Make Your Favorite Street Food by Lauren

Wednesday, 13April, 2011

Make Your Favorite Street Food by Lauren

by travellinlb

Filled with confidence with my bad ass dumpling making mad skills after our private party with Fong, I made an encore of both vegetarian and meat dumplings for Friday night’s Ghetto-gether.  (for more info on what a Ghetto-gether is, click HERE and for the dumpling recipes, click HERE) I’m always on the search for the perfect dumpling.  Ever since living in NYC and wandering the streets of Chinatown searching for that one packet of perfection.  (By the way my favorite is The Excellent Dumpling at 111 Lafayette Street). The small packages are jam-packed with a variety of different ingredients exploding with flavor.  Years later, I moved to SF, with even a bigger Chinatown and got addicted to dim sum lunches.  At Yang Sing Chinese waiters would push shiny little carts filled with a variety of different dumplings, steamed pork buns, lotus leaves filled with chicken, and sesame balls, among other Chinese delights. Pointing to something on the cart, they would place the dish in front of you and with excitement I would take that first delicious bite to find out what is waiting inside. With a trip last year to Hong Kong I was finally able to have the authentic dumplings right off the street.  The real China.  The real dumplings.  I’d eat them from street carts or at a dim sum restaurant.  At the restaurant, it is true they give English people a different menu than the Chinese.  We looked around seeing others scraping meat off of chicken legs or buns filled with unknown ingredients we didn’t see on our English menu. We enlisted the help of a random Chinese man (with a lot of finger-pointing and various facial expressions)  to order us some dim sum that only the Chinese would order.  We were not disappointed.

Lauren's Dumplings

So thus from my sheer love of street food, we cross these cultural borders in Friday night’s Ghetto-gether.  What would you make if there was a street food challenge? What country would it be from?  What story would you tell? The guests at this Ghetto-gether once again raised the bar.  I am constantly impressed with the amount of thought, skill, creativity and culinary talent that is demonstrated at these events. Themes ranged the entire globe from Vietnamese with Nina’s Bun Thit Nuong and Kelly’s Banh Mi Thit, and Fran and Karen’s Spring Rolls to India where we experienced Virtti’s Bhel and Pav Bhaji from the streets of Mumbai.  Heading east to Malaysia smashed up a Singapore style Sticky Crab and unwrapped Sticky Rice Parcels in Lotus Leafs.  Onward to Australia, Rachel from the blog thusbakereszarathustra introduced us to her version of the Not Quite Chiko Rolls.

Nina's Bun Thit Nuong

Cathy's Singapore Style Sticky Crab

Rachel's Not Quite Chiko Rolls

Jumping back across the globe we landed in South America with Yumi’s Pupusas with slaw, and trekking to Mexico, where the streets ushered us to Rima and Katie’s Fish Tacos with Mango Salsa, Chris’s mayonnaise slathered and spiced Mexican Corn, and Hilary’s Mushroom Tacos on home-made tortillas, and Mitchell’s Tamales. Traveling up to Texas (yay!) we were introduced to Frito Pie, a staple at the Texas State Fair (and impossible to get Fritos here in Amsterdam, so these were flown in for the occasion!).

Yumi's Pupusas

Chris's Mexican Corn

Mitchell's Tamales

And then back across the pond once more to the UK where Jason, our gracious host for the evening, created street food with a insanely creative lovefood twist with his “painkiller” cones filled with all the brunch necessities one would need for a hangover. (which we all could have used the next day with 36 bottles of wine between 26 foodies!)

Jason's Painkiller Cones

With so much food, people left with doggie bags and swollen bellies.  Yumi summed it up by saying “I wish I had four stomachs!” These Ghetto-gether’s are usually held at a private residence but for our next event which will be on June 19th, the Ghetto-gether will be hosted in conjunction with The Kitchen which is a new concept of cooking and dining in Amsterdam where you cook what you eat and eat what you cook.

As always, the recipes from all these amazing dishes are in the comments section so that our guests upload their recipes and we have a “living”cookbook of the evening to share with each other and the world!

If you want to find out more about these events and keep in touch follow us on our Facebook Page.


