Lemongrass is a bright aromatic herb with a subtle citrus flavor native to India and tropical Asia. Here it, was used in a Thai-Vietnamese inspired dish to marinate pork giving it a lemony zingy taste. The stir fried pork was then served with a light salad of rice vermicelli (extra thin noodles), cucumber and carrot with mint and cilantro.
1 stalk lemongrass
2 cloves garlic
1/4 cup (50 ml) fish sauce
2 – 3 teaspoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
12 ounces (360 grams) pork tenderloin or Two 4 oz Boneless Center Cut Pork Loin Chop, thinly sliced
8 ounces (240 grams) rice vermicelli noodles
Salt, to taste
6 cups (1L) water
1/2 English cucumber
1 small bunch of mint
1 small bunch of cilantro
To Make Marinade
Rinse all fresh produce. Trim and discard lemongrass root and outer layer. Thinly slice stalk. Peel shallot and mince. Mince garlic. In a large resealable plastic bag (or a bowl), combine lemongrass, shallot, garlic, fish sauce, soy sauce, sugar, and 1 tablespoon vegetable oil. If using a pork tenderloin, remove from the packaging and rinse pork with water and pat dry with paper towel. Cut crosswise into 1/2 inch (0.5cm) slices. Add pork to marinade in bag and shake to coat. Set aside to marinate at room temperature for at least 15 minutes or overnight in fridge.
To Cook the Vermicelli
Bring 6 cups water to a boil in a medium pot (or kettle) over high heat. Place vermicelli in a large bowl and pour over boiling water. Soak until tender, about 6 minutes, then drain and rinse under cold water for 30 seconds. Set aside in a large bowl.
Preparing the Vegetables
Cut cucumber lengthwise into 1/2 inch ( 0.5cm ) slices, then juilienne each slice. Peel the carrots and cut lengthwise into 1/2 inch ( 0.5cm ) slices, then juilienne Pick mint leaves discarding stems. Pick cilantro leaves discarding stems.
To Cook the Pork
Heat 1 teaspoon vegetable oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Remove pork from marinade, allowing excess to drip off and reserving marinade. When oil is shimmering, add pork, season lightly with salt, and cook until browned on bottom, 1 minute. Flip, season with salt, and add marinade to pan. Cook until pork is cooked through, 1 minute more.
Add cucumbers and shredded carrots to vermicelli in bowl and toss to combine. Season with salt.
To Plate the Dish
Divide vermicelli and vegetables evenly between 2 bowls. Top with pork, spooning over sauce from pan. Garnish with mint and cilantro. Enjoy!
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