Taking on a pork willy


Pork tenderloin is the sort of thing I look at in the supermarket not quite knowing what to do with it. For that reason alone (and also perhaps the fact that I find these enormous pork willies mildly alarming to look at) I’ve never actually cooked one. The other day I picked one up and spent the next couple of days trying to decide how to approach it. Having scoured the internet and found a plethora of options I settled on the one below and it is definitely something I’ll be coming back to. The other great thing was that it forced me into the Chinese supermarket which is somewhere I just don’t spend enough time. That said there’s nothing here you wouldn’t be able to find easily elsewhere.

Flat rice noodles with sticky Vietnamese grilled pork

  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 2 stalks lemongrass, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 120g caster sugar
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil, plus extra for drizzling
  • a small bunch coriander
  • 500g pork tenderloin
  • 200ml rice wine vinegar
  • 2 red chillies, deseeded and chopped
  • 3 tbsp roasted salted peanuts, crushed
  • 250g flat rice noodles

Mix together the fish sauce, turmeric, lemongrass, garlic, 20g sugar, sesame oil and 1/2 the coriander. Cut the tenderloin in half and mix with the marinade and leave for 30mins or overnight if you can.

Pork marinade

Heat the vinegar and remaining sugar in a small saucepan. Boil until thickened for 5-10 mins, then cool. Beware that it is impossible to tell if it has thickened until it has