{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

travellinlb April 13, 2011 at 9:51 am

Fran & Karyn’s Summer Rolls

• 3 ounces Vietnamese cellophane noodles, cooked according to package directions
• 2 cups bean sprouts
• 2 carrots, julienned
• 1 large beet, julienned
• 1 fresh red chile, cut in circles
• 2 handfuls fresh cilantro, hand-torn
• 3/4 cup chopped unsalted peanuts
• 2 teaspoons dark sesame oil
• 1 lime, juiced
• Sea salt
• 20 (8-inch) round rice paper wrappers
• 40 mint leaves

Put the cellophane noodles, vegetables, cilantro and peanuts in a large bowl; toss with sesame oil and lime juice to give the filling some flavor; season with salt and pepper.

Pour 3 cups of hot, not boiling water in a large shallow bowl. One at a time, immerse the rice paper wrappers in the hot water for 10 seconds to soften, then place on a slightly damp towel. The rice paper is very delicate, don’t soak them any longer or they will break apart. Keep them covered while you work to prevent them from drying out and curling.

To form the rolls, lay a rice paper wrapper on a flat surface. Grab a small amount of the cellophane and vegetable mixture and lay it across the bottom third. Use less filling than you think you should, if you overstuff the wrapper it will tear. Carefully fold the bottom of the wrapper up to cover the filling. Fold in the left and right sides, then tuck and roll it over once. Lay 2 mint leaves on top, then tuck and roll it over to close the whole thing up like a tight cigar. The mint leaves should show through the transparent rice paper. Arrange the finished rolls on a platter and cover with a damp towel.


travellinlb April 13, 2011 at 9:53 am

Warren’s Spiced Nuts

Spiced Nuts

2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup light brown sugar
2 tablespoons water
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups mixed nuts, such as walnuts, pecans, hazelnuts and almonds

Mix spices and reserve.

Heat nuts in a dry skillet and cook, stirring frequently, until begin to toast, about 4 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl and set aside. Add the butter, sugar, water and spices to the hot skillet and cook, stirring, until a glaze forms, about 1 minute. Return the nuts to the skillet and toss to combine with the glaze. Cook for about 1 to 2 minutes, or until the nuts are glazed and golden brown.

Remove from the heat and transfer to a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil, separating with a fork. Let rest until cooled and the sugar has hardened, about 10 minutes. Store in an airtight container.


travellinlb April 13, 2011 at 9:54 am

Rachel’s Not Quite Chiko Rolls

For filling
200g Iranian barley (barley that’s been lightly crushed; if you can’t find it use 100g pearl barley + 100g short grain rice)
100g dried shitake mushrooms + 200g fresh
1 piece kombu
1/3 cup mirin
150g cabbage, shredded
1 large carrot or two small ones, coarsely grated
The grated zest of one lemon
2 tbsp oyster sauce
1 tbsp five-spice powder
2 tsp ground allspice
2 tbsp grated ginger
3 tbsp soy sauce, divided

For wrappers
2 cups flour
2 tbsp cornstarch
1 1/2 cups soda water
2 dozen spring roll wrappers, thawed
An egg, beaten with a little water

A large quantity of oil for frying.

To make the filling, put the Iranian barley in a small pan and cover with water. Bring to a strong simmer and cook, covered, until the barley is soft with a little toothy bite. Drain and set aside.

Put the kombu into a large saucepan with 500ml of water. Bring to a strong simmer, then add 2 tbsp soy sauce and the mirin. Toss in the dried shitake mushrooms and cook for 10 minutes. Add the fresh mushrooms and cook for 5 minutes longer. You want the mushrooms covered by the liquid, so add more as needed. Drain the mushrooms and remove the kombu, then coarsely chop.

Transfer mushrooms and barley into a large bowl. Add remaining ingredients and fold together to make a nubbly, fragrant filling.

To roll, place a spring roll wrapper on a plate, laying it so one of the corners points towards you. Spoon 2 tbsp of filling in a rough log shape 5cm away from the corner nearest you, then brush the edges with beaten egg and water. Roll the corner over the filling, fold in the sides, then the remainder to form a tight, neat roll. When all the rolls are rolled, beat together the flour, cornflour and soda water to form a batter.

I’m clearly not a frying expert, but if I was to do it again I’d heat my oil in a large, heavy pan over a truly vicious heat for a good long time, until a little batter dropped in immediately sizzles and browns. Dip a roll into the batter, then fry until golden. Drain on crumpled paper towels.

