Vietnamese Noodle Soup

Vietnamese Noodle Soup With Seared Pork Chops

As the aroma of savory Vietnamese noodle soup with seared pork chops wafts through my kitchen, I can’t help but feel proud of my lunch-packing skills. While sometimes I may indulge in ordering takeout, I often find joy in bringing homemade meals to work, like this delicious recipe.

A Vietnamese restaurant close to my office is one of my favorite places to eat, and it usually starts becoming busy around 11:00 in the morning, which is way too early for me. A large bowl of pho was my standard order from the get-go.

Recent events, however, have led me to stray from my usual order and sample something else from their extensive menu. My final decision was the bun thit nuong, a Vietnamese noodle salad with fresh vegetables, herbs, spring rolls, and grilled pork chops.

The pork chops on top of this Vietnamese noodle salad have won me over.

Nuoc cham sauce is the perfect complement to the dish’s other flavors when combined. This salad is fantastic because it features a wide range of textures, from crunchy vegetables and pork to delicate noodles and crispy spring rolls.

The cooks are calling!

Ingredients:

For the Nuoc Cham Sauce:

  • 3 cloves of garlic (minced)
  • 1 lime (juiced)
  • 1 de-seeded red chili (sliced)
  • 1/2 cup of cold water
  • 1/4 cup of fish sauce
  • 3 tablespoons of sugar
  • 2 tablespoons of rice vinegar or white vinegar

For the Pork Chops and Noodles:

  • 340g of dried rice vermicelli noodles
  • 4 bone-in pork chops
  • 1 thinly sliced medium onion
  • 1 medium carrot (julienned)
  • 1 small cucumber (julienned)
  • 2 cups of mung bean sprouts
  • ½ cup of cilantro, mint, and/or thai basil leaves
  • 3 tablespoons of low sodium soy sauce or gluten-free soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons of fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon of all purpose flour or cornstarch (gluten-free)
  • 1 tablespoon of Shaoxing wine or dry cooking sherry
  • ½ tablespoon of cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon of sesame oil
  • vegetable oil

Instructions:

  1. Gather the sauce ingredients in a medium bowl. Marinade the pork chops by mixing the soy sauce, fish sauce, sesame oil, cornstarch, and wine in a shallow dish. The pork chops need to marinate for 20 minutes.
  2. Preheat a big skillet with about a quarter cup of oil. Sprinkle the sliced onions with flour, then cook them in oil until they are golden and crisp. Take out of the frying pan and drain on a plate covered with paper towels.
  3. Sear the pork chops on both sides in the same oil until they are done cooking. Stop what you’re doing and let the pork chops chill out.
  4. Place the noodles in a bowl and top with the cucumber, carrot, bean sprouts, and herbs. Toss with the nuoc cham sauce and top with the pork chops and crispy onions.

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