Saturday, May 10, 2014

Vermicelli noodle salad with crispy pork

I was a little too optimistic when planning my son's 4th birthday especially since I'm 21 weeks pregnant and already very uncomfortable. I didn't really have a plan as far as food theme. I was craving a spicy salad that was both salty and sour. I call it the "Mien salad" because I grew up eating it. For those of you who don't know what Mien is... It's what I am. Some kind of Asian from Southeast Asia (at least that's how I explain it because it's one of the problems Mien people have: explaining what "Mien" is).

Anyway... In the end I was glad I made it because it satisfied my craving! 
An old friend gave me this recipe 3 years ago.... 

(see end of post for more info on ingredients)

5 lbs lean ground pork
1-2 English cucumbers 
1.5 packs of vermicelli noodles (clear glass noodles)
1/4 cup fish sauce (or salt to taste)
1 1.4 oz pack tamarind powder (soup base)
7-8 limes
1 bunch Cilantro
2 bunch green onions
1 loaf Vietnamese pork
Black pepper to taste
Fresh chili pepper (or not, up to you)


Cook pork until it is crispy and brown

Boil a pot of water for the noodles. Once water boils, turn off heat and put noodles in. Stir. This only takes about 30 seconds to cook. Drain and rinse with cold water. Cut noodles into smaller pieces (you can choose to do this before cooking but it's easier for me after). 

Combine pork, noodles, cucumbers, meat loaf and stir. 

Add black pepper, fish sauce, tamarind powder, lime juice & chili peppers. Stir to combine. Adjust these ingredients by adding more fish sauce if you want it saltier, lime juice if you want it more sour and tamarind powder to taste.

Add cilantro & green onion and stir again.

Yum yum yum!

You can pick up these at any Asian Market. 

Fish Sauce:
Potent smelly sauce but mmmm so good  (to me).

Vietnamese Meat Loaf: 
There's many varieties but I just grabbed this one. 

Tamarind powder: 
There's also many brands of this stuff. Any will do. 

Vermicelli noodles: 
This is the thin, clear kind. They usually come in this pink net package. I'm not sure why. 

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