I’m usually pretty good about packing a lunch to bring to work everyday. More often than not, it’s leftovers from whatever massive blogging session we had the previous weekend. But for those weeks when we didn’t blog recipes, and I didn’t end up cooking at all, I’m not above ordering out.
One of my favorite places near work is a Vietnamese restaurant that starts filling up with people as early as 11:00 AM. My original go-to order there was always a big bowl of pho, because…well…pho.
But recently, I went rogue and decided to try something else from their menu. I settled on the bun thit nuong (there are definitely supposed to be a bunch of accents and symbols over some of those letters, but these are keyboard mysteries that I have yet to master), a Vietnamese noodle salad with fresh veggies, herbs, spring rolls, and seared pork chops.
Um, sorry pho. This Vietnamese noodle salad with seared pork chops might be my new favorite.
Mixing everything together with the spicy, garlicky, tangy nuoc cham sauce is absolute perfection. The thing that’s amazing about this salad is the textural variety—crunchy vegetables, juicy meat, tender noodles, and crispy spring rolls.
For my version, I decided to omit the cha gio spring rolls (since making spring rolls from scratch felt a little excessive, and I wanted to create a quick and easy recipe for all you lovely readers at home. Instead, I decided to add crispy onions to my salad, which offered that satisfying crispy factor without too much hassle. And before you ask…if you’re not a fan of pork chops, you can definitely make this recipe with chicken, beef, or even crispy tofu.
To the kitchen!
Vietnamese Noodle Salad with Pork Chops: Recipe Instructions
In a medium bowl, make the nuoc cham by combining all the sauce ingredients (garlic, lime juice, rice vinegar or white vinegar, fish sauce, sugar, red chili (or substitute 2 teaspoons chili garlic sauce or Sriracha), and water). Set aside.
In a shallow dish, make the pork chop marinade by adding the low sodium soy sauce, fish sauce, sesame oil, cornstarch, and Shaoxing wine (or dry cooking sherry). Marinate the pork chops for 20 minutes.
Heat about ¼ cup oil in a large skillet. Toss the sliced onions in the flour and fry in the oil until crisp. Remove from the pan and set aside to drain on a paper towel-lined plate. In the same oil, sear the pork chops on both sides until cooked through. Set the pork chops aside to rest.
In a large serving bowl, add the dried rice vermicelli noodles (prepared according to package directions), cucumber, carrot, mung bean sprouts, and the cilantro, mint, and/or Thai basil leaves. Top with the pork chops and crispy onions.
Serve your Vietnamese noodle salad and Pork chops with with the nuoc cham sauce!
Vietnamese Noodle Salad with Grilled Pork Chops
For the nuoc cham sauce:
For the pork chops and noodles:
- 3 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce (or gluten-free soy sauce)
- 3 tablespoons fish sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
- ½ tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon Shaoxing wine (or dry cooking sherry)
- 4 bone-in pork chops
- vegetable oil
- 1 medium onion (thinly sliced)
- 1 tablespoon all purpose flour (or cornstarch if making this gluten-free)
- 12 oz. dried rice vermicelli noodles (340g, prepared according to package directions)
- 1 small cucumber (julienned)
- 1 medium carrot (julienned)
- 2 cups mung bean sprouts
- ½ cup cilantro, mint, and/or thai basil leaves
- Combine all the sauce ingredients in a medium bowl and set aside. In a shallow dish, make the pork chop marinade by adding the soy sauce, fish sauce, sesame oil, cornstarch, and wine. Marinate the pork chops for 20 minutes.
- Heat about ¼ cup oil in a large skillet. Toss the sliced onions in the flour and fry in the oil until crisp. Remove from the pan and set aside to drain on a paper towel-lined plate. In the same oil, sear the pork chops on both sides until cooked through. Set the pork chops aside to rest.
- Add the noodles, cucumber, carrot, bean sprouts, and herbs to a bowl. Top with the pork chops and crispy onions, and serve with the nuoc cham sauce.