For best results, eat while draped over a Harley Davidson.


travellinlb April 13, 2011 at 9:55 am

Shari’s Chicken Sate

Chicken Satay with Peanut Sauce

Prep Time:25 min

Inactive Prep Time:2 hr 0 min

Cook Time:10 min


Serves: 20 skewers


1 cup plain yogurt
1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon curry powder
1 1/2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into strips

20 wooden skewers, soaked in water 30 minutes
Vegetable oil, for grilling
Butter lettuce leaves
Fresh cilantro leaves

Peanut Sauce:
1 cup smooth peanut butter
1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
2 teaspoons red chili paste, such as sambal
2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
2 limes, juiced

1/2 cup hot water
1/4 cup chopped peanuts, for garnish

Directions for Chicken

Combine the yogurt, ginger, garlic, and curry powder in a shallow mixing bowl, stir to combine. Place the chicken strips in the yogurt marinade and gently toss until well coated. Cover and let the chicken
marinate in the refrigerator for at up to 2 hours.

Thread the chicken pieces onto the soaked skewers working the skewer in and out of the
meat, down the middle of the piece, so that it stays in place during grilling. Place a
grill pan over medium heat and brush it with oil to prevent the meat from sticking. Grill
the chicken satays for 3 to 5 minutes on each side, until nicely seared and cooked
through. Serve the satays on a platter lined with lettuce leaves and cilantro; accompanied
by a small bowl of peanut sauce on the side.

Directions for Sauce

Combine the peanut
butter, soy sauce, red chili paste, brown sugar, and lime juice in a food processor or
blender. Puree to combine. While the motor is running, drizzle in the hot water to thin
out the sauce, you may not need all of it. Pour the sauce into a nice serving bowl and
garnish with the chopped peanuts. Serve with chicken satay.

Yield: 3 cups


travellinlb April 13, 2011 at 9:56 am

Cathy’s Sticky Rice Parcels in Lotus Leaf

2-3 tbsp peanut oil
½ tsp or less of dark soy sauce
1 tbsp of oyster sauce (recipe below)
2 tbsp of cornstarch
¼ tsp of unrefined sugar

½ large chicken breast
5 dried chinese black mushrooms
2 tblsp of sesame oil for frying
a cup of minced pork
2 cups of sweet Chinese glutinous rice, rinsed
8 lotus leaf halves

Oyster sauce
5 fresh oysters
a few drops of soy sauce
tblesp rice wine

Use salt according to your tastes, but remember by using soy sauce it’s usually pretty salty already.

For the oyster sauce:
Shuck your oysters and pluck out the flesh, saving all the oyster water as well.
Finely chop the oysters. Place in a saucepan, add a tablespoon of water and the reserved oyster water, and bring to the boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for about 10 minutes. Remove from heat, add salt (optional) and leave to cool. When cooled, force the mixture through a sieve into a saucepan. Add a few drops of strong soy sauce according your to your taste. Bring to the boil, and add a little water if you want to increase the amount of liquid. Reduce the heat and simmer gently for about 7 minutes. Leave to cool completely.

Main recipe:
Soak the dried lotus leaves in water for at least an hour
Soaked the mushrooms in hot water for at least 30 minutes. Retain the mushroom water.

Mix the marinade ingredients in a bowl. Cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces, add to the marinade and chill for 30 minutes.

Combine the rice and 2 teaspoons of salt in a pan, add 3 cups of water and place over a medium heat. When simmering, lower the heat to very low, cover and cook until all the water has been absorbed. Removed the pot from the heat. Spread the rice out onto a tray to cool. When cooled divide it into 8 equal parts.

Take out the soaking mushrooms, squeezing out the excess water back into the bowl. Remove and discard the stems, then chop the caps into thin slices. With half a cup of reserved mushroom water, stir in 1 tsp of cornstarch and set aside.

Heat the oil in a wok over a high heat and add the chicken, keeping the marinade for later. Cook for about 3 minutes. Add the pork mince and mushrooms and cook for another couple of minutes stirring continously. Add the rice wine and scrape up any sticky bits from the pan. Mix the mushroom-cornstarch mix into the remaining chicken marinade and pour into the wok. Stir until the sauce starts to simmer. Cover and lower heat, cook for 3 minutes. Scoop into a bowl/plate and set aside to cool completely.

Place one leaf half, smoth side up on a work surface. Centre half a portion of rice on the leaf. Moisten your hands in a bowl of water and pat the rice into a 4-inch round patty. Place a heaped tablespoon or more of the filling on top of the rice and cover with the other half of the rice portion, creating a loose slightly messy sandwich. use your hands to gently pat and mould the mound inward to neaten up the edges, and seal off the mixture. Keep your hands wet with the water throughout to avoid getting sticky rice stuck to your hands. This is my favourite bit, like moulding clay, feels super sensous.

