Who's That Girl

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WHO'S THAT GIRL: A higher education obsessed foodie who is documenting her life in the kitchen. I love to cook delicious, gourmet-style foods for those I love and always welcome a challenge in the kitchen. With that challenge comes an impromptu nature. I tend to avoid following recipes to the exact, so you are not likely to find very many posted here. Being that I am a Libra and am learning to be free in the kitchen, the story always goes, "A pinch of this and a smattering of that!" Thank you for visiting -- and happy reading!

Sunday, June 3, 2012

My First Homemade Bun Thit Nuong

The first time in life that I had a chance to eat bun thit nuong was years ago at Pho 88. I've been eating at the restaurant since my undergraduate years, though the restaurant is at a different location in town and a different name.

The restaurant owner, even after having not seen me in about four years, remembered me the instant I walked through the door. And she remembered my name. And what I always ordered.

After tons of hugs, and a bit of surprised, she seated me and asked, "You want your sesame chicken?" Taken aback, I told her I wanted to check out her menu. Maybe try something new all these years.

I opted for #22 -- bun.

What she served was decadent. It was a heaping mass of lettuce, cilantro, carrots, cucumber, scallions and grilled pork served with a sliced egg roll atop a bed of chilled vermicelli. She also provided fish sauce and provided a side of the house soup, which was the lightest and most flavorful broth I had ever recalled tasting.

I loved the dish immediately, to the point that when I now visit she no longer asks about the sesame chicken, but knows that I now prefer bun.

I have had bun at numerous other restaurants across the nation and find that it remains one of my absolute favorite dishes. I love the crispness of the fresh vegetables, which mixes well with the grilled semi-sweet and somewhat charred pork. Along with the vermicelli, the flavor burst is lovely and luscious.

This is, strangely, the first time I tried it at home. No recipe required. I simply butterflied a pork loin and used a mallet to flatten the meat. I then marinated the pork loin for several hours in lemon juice along with Ponzu (one of my new favorite condiments). Though Ponzu is citrus-flavored, I wanted to tenderize the meat a bit more.

To prepare this dish was easy. I cooked the noodles first and drained them before allowing them to cool. I pan seared the meat using a wok, adding a bit of the reserved juice at the very end of cooking. I had already sliced up the vegetables and herbs: Carrots, cucumber, scallions, mint and cilantro. With a dash of Sriracha sauce, the hard part was arranging the dish so that it was pretty for the picture.

1 comment:

  1. How adventuros of you! This is not a dish I am familiar with, but I never met an Asian dish I didn't like.


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