Vietnamese pork skewers with a snow pea noodle salad

This dish will leave you wanting more

Cooking Asian cuisine is second nature to me but there’s something about watching Luke Nguyen cook inspires me. His series, Luke Nguyen’s Vietnam, was on TV again over the last couple of weeks and it doesn’t matter how many times I watch it (I have the series on DVD as well as the cookbook) I will get straight into the kitchen and cook up something delicious! These skewers are inspired by Luke’s recipe.

It’s magical moments like this that makes me smile – looking in the fridge and seeing exactly what you need to cook up something delicious. I bought pork schnitzels during the week, which I planned to crumb, but I think they’ll do nicely bashed out thinly & sliced for these skewers. Marinating the pork with typical Vietnamese ingredients is what makes these skewers even more amazing. The delicate char from the sugar gives these skewers that wonderful BBQ flavour, even when being fried on the stovetop.

Did you know that snow peas aren’t just for stir fries? And I must admit, they’re usually not the first thing I think of when making a salad, I’m a ‘safe’ salad kind of girl – lettuce, tomatoes and cucumber. But the crunch of the snow peas with the soft chewiness of the noodles makes this salad perfection in every mouthful. Together with the zing and spiciness of the dressing, it’s a wonderful match with these skewers. This is a dish your friends and family will absolutely love. Make this kid friendly by omitting the chilli flakes in the dressing.

As with most Asian recipes, there’s a long ingredient list with this recipe too. I’ve tried to make it as simple as possible, hopefully using many ingredients you may have in your pantry or fridge. It’s a healthy meal for any occasion, especially perfect with the warmer months upon us.

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TIPS:
Place snow peas in a bowl of water in the fridge for at least one hour prior to making the salad. The snow peas will stay extra crispy.

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Pat dry the snow peas with paper towel to remove any excess moisture as they hold a lot of moisture.

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Always remove both the top and bottom strings from the snow peas.

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Soak your bamboo or wooden skewers in water for at least 20 minutes – this helps to prevent them from burning while frying or grilling.

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To toast sesame seeds, place a small frypan on medium heat. No oil needed. Add the seeds and when they start turning slightly golden, remove from the heat immediately.

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Dress the salad at the last minute, when you’re ready to serve to keep the salad crispy.

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To shred the carrots, or any vegetable, use a mandoline or use a vegetable shredder.

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Enjoy these skewers on the BBQ. Just add the oil to the pork skewers before placing on the hot grills.

PREP: 1 hour + 2 hours marinating     COOK: 8 minutes     MAKES: 17-20 skewers

INGREDIENTS:vietnamese-pork-skewers-9-missfodfairy
VIETNAMESE PORK SKEWERS:
MARINADE:
2 spring (green) onions, sliced
3 tablespoons lemongrass paste (1 tablespoon fresh lemongrass)
3 tablespoons fish sauce
3 tablespoons oyster sauce
2 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground white pepper
2 tablespoons sesame oil

PORK SKEWERS:
640 grams pork schnitzel
1 tablespoon peanut oil, for frying (olive oil or coconut oil also good)
17-20 bamboo skewers (see TIPS above for soaking time)

SALAD DRESSING:
1½ tablespoons rice wine vinegar
1 teaspoon sesame oil teaspoon sugar (I use raw, unrefined sugar)
¼ teaspoon chilli flakes

SNOW PEA NOODLE SALAD:
1 packet (200 grams) brown rice vermicelli noodles (rice noodles also work well)
200 grams snow peas, finely sliced
3 medium carrots, grated or shredded
2 teaspoons sesame seeds, toasted (see TIPS above)

TO SERVE:
1½ tablespoons sesame seeds, toasted
Birdseye chillies, finely sliced
2 spring onions, thinly sliced on the diagonal
Wedges of lime

METHOD:
VIETNAMESE PORK SKEWERS:
MARINADE:
In a mortar and pestle, smash the spring onions until mushy. Then place them, along with the other marinade ingredients, into a measuring jug. Stir until well combined until the sugar is dissolved.

PORK SKEWERS:
Bash each pork schnitzel with a meat tenderiser until 2-3mm thick. Slice each schnitzel in half lengthways, each strip 3cm-4cm in width. If your schnitzels are extra big, slice into three or four strips. Set aside in a large bowl.

Pour the marinade over the pork strips, ensuring all pork is coated in the marinade. Cover and place in the fridge for at least two hours, overnight is even better.

Remove the pork from the fridge 30 minutes before placing on skewers.

Take one strip and thread it on to one skewer. Repeat the process until all meat and skewers have been used. Keep any excess marinade to brush over the skewers when frying.

Heat oil in a large frypan on medium-high heat. In batches, fry the skewers 3-4 minutes each side. Brush each skewer with marinade before turning to help with charring.

Set the skewers aside on a plate until all skewers have been cooked.

SNOW PEA NOODLE SALAD:
While the pork is marinating, place all dressing ingredients in a measuring jug and stir until well combined and the sugar is dissolved. Set aside until ready to serve.

Follow the packet instructions for rehydrating the noodles. Rinse with cold water and set aside in a colander.

While the skewers are being grilled, in a large bowl gently mix the snow peas, carrots and noodles together. Set aside until the skewers are finished.

Pour dressing on the salad and gently combine. Sprinkle with sesame seeds.

TO SERVE:
Sprinkle spring onions, chilli and sesame seeds over the pork skewers. Squeeze lime juice all over and enjoy!

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