Fold one side of the leaf snugly over the mound, then fold the opposite side. Fold over the two remaining open sides as firmly as you can, forming a square bundle. Pplace seam-side down on a plate. Repeat until you have used up all the ingredients. NB I found I could have done with some extra rice.

Steam the parcels for 30 minutes. When ready, remove from the steamer, place on a folded, clean teatowel. Peel back the leaves or cut open with scissors, and serve.

Note: I think the rice could have been tastier. I couldn’t get the sweet chinese glutinous rice so used thai glutinous rice. Doing it again, I guess I would add more salt, or healthier, add some of the mushroom water. And steam for much longer to let the the sticky rice absorb more of the lotus fragrance and filling.


travellinlb April 13, 2011 at 9:57 am

Cathy’s Sticky Malaysian Crab

4 large, fresh brown crabs
a few drops of soy sauce
2-4 tblsp rice wine
3 two-inch cubes of fresh ginger, grated
6-8 cloves of garlic, minced/finely chopped
bunch of fresh coriander
2 shallots, finely diced
1-2 tblsp sugar
bunch of spring onions

Note: I got the whole live crabs fresh from the Albert Cuypmarket, the stall diagonally opposite the GroeneVlinder (Friday 8 April, €2.50 per crab). Most likely to have them Friday/Saturdays. Crab claws normally available throughout the week but they can have less taste.

Kill the crabs humanely with a knife plunged behind the eyes. Remove the stomach sack, main shell and intenstines, gills, and any gooey/excess stuff that doesn’t look much like raw crab meat to you. Snap/twist off the claws and place in a big bowl. The legs should still be attached to the underpart of the body. This can then be split into four pieces with a few legs still stuck to a bit of the body, or you could snap off all of the legs, and then split the body into a few pieces, depending on the size of the crab. Wash all the pieces under a cold tap to clean as neccessary and get rid of any stubborn bits of goo. Drain well, pat dry with some kitchen towel. With a rolling pin on a chopping board covered with a clean teatowel, smash the parts up a little. This will speed up cooking, enable the flavours to penetrate into the crabmeat and helps when it comes to eating it. Dust with cornstarch.

Fry the garlic, ginger and shallots in the oil over a low heat for just a minute or so until aromatic. Add the crabs and stir fry for about 3-4 minutes. Add the liquid all at once, cover with a wok lid and leave to steam for 10 minutes, the crabs should turn red. Meanwhile chop the spring onions into strips and add to the wok whenever. When you’re happy with it, serve sprinked with chopped coriander.


travellinlb April 13, 2011 at 9:57 am

Fran & Karyn’s Cinnamon Roasted Nuts


1 egg white
1 teaspoon cold water
4 cups whole almonds
1/2 cup white sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 250 degrees F (120 degrees C). Lightly grease a 10×15 inch jellyroll pan.
Lightly beat the egg white; add water, and beat until frothy but not stiff. Add the nuts, and stir until well coated. Mix the sugar, salt, and cinnamon, and sprinkle over the nuts. Toss to coat, and spread evenly on the prepared pan.
Bake for 1 hour in the preheated oven, stirring occasionally, until golden. Allow to cool, then store nuts in airtight containers.

Note: The recipe said bake for an hour but we needed at least 2 – 2.5 hours before they were crunchy.


travellinlb April 13, 2011 at 3:31 pm

Kelly’s Viet Style BBQ Pork Rolls

750g pork belly
Simmer for one and a half hours
100ml light soy
2T Shao Hsing
1-2 whole star anise
2 cloves garlic
2 spring onions
4 slices ginger
1 or 1/2 a red chili (do some deseeding)
Add small amounts of fennel seeds, a cinnamon stick, szechuan pepper. Add salt reduced chicken stock to cover in a soup pot

Fridge when cooled. Skim fat.
Roast at 190C for 30 odd minutes in some of the cooking liquid.

Chili Lime May
1T Sambal
Lime to taste
Whole egg mayo

French Style baguettes – not sourdough
Julienne carrot
Julienne Cucumber
Spring onion

Add all ingredients together in a pot and simmer for 1 1/2hrs. Make sure pork is covered. Dry pork and score skin. Lather in salt. Add a little of the broth to the pan and roast in a very hot oven until crispy (30ish mins)
DO NOT THROW AWAY BROTH. Cool and skim fat. If you don’t fancy drinking it as pure liquid gold, save it to add to stir fries or other Asian inspired goodies.

