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.
- 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)
Marinate the pork.
- Combine the marinade ingredients in a mini food processor. Divide the marinade into 2 mixing bowls.
- 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.
- In the other bowl of marinade, add the ground pork (shoulder and belly). Knead the mixture to incorporate the marinade into the meat.
- To form the patties, scoop about 2 tablespoons of the patty mixture and roll it into a 1-inch meatball.
- 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.
- Chill the pork for at least 2 hours and up to 24 hours, to firm up.
Marinate the pickle.
- Add fish sauce, vinegar, sugar, and 1/3 cup water to a small sauce pot. Bring mixture to a boil. Set aside.
- In a pint glass jar, add the kohlrabi and carrots.
- Pour the brine over the vegetables. Pickles will be ready to eat in 2 hours.
Make the nuoc cham.
- Add fish sauce, vinegar, sugar, and 1 cup water to a small sauce pot. Bring mixture to a boil.
- Take the pot off the flame and add minced garlic and chilis.
- Chill in the refrigerator until ready to use.
Grill the pork.
- Preheat the grill to 350° F.
- Meanwhile, thread the sliced pork belly onto skewers and use the tines of a fork to flatten the meatballs into patties 2-in diameter.
- 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.
- 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.
- Transfer the patties and skewers to a platter.
- 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.
- Accompany each bowl of grilled pork with a bowl of rice noodles and an herb plate.