Grilled Pork with Rice Noodles and Herbs (Bun Cha)
1 large shallot, chopped
2 1/2 teaspoons sugar
3/4 teaspoons black pepper
1 tablespoon honey
2 1/2 tablespoons fish sauce
3 tablespoons canola oil
2 1/3 pounds boneless pork shoulder, well-trimmed (about 2 pounds after trimming), cut across the grain into 3 inch long, 1 inch wide strips about 1/4 inch thick
2/3 pound small dried round rice noodles, cooked in boiling water for 3 to 5 minutes, drained and flushed with cold water
1 1/2 cups basic dipping sauce, made without garlic
Vegetable Garnish Plate
To make marinade: In a mortar, combine the shallot, sugar, and pepper. Pound with a pestle until a rough paste forms that is slightly liquid (an electric mini-chopper works well too). Transfer to a bowl and mix in the honey, fish sauce and oil. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to 24 hours.
Thirty minutes before cooking the pork, remove it from the refrigerator. Arrange the noodles on a plate for serving. Place on the table with dipping sauce and vegetable garnish plate.
Prepare a medium-hot charcoal fire or preheat a gas grill to medium-high. Grill the pork slices, turning once, for about 4 minutes on each side, or until nicely browned, a little charred, and sizzling. Transfer pork to plate and place on the table.
Each person needs 2 bowls. A small, shallow bowl and a larger deeper one. In the small bowl, diners soak a few pieces of the grilled pork in some dipping sauce. They tear lettuce leaves and herbs into small pieces, put them in the large bowl, toss to distribute, and then top with a mound of noodles and the pieces of pork and some of the dipping sauce.
By my calculation (not including dipping sauce and vegetable plate) – per serving- Calories: 642, Total Fat: 23.2g, Sat. Fat: 8.8g, Carb: 60.4g, Fiber: 1.3g, Protein: 44.7g