Combine Mayo, lime, chilli. Add some water if it’s too thick.

Fill rolls with carrot, cucumber, mayo, and sliced pork. Garnish with coriander, chilli and spring onion.


travellinlb April 13, 2011 at 8:17 pm

Mexican Corn on the Cob

Prep Time: 10 Min | Cook Time: 15 mins | Servings: 4 servings | Difficulty: Easy


4 ears corn, shucked
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons finely grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/8 teaspoon salt

Outdoor: Preheat an outdoor grill for medium-high heat. Grill corn until hot and lightly charred all over, 7 to 10 minutes, depending on the temperature of the grill.

Indoor: Set oven grill to 175°C. Place corn in a foil lined pan placed close to the heating element. Grill for about 15-20 minutes, turning every few minutes, until golden brown all over.

Combine mayonnaise and juice in a small bowl.

Combine cheese and remaining dry ingredients in another small bowl.

Remove corn from grill; brush with mayonnaise mixture, and sprinkle with cheese mixture. Serve immediately.


travellinlb April 14, 2011 at 3:42 pm

Jason’s Painkiller Cones

Cones wrapped in painkiller wrappers with handmade sausage, handcured bacon, smoked Mangalica pork fat, black pudding balls, roast tomatoes, mushrooms and a fried quails egg…served with a shot of English “builders” tea


travellinlb April 14, 2011 at 3:57 pm

Elizabeth’s Frito Pie:

Frito Pie is Fritos topped with chili and cheddar cheese. The chili you make.

Beef Chili:

2T vegetable or corn oil
2 medium onions, finely chopped
6 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup chili powder
1T ground cumin
2tsp ground coriander
2tsp red pepper flakes
1tsp dried oregano
1/2 cayanne pepper
2 lbs ground beef
1 can of peeled tomatoes with juice
1 can of tomato paste
1 bag Frito
cheddar cheese shredded

Heat oil in a dutch oven over medium heat until shimmering but not smoking. Add onions, garlic, chili powder, cumin, coriander, pepper flakes, oregano and cayenne and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegtables are softened and beginning to brown, about 10 minutes. Increase heat to medium-high and add 1/2 the beef. Cook, breaking up the chunks with a wooden spoon, until no longer pink and just beginning to brown, 3-4 minutes. Add the remaining beef and cook, breaking up the chunks with the wooden spoon, until no longer pink, 3-4 minutes. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste and 1/2tsp sal. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer, covered and stirring occasionally, for 1 hour. Remove the cover and continue to simmer 1 hour longer, stirring occasionally (if the chili begins to stick to the bottom of the pot, stir in 1/2cup water and continue to simmer.) until the beef is tender and the chili is dark, rich , and slightly thickened. Adjust the seasonings with additional salt to taste.

I added a little brown sugar for taste while cooking. Once the chili is ready, pour over Fritos and top with cheddar cheese.


Snippets of Thyme April 14, 2011 at 10:32 pm

Wow! so many eye-catching recipes to try with beautiful photographs to match!


travellinlb April 19, 2011 at 9:14 am

Hilary’s Spring Mushroom Tacos (from Mexican Made Easy by Thomasina Miers)

25g butter
2tbs olive oil
750g mixed mushrooms, sliced
Sea salt and black pepper
1tbs truffle oil (optional)
2 shallots, finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
Small handful of tarragon, chopped


Heat half the butter and olive oil in a frying pan and add the mushrooms, seasoning with salt and pepper.

Cook over a high heat until the mushrooms have released their juices and the juice has started to evaporate – about 10 minutes.

Add the rest of the butter and the oil (including the truffle oil if you are using it) the shallots and garlic and cook until soft. Sprinkle with the tarragon and check the seasoning.

Spoon the mushrooms into a heated earthenware dish that will look fun on the table and sprinkle over the parsley and cheese. This is incredibly delicious with my sweet chipotle paste but also yummy with the fresh tomato salsa and a dollop of crème fraÎche.

For a creamier taco, add 200ml crème fraÎche to the mushrooms when they are cooked and simmer for a few minutes. Top with a bit of Chipotle Sauce.

