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Vietnamese Pork Tenderloin and Rice Noodle Salad

Vietnamese Pork Tenderloin and Rice Noodle Salad

NEW YEAR, NEW RECIPES Try the Vietnamese Pork Tenderloin and Rice Noodle Salad this year. (Photo courtesy of the Junior League of Houston)

From Peace Meals

Note: Use thin rice vermicelli noodles rather than regular rice noodles (which are thicker and can become gummy after they are cooked). Substitute 3 tablespoons of soy sauce and 1 teaspoon of anchovy paste if you cannot find fish sauce.

Ingredients: 

Vinaigrette:
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ teaspoon ground chili paste or Asian chili pepper sauce
3 Tablespoons sugar
½ cup hot water
3 Tablespoons bottled fish sauce
1½ Tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 Tablespoons rice wine vinegar
½ teaspoon coarse salt
Pork:
1 Tablespoon brown sugar
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon coarse salt
1 pound pork tenderloin, trimmed
Salad:
8 ounces thin rice vermicelli
1 English cucumber, cut into matchsticks
2 carrots, peeled and cut into matchsticks
1 cup fresh bean sprouts
2 cups red leaf lettuce, torn
2 Tablespoons each chopped mint, cilantro and basil, for garnish (use Thai basil if available)
3 Tablespoons chopped peanuts, for garnish

Recipe directions: 

Puree the garlic, chili paste, sugar and water in a small food processor. Transfer the mixture to a small saucepan. Add the fish sauce, lime juice, vinegar and salt, stirring over medium heat until the sugar dissolves, about 2 minutes. Let cool.

Combine the brown sugar, cayenne, garlic powder, salt and pepper in a small bowl and stir with a fork. On a large piece of foil, sprinkle the spice rub over the pork tenderloin, cover tightly with foil and seal; chill for at least 30 minutes or as long as overnight. Preheat the oven to 375 F. Remove the foil and place the tenderloin on a lightly oiled roasting pan. Roast for 30 minutes or until a meat thermometer inserted in the center reads 145 F. When done, place the tenderloin on a cutting board and allow it to rest for about 15 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 160 F. Cut into ½-inch slices and then cut into ¼-inch strips.

Bring a pot of water to a boil and add the vermicelli. Boil the noodles for about 3 minutes until soft or according to package directions. Drain and rinse under cold water and set aside to cool. If the noodles start to stick together as they cool, toss them in a bowl with a small amount of the vinaigrette. In a large bowl, toss together the cucumber, carrots, bean sprouts, noodles and desired amount of the vinaigrette. In a large serving bowl, layer the lettuce, noodle mixture and pork. Garnish with chopped herbs and peanuts. Serve at room temperature. Serves 4 to 6.

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