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Bún chả Hanoi

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Serves 4-6

Note: The cut of pork is important in this dish.  Buy ground pork with a bit of fat in it.  Avoid lean ground pork.  If you have a home meat grinder, choose a piece of pork shoulder and pork belly and make your own ground pork.  Alternatively, if your market has a full service meat counter, ask the butcher to run a piece of pork shoulder and pork belly through the grinder once.  A coarse grind is the texture you want for the patties.

Ingredients 

  • 1 ¼ pounds ground pork (1 pound pork shoulder, ¼ pound pork belly)
  • 1 ¼ pound pork belly (sliced ¼” thick, for skewers)
  • 6 cups cooked rice vermicelli noodles
  • Pork Marinade:
    •  ¼ pound green onions, chopped into 1-inch lengths
    • 1 shallot (about 2 ounces), roughly chopped
    • 6 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
    • 4 teaspoons sugar
    • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
    • 3 tablespoons fish sauce
    • 2 tablespoon oil
  • Pickled Vegetables:
    • 2 tablespoons Red Boat fish sauce
    • 2 ½ tablespoons vinegar 
    • 1/3 cup sugar
    • ¼ pound kohlrabi, cut into ¼” matchsticks
    • ¼ pound carrots, cut into ¼” matchsticks
  • Nuoc Cham:
    • 1/4 cup Red Boat fish sauce
    • 1 cup water
    • 1 tablespoon vinegar 
    • 2/3 c sugar
    • 1 garlic clove, smashed
    • 1 Thai chili, minced
  • Herb Plate
    • 1 head butter lettuce
    • 1 bunch mint
    • 1 bunch cilantro
    • peanuts (optional)
    • fried shallots (optional)

Directions 

Marinate the pork.

    1. Combine the marinade ingredients in a mini food processor. Divide the marinade into 2 mixing bowls.
    2. In the other bowl of marinade, add the sliced pork belly.  Mix well to incorporate the marinade into the meat. Let marinate in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours and up to 24 hours.
    3. In the other bowl of marinade, add the ground pork (shoulder and belly).  Knead the mixture to incorporate the marinade into the meat.
    4. To form the patties, scoop about 2 tablespoons of the patty mixture and roll it into a 1-inch meatball.  
    5. Place the meatball on a baking pan.  Repeat with the remaining mixture. Spacing the meatballs 2 inches apart., put them onto a baking pan, spaced 2 inches apart.  
    6. Chill the pork for at least 2 hours and up to 24 hours, to firm up.

    Marinate the pickle.

      1. Add fish sauce, vinegar, sugar, and 1/3 cup water to a small sauce pot.  Bring mixture to a boil. Set aside.
      2. In a pint glass jar, add the kohlrabi and carrots.  
      3. Pour the brine over the vegetables. Pickles will be ready to eat in 2 hours.

     

    Make the nuoc cham.

      1. Add fish sauce, vinegar, sugar, and 1 cup water to a small sauce pot.  Bring mixture to a boil. 
      2. Take the pot off the flame and add minced garlic and chilis.
      3. Chill in the refrigerator until ready to use.

     

    Grill the pork.

      1. Preheat the grill to 350° F. 
      2. Meanwhile, thread the sliced pork belly onto skewers and use the tines of a fork to flatten the meatballs into patties 2-in diameter.
      3. Place the patties onto a grill basket.  Grill the patties for about 6-10 minutes, flipping the basket every 3 minutes.  The patties are done when their exterior form a caramelized crust.
      4. Grill the skewers for about 6-10 minutes, rotating the skewers every 3 minutes.  The skewers are done when their exterior form a caramelized crust.
      5. Transfer the patties and skewers to a platter.

     

    To serve.

      1. Divide the patties and pork belly slices between 4-6 bowls.  Pour ¼ cup nuoc cham over the pork. Add a few pieces of pickled carrots and kohlrabi to each bowl.
      2. Accompany each bowl of grilled pork with a bowl of rice noodles and an herb plate.

    #redboatfishsauce

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