Sunday, July 8, 2007

Thai-Spiced Pork and Noodle Roll-Ups

I made this dish to bring to a party this weekend. I'll preface this by saying that this dish looks like it would be fussy to make, but it isn't. It's delicious and has great visual appeal. There are three parts to the dish: the pork, the lettuce roll packets, and the dipping sauce.

We had a technical issue which caused the picture of the cooked pork to be very blurry, so you get an action shot of me slicing the tenderloins instead.

The portions below are to feed four as part of a meal. Any leftover meat is great in a banh mi sandwich.

Thai-Spiced Pork
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 1/2" slice ginger, peeled
  • 2 teaspoons lime zest
  • 1 teaspoon crushed hot pepper flakes
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar (or turbinado or demerara sugar)
  • 1 tablespoon Thai red-curry paste (you can get this in small jars at the supermarket - I use Thai Kitchen brand)
  • 2-3 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 1 pork tenderloin (about 1 pound)
Grind together all the ingredients but the fish sauce and pork in a spice grinder or with a mortar and pestle to make a dry paste. (Alternatively, finely mince the garlic and ginger and then add the other ingredients.) Add the fish sauce - you should have a loose spice paste.

Rub the paste over the tenderloin and leave to marinate in the fridge for 2-4 hours. (I throw everything in a gallon-sized ziploc for ease of cleanup and to ensure that the meat is entirely covered in the paste mixture.) While the meat marinates, makes your lettuce packets (below).

Light your grill. Grill the tenderloin until cooked through. On a hot gas grill, this takes 4-5 minutes a side. On yesterday's slow, smoky charcoal fire, this took close to half an hour (but happily resulted in very juicy meat).

Let the meat rest for about 5 minutes, then slice the tenderloin on the bias into thin slices. To get smaller pieces of pork, you may want to halve the tenderloin the long way if it's very thick.

Lettuce Roll-Up Packets
This is more of an guide than a recipe. You take lettuce leaves that are about 4x5" and then you layer various ingredients in them. This can all be done at table as people are eating - but since I made this for a buffet, I put all the ingredients together into pre-made roll-up bites.

For each person, lay out on a platter:
  • 4-5 lettuce leaves (Boston lettuce is good for this)
  • 1 ounce of rice vermicelli (first, pour boiling water of the dry rice noodles, let them soak for 5 minutes or so, rinse with cold water and then drain)
  • several sprigs of mint and cilantro
  • 1/2 carrot, julienned
  • 10 or so chives, cut into long batons
People should take a lettuce leaf, fill it with noodles, carrot, herbs and a slice of pork. Dip the roll into the dipping sauce (below) and eat!

Dipping Sauce
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • juice of one lime
  • 1-2 teaspoons sugar (to your taste)
  • 1-2 tablespoons water
  • 2 crushed garlic cloves
  • pinch hot pepper flakes
Mix all ingredients together.


Hamster said...

If you like cookint Thai food you might be interested in this website.
It's got about 30 recipes each one with a cooking video to go along
Good if you like to try cooking Thai food at home

Sunday Cook said...

Wow - what a great site. Thanks for the link!

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