I have been craving all things Vietnamese since the Houston Dishcrawl a few weeks ago. Cilantro, lime, peanuts–don’t even get me started. I loved the Vietnamese French Fries at Boheme the way I love the Vietnamese egg rolls at Tay Do, a restaurant in Houston Rob and I have been frequenting for years. This week, I decided to try Pad Thai with Pork.
Why pork? Since there was a big sale the week before, I made it with pork chops and sliced them thin so that they mimicked the tofu I love so much in our favorite Pad Thai takeout. This was tasty, but I think next time I would stick with shrimp or maybe chicken just because the texture wasn’t my favorite. This marinade on the pork though was killer and I would use it again and grill the pork chops. Delicious!
I built my recipe off of this fabulous one from Closet Cooking. This is not one of those thrown-together meals (I had four burners going at once) and takes a lot of weird ingredients. But I plan to do a few Vietnamese dishes in the coming months, so investing in things like fish sauce and rice vinegar is no biggie. Stick around and I’ll give you more recipes that use them!
Pad Thai Pork
2-3 pork chops
2 large carrots, sliced into strips
1/2 onion, diced
1 package shitake mushrooms, sliced
1 zucchini, sliced into strips
1/2 bunch cilantro, chopped
1 T garlic
1/4 c peanuts, chopped
1 package noodles
3-4 T olive oil (or coconut oil, vegetable oil, or peanut oil)
6 T fish sauce
4 T lime juice
3 T sugar
2 T hoisin sauce
1 T sriracha
Start with the marinade for the pork chops. I don’t measure marinades, but you want a fat and an acid. The rice vinegar is the acid (and I didn’t add a ton as I have a vinegar aversion) and the sesame oil was the fat. I basically dumped these ingredients in a bag (going light on the sriracha unless you like a ton of a hot kick) and let the pork chill for a few hours. You could probably get away with 30 minutes.
While that is marinating, chop and slice all the veggies. Over a small saucepan, dissolve the sugar in the last five ingredients over low heat, stirring occasionally to incorporate. If you don’t like spicy, leave out the sriracha. Start cooking your noodles. I just used whole wheat angel hair, which I would NOT recommend. Snag a package of the Asian noodles in your Asian aisle and cook according to instructions. Or use white pasta–the whole wheat didn’t work well.
Take out a skillet and heat 1 T oil over medium to medium high heat. Sear both sides of your pork chops (discarding marinade) and then turn the heat down to medium-low and cover. In a Using 1 T of the olive oil, cook your onion, zucchini, garlic and carrot until just softened. Turn the heat to low, add the fish sauce mixture and the noodles when cooked and stir to incorporate. When your pork is done (mine took about 15 minutes), slice thinly and either stir to incorporate or place on top of your bowl to look pretty. Garnish with the peanuts, cilantro, and a wedge of lime.
Do you have a favorite pad thai or vietnamese recipe? What should I try next in my kitchen?