To serve, add a handful of parsley, roughly chopped, and some grated Pecorino cheese.

Chipotle in Adobo Sauce

Chipotle en adobo ( a version of Thomasina Miers from here)

40 chipotle chillis
1 large white onion peeled
1 head of garlic peeled
3 tbsp of oregano , thyme and bay leaves
1 tsp of cumin seeds
100ml of white wine vinegar
2 tbsp of demera sugar
1 tsp of salt

1. Snip the stalk of the chillis
2. Just cover chillis with water and bring to a simmer for 30 minutes
3. Drain the chillis but save the water , pureee the onion, garlic and cumin with the chillis and a little of the water
4. Heat a tsp of olive oil in a heavy bottomed pan , add the chilli paste and fry
5. Add the vinegar , water , sugar , salt .
6. Simmer and cook for another 15 minutes
7. Puree once more.

Once you have made your chipotle sauce it will keep for months in the fridge here are a few uses


The Mistress of Spices April 20, 2011 at 9:11 am

What a lovely post and a wonderful idea (a street food get-together). I’ve been thinking of doing a party around Indian street food, but I like the idea of an international fete! Street food after all does tend to be the best food pretty much everywhere in the world!


travellinlb April 21, 2011 at 12:06 pm

Nina’s Vietnamese Bun Thit Nuong

Vietnamese Bun Thit Nuong (Grilled pork and rice vermicelli salad):

There are three parts to preparing this dish, and perhaps the most time-consuming is marinating the pork. So I’d start with the marinade, then put the pork in the fridge for an hour, and in the meantime prepare the rest. The other two parts are boiling the vermicelli (which only takes a few minutes), and chopping the fresh ingredients for the salad (which takes only as long as the number of ingredients you include in the salad). I have listed the salad ingredients I chose but you can substitute items in the salad (for example, you could add cucumber slices rather than the daikon, or a regular red radish; some people might also like to add green onions for a little more kick).

1.5 lb fatty pork (use butt or shoulder meat, rather than lean pork, because it won’t dry out while grilling).Ask your butcher to cut the pork to about 1/4 inch slices.

Marinade for the pork:
• 1/4 cup minced Lemongrass (xa bam). (This can be bought in Asian grocery stores. I couldn’t find it so I substituted 1/4 cup fresh lemon, 1 teaspoon grated ginger and 1 teaspoon crushed mint, creating essentially the same flavour)
• 1/4 cup honey
• 1/4 cup thick soy sauce (this is the key ingredient!: it’s not regular soy sauce–has molasses)
• 3 tbs sesame oil
• 3 tbs fish sauce
• 2 cloves garlic
• 1 tbs red pepper (to taste)
• 3 tbs roasted sesame seeds

Once you’ve completed the marinade, submerge the pork in it, turning over several times, and then put the pork in the fridge for about an hour or two (the longer the better, really). Then grill the strips of pork individually, preferably on an outdoor grill. I used an indoor grill pan, which is just fine. Make sure you don’t overcook the pork. You want it to be crisp on the outside but retaining moisture on the inside. So make sure your grill is very hot but only keep the pork on the grill for 2-3 minutes on each side. Set aside and when the meat is cooled, slice it into long narrow strips, about 1cm in diameter.

Boil for three minutes:
1 large package of rice vermicelli
1/2 cup rice vinegar

Boil, rinse and set aside. Add rice vinegar and perhaps a tiny bit of sesame oil to keep noodles moist and slightly sweet.

Ingredients for the salad:
• 1 head romaine lettuce (cut fine)
• 3 cups chinese bean sprouts
• 4 carrots (finely chopped)*
• 1 large daikon (finely chopped)*
• 1 bundle of fresh mint
• 1 cup roasted peanuts (unsalted or salted, depending on preference), crushed
*if you have the time/desire, these could be pickled to add a nice zest

I keep all the ingredients separate for presentation and serve with the salad underneath, then the rice noodles on top and then the meat on top of that, finally sprinkled with the crushed roasted peanuts and garnished with a sprig of fresh mint or a radish cut in the shape of a flower. Then the person who is eating it mixes all the parts together.

Serve with:
Vietnamese chili sauce (pretty widely available at any toko)
Vietnamese dipping sauce (Nuoc Mam Cham) – I didn’t have this so I just combined rice vinegar, lemon juice, and a little bit of crushed garlic.
Optional slices of red pepper

Nina Siegal
Amsterdam 2011


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