Vietnamese pork skewers–or bun cha, if you prefer–CAN be made at home, even if you’re used to ordering them. They take a little time and effort but the results are, honestly, spectacular. Some pickled onions and carrots, a handful of butter lettuce, some rice noodles, and…the star of the show, lush marinated pork belly, come together perfectly.
This is one of the mouthwatering recipes for traditional Vietnamese home-cooking collected by Bà, my maternal grandmother. It’s an homage to Vietnamese cooking and a tribute to my beloved grandmother, an accomplished home cook. These heirloom recipes withstood the test of time—and exile. As Bà journeyed from the rice fields in Hanoi to Washington, D.C., and France, she stayed true to her culinary heritage and learned to work around unavailable items and adapt to new ingredients.–Anne-Solenne Hatte
CAN I MAKE VIETNAMESE PORK SKEWERS AHEAD OF TIME?
Actually…according to Anne-Solenne Hatte, some of the ingredients are actually better when made ahead of time. Namely, the pickled onions and carrots, and the pork marinade should be made at least 6 hours before use. She also suggests adding 4 teaspoons of rice wine to the marinade, just in case, that’s some knowledge you can use.
Vietnamese Pork Skewers ~ Bun Cha
My Vietnamese pork skewers are made with fresh ingredients, a bright flavor combination from the fresh and pickled vegetables, and a zesty marinade on the pork belly. Serve with rice noodles and lots of spring roll dipping sauce for a perfect dinner.
For the pork and marinade
For the noodles
Make the pork and marinade
In a medium bowl, combine shallots, garlic, and lemongrass. Stir in fish sauce, sugar, 3 tablespoons sunflower oil, and pepper.
Pat meat dry with paper towels, remove the layer of fat and cut meat into 1/2-inch thick (12-mm) slices. Add pork to the marinade and refrigerate for at least 3 hours or up to overnight.
Thread marinated pork onto four skewers, leaving some space between each slice.
In a skillet over medium heat, heat some sunflower oil and cook pork until it reaches an internal temperature of 145°F (63°C), about 30 minutes, turning every 5 minutes. Alternatively, cook them directly on a grill, over medium heat for 15 to 20 minutes.
Prepare the noodles
While the pork is cooking, fill a large saucepan with 4 1/4 cups cold water. Add noodles, a pinch of salt, and bring to a boil. Cook according to package directions. Turn off heat, cover, and let stand for 5 minutes. Drain in a colander, then rinse in cold water.
Serve the pork skewers
Serve skewers with noodles, lettuce, tia to, mint, cucumbers, pickled carrots, pickled onions, cilantro, and spring roll dipping sauce.
Serving: 1servingCalories: 1115kcal (56%)Carbohydrates: 66g (22%)Protein: 18g (36%)Fat: 86g (132%)Saturated Fat: 29g (181%)Polyunsaturated Fat: 9gMonounsaturated Fat: 44gCholesterol: 102mg (34%)Sodium: 1626mg (71%)Potassium: 753mg (22%)Fiber: 4g (17%)Sugar: 18g (20%)Vitamin A: 6256IU (125%)Vitamin C: 12mg (15%)Calcium: 96mg (10%)Iron: 3mg (17%)
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Originally published September 29, 2021