Grilled Lemongrass Pork and Rice Noodle “Salad”

I am in love with Asian Box, a small chain takeout restaurant in downtown Mountain View.  You HAVE to check this out:  http://www.asianbox.com/menu

Everything on that menu (except maybe the caramel egg) is so delicious, but it took just a couple visits to find my favorite:  Lemongrass pork with chilled rice noodles, bean sprouts,crispy shallots, peanuts, herbs, veggies, lime squeeze and peanut sauce . . .  OH — and Asian Street Dust!

But I live in Campbell — and parking on Castro Street in Mountain View is just this side of impossible.  So, I’ve been making my own Asian box salad (super easy), and I’ve got it nailed except for the Asian Street Dust, but I’m working on that.  It is seriously so good, I ate it three meals in a row last week.

EASY!

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Pork and Marinade

4 large garlic cloves, thickly sliced
3 large stalks of fresh lemongrass, tender inner white bulb only, sliced crosswise
2 large shallots, thickly sliced
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons Asian fish sauce
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1.5 pounds boneless pork loin or any pork chop you like, sliced 1/4 inch thick

In a food processor, finely chop the garlic, lemongrass and shallots. Add the sugar, fish sauce, lime juice, vegetable oil and soy sauce and process to a paste. In a large shallow dish, coat the pork with the marinade. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 and up to 4 hours.

When ready to compose the salad, grill pork slices on a hot grill about 2 minutes on each side.

NUOC CHAM (dressing)  I can DRINK THIS!

  • 1⁄4 carrot, cut in long strips with a potato peeler(2-inch piece)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons  sugar
  • 1⁄2 cup  warm water
  • 1⁄4 cup Asian fish sauce (I’m a Red Boat fan)
  • 1⁄4 cup  fresh lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1 red Thai chile, thinly sliced, I used a serrano (2-3 more if you like it hot)
  • 1 green onion, chopped

Okay. The dressing is tough to make.  Get a bowl.  Mix the ingredients in it. Done.

RICE-VERMICELLI SALAD

1/2 pound rice vermicelli

English or Persian cucumbers, julienned

a 3″ piece of a daikon radish, peeled and julienned

1/4 cup peanuts chopped

1/4 cup each of chopped cilantro and fresh mint

lime wedges

Place rice vermicelli in a pot of boiling water and cook for 60 to 90 seconds.  Pour into a colander and run cold water through the noodles until they are cool.

Put a handful of vermicelli in a bowl and top with slices of lemongrass pork, julienned daikon, carrot,  and Persian or English cucumber, chopped cilantro and mint, chopped peanuts and lime wedges.  Drizzle salad with nuoc cham and eat it up.  You’re gonna LOVE THIS!!

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