Monday, 28 June 2010
Vietnamese pork shoulder - part 1
The Vietnamese love pork, probably more than any other SEAsian country. They use it a million different ways - from surf and turf style salads and stir-fries through to a Vietnamese version of French pork pate which goes in those delicious Banh Mi that are now taking off in London (more on them in upcoming post).
Recently i cooked some Vietnamese style pork myself. i picked up some shoulder from a good butcher near me, it's a great, and fairly underused, cut - really cheap (i think i paid £7 or something for almost 1.5kg) and has a nice balance of meat and fat. It grills up moist and tasty but also works perfectly in slow cooked recipes too.
So with that in mind i decided to do my piece two ways, both Vietnamese style. Firstly pretty simply: marinated, grilled and served with noodles, herbs and a dipping sauce. The rest i made in to a slow braised hot pot style thing - with star anise, caramel & young coconut water, but that's part 2 which i'll blog up v.soon.
In the meantime here's the snaps and rough recipe for the first way: marinated, grilled and served with noodles & herbs...
I started by trimming it up a bit to remove any excess fat or gristle and then cut the meat against the grain into nice long slices about 1.5cm thick. I marinated these in a mix of oyster sauce, fish sauce, a pinch of white sugar and white pepper and finally minced garlic and lemongrass.
After leaving this for a couple of hours (overnight would be even better) i skewered it all up and grilled them off on my double size griddle pan thing.
Over coals / on a BBQ would be the ideal scenario but the griddle option is next-best.
The trick here is to grill the meat nice and slow, turning every few mins to render out any excess fat and to get the meat all nice n caramelised.
When ready I served these skewers up with the classic Viet dipping sauce 'nouc cham' (see recipe on previous post here), some rice vermicelli noodles, roasted peanuts and a selection of Vietnamese herbs (in this case sweet basil, perilla & Viet coriander - but good just mint and coriander would work) to pick at.
Oh yeah, and i fried up some Vietnamese black sesame crackers to put alongside too - mainly cause I came across them when rooting through my cupboards.
It was a nice simple meal: tasty pork, soft noodles, punchy sauce, few crunchy peanuts and some assorted herbaceousness to provide a bit of freshness and interest.
Braised Viet pork thingo recipe to follow shortly.