Hanoi Noodles

When I worked in Pleasant Hill, I ate at a nearby Vietnamese restaurant, sometimes twice a week.  Hanoi noodles, also known as Bun Cha Hanoi, along with Beef Pho, were my favorite dishes.  This time, I sliced the pork into too small pieces;  slices about 1 and 1/2 inch square and ¼ inch thick would be ideal.  This recipe is a modified version from Andre Nguyen’s cookbook “Vietnamese Home Cooking.”  Mr. Nguyen used to live in Washington State (where I also lived) but I didn’t’ meet him till I moved to Scottsdale, where he had opened up an excellent Vietnamese restaurant (his ginger lemonade is to die for).

Marinated pork

  • 1 pound pork tenderloin or sirloin (I used the latter)
  • 5 tbsp Asian fish sauce
  • 2 tbsp each honey and chopped green onion
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • Generous grating of black pepper

Nuoc cham dipping sauce

  • ½ cup water
  • 3 tbsp fish sauce
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp fresh lime juice
  • ½ tsp Asian chile sauce
    • ½ cup shredded carrot

Noodles

  • 4 oz dried rice vermicelli
  • 2 tbsp chopped roasted peanuts

Soak 8 bamboo skewers in water for at least one hour.

Slice pork into slices (see note above) and mix with marinade ingredients.  Set aside for at least 15 minutes.

Pour ½ cup water into a large glass microwave-proof measuring cup.  Heat water for about 1 minute or until boiling.  Stir in remaining dipping sauce ingredients and pour into small dipping bowls.  Make a salad to serve on the side.

Set broiler on high heat.  Thread marinated pork onto skewers 1/8 of the pork on each skewer.  Leave a little space between each piece to ensure even cooking.  Broil pork skewers on the closest rack from the element or flame for about 5-7 minutes on each side, turning once or until cooked through

Boil vermicelli according to package directions, or if your package doesn’t have directions, like mine, drop the noodles into 4 cups of boiling water and boil for about 3 minutes, poking the noodles into the water to make sure all noodles are saturated.  Drain noodles.

Distribute noodles among four plates, top with skewered or deskewered pork.  Sprinkle peanuts on top.  Serve nuoc cham and a salad on the side.  Serves 4

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