LIFE’S A FEAST: Vietnamese Pork Noodle Salad

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It feels peculiar to be writing a spring recipe with half-a-foot of snow around the ground in mid- November … however I am pretty sure that, by the time this is published, we will be back in the throes of a beautiful hot, dry spring! You can think of this dish as a deconstructed spring roll, with crisp vegetables, tasty pork, cool rice noodles and a sweet/spicy sauce. Remember, don’t skimp on the garnishes – the herbs and vegetables provide wonderful colour, brightness and texture. This salad is refreshing, satisfying and great for a quick and easy lunch or dinner. Enjoy!

PREP TIME: 15mins

COOK TIME: 10 mins

SERVES: 4-5 people

Ingredients

1 red onion, cut in half and thinly sliced

2 pork fillets (about 400g-500g each),seasoned and cut into 1cm pieces long ways

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

250g pack of rice noodles

5 cups baby spinach

2 carrots julienned (cut into matchsticks)

1 red pepper, halved and cut into thin slices

3 spring onions, sliced

cup fresh coriander leaves (leave little for garnish)

cup of mint leaves (leave a little for garnish)

1 red chilli thinly sliced (leave a little for garnish)

Dressing

5 tablespoons fresh lime juice

2 tablespoons fish sauce

1 teaspoon of minced fresh garlic

1 tablespoon of sugar

1/2 teaspoon chilli powder

Method

1.First, cook the pork. Heat a heavy griddle pan to a medium-high heat. In batches, cook the pork for about 1 1/2 mins each side. Set aside covered with tin foil to rest.

2.Next bring a medium saucepan of water to the boil, then cook according to the instructions, it will depend on which brand you have bought. Drain, then rinse under cold water and drain again. Set aside.

3.To make your dressing, simply combine all the ingredients, mixing until the sugar has dissolved, and set aside.

4.To make the salad, combine the spinach, noodles, carrots, red onion, spring onion, peppers and the herbs in a large bowl. Tip over the dressing and combine gently but thoroughly with your hands.

5.Next, pour the remaining dressing over your pork for added flavour.

6.Divide the salad across 4-5 plates ensuring an even spread of the ingredients, then divide the pork among the plates evenly also. Garnish with remaining herbs and serve immediately.