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.


chumbles said...

Even at 7.25 a.m. that is making me hungry. As Tech Sergeant Chen would say "It's the simple things that please me..." Looks absolutely scrumptious.

hnhai said...

we call it"Thit Xien Nuong". It is especially delicious when you eat it with rice noddle and "soft" fish sauce. Yummy