Melt in your mouth sweet, aromatic pork cooked in five-spice powder & hoi sin sauce then tossed with tapioca noodles, fresh herbs & crunchy veggies. All tossed together in a lively lime & chili dressing.
If you’ve poked around on my website, you know me or we’ve connected via social media, you might have noticed I’m really into Asian food. Not committed to one country, I like to spread my love around – whoa, that sounds like the story of my life. For this recipe, I take my inspiration from the cuisine of Vietnam.
And if you’ve ever eaten Vietnamese food you’ll know Vietnamese salads are perfection. Combining aromatic herbs, heat from small fiery chilies & lots of fresh veggies they make it easy to eat healthy.
Noodles are a welcome addition in any Vietnamese recipe. These tapioca noodles are made from, yep you guessed it – tapioca. Tapioca starch actually. They’re so easy to prepare you don’t even have to cook them. Soak them in boiling water for 20 minutes while you prepare all the other ingredients, drain them & toss them into the salad. Easy right?
The pork is cooked quickly becoming sticky & uber tender. Throw that into the salad too with the veggies. Douse it in dressing & now all that’s left to do is grab your chopsticks & dig in!
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- 12 oz (375g) pork chops, cubed (I used forequarter chops
- 3 tablespoons hoisin sauce
- 1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
- 1/4 tsp five-spice powder
- 3 bundles of tapioca noodles (about 3 oz/85g) you could also use rice noodles
- boiling water
- 1 cup cilantro (coriander), coarsely chopped
- 2/3 cup mint leaves, coarsely chopped
- 1 tablespoon canola or avocado oil
- 1 handful snow peas, trimmed & julienne
- 1 red bell pepper (capsicum) thinly sliced (or use a mixture of different colors)
- 1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
- extra cilantro, mint leaves & chopped chilies to serve
- LIME DRESSING
- 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
- 3 tablespoons grated palm sugar (or brown sugar)
- 2 tablespoons fish sauce
- 2 teaspoons sesame seed oil
- 2 to 3 small red chilies, thinly sliced
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- To make the dressing: Place all ingredients in a jar with a screw-top lid. Shake well to combine. The dressing can be made several hours ahead of time.
- Combine pork, hoisin sauce, pepper & five-spice powder in a re-sealable bag or a small bowl. Leave to marinate in the fridge for 20 minutes or for several hours if you have time.
- Place noodles in a heatproof bowl & pour over enough boiling water to cover them completely. Leave them to stand for 20 minutes or until they’ve softened. Drain noodles into a sieve & rinse until cold water; drain. Place noodles in a medium bowl. Add chopped herbs & 3 tablespoons of dressing; toss to coat.
- Heat oil in a wok or skillet over medium-high heat. Cook the pork in two batches for about 5 minutes, stirring, until cooked, glazed & sticky.
- Combine noodles, pork, snow peas, bell pepper & onion in a medium bowl. Spoon onto serving plates or a platter. Drizzle with remaining dressing; serve immediately.
- Tapioca noodles can be found in the Asian section of supermarkets & in Asian markets. The noodles are gluten free & require no cooking, just soaking in hot water.