Bun Thit Nuong (Vietnamese Grilled Pork with Vermicelli)
slightly adapted from Hungry Huy
- 1.5 pounds pork shoulder
- 1 10-oz. package rice vermicelli (small thickness), cooked using package directions
- 1 shallot, minced
- 3 large cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce
- 1 tablespoon thick soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 1 tablespoon neutral cooking oil
- Mint (rau thơm), chopped or minced
- Vietnamese perilla (tiá tô), chopped or minced
- Vietnamese balm (kinh giới), chopped or minced
- Cucumbers, sliced or julienned
- Carrots, julienned
- Pickled radish
- Crushed peanuts
Slice the uncooked pork thinly, about 1/8-1/4″. It helps to slightly freeze it.
Mince garlic and shallots. Mix in a bowl with sugar, fish sauce, thick soy sauce, pepper, and oil until sugar dissolves. Marinate the meat in the mixture for at least 1 hour, or overnight for better results.
Bake the pork at 375F for 10-15 minutes or until about 80% cooked. Finish cooking by broiling in the oven until a nice golden brown color develops, flipping the pieces midway.
Assemble your bowl with veggies, noodles, and garnish. Mix the whole bowl up and pour the nuoc cham on top or sauce individual bites, as you prefer.
Bun Thit Nuong has been my favorite Vietnamese dish since I first laid my hands on it in SoCal around 2007. And I can’t tell you how many friends of mine have heard my mini-diatribe re. eating at a Vietnamese spot: “forget the pho, order the bun!”
But ever since coming back to Texas in 2011, I have gone without. Why? Well, I rarely eat out since I moved back here. And for some reason, it never occurred to me to make it myself. Which… for me? That is WEIRD. WHY? Why would I not have thought to make it myself?? It took a longtime acquaintance of Vietnamese background to nudge me to do it and once I did, I kind of face palmed myself for waiting so long. From the first bite, I nearly cried at how perfect it tasted – and just like the restaurant versions I remembered.
I won’t lie: this is not a 30-minute meal. More like twice that. The assembling of all the elements takes a bit of effort. But if you love this dish like I do, it is so, so worth it. Promise.