Get the most infused seasoning by letting it rest in the fridge as you sleep. Let the skewers come to room temperature before you cook so the meat isn't tough.
  • Find a good balance of fat to protein. If maximum flavor is what you're going for, use cuts that have a high fat ratio. This ensures a juicier skewer!
  • You can find all of the sauces in jars from Asian supermarkets. If the Maggi soy sauce brand is unavailable, just use regular light soy sauce.
  • We used double strength white vinegar because that's what we had readily available, but you can use whichever white vinegar you have at home. Just make sure to adjust the pickling liquid to taste.
  • Our Bun Thit Nuong recipe uses lard for extra flavor, but you can substitute it for regular cooking oil instead.
  • We used fish mint, Thai basil, lettuce, bean sprouts, perilla leaves and mint, but if you have other favorites, feel free to use those as well. Other options include coriander, banana blossom, Vietnamese coriander and Vietnamese balm.

Nutrition

Calories: 2198kcal | Carbohydrates: 23g | Protein: 35g | Fat: 218g | Saturated Fat: 78g | Cholesterol: 273mg | Sodium: 1174mg | Potassium: 1218mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 12g | Vitamin A: 14024IU | Vitamin C: 27mg | Calcium: 125mg | Iron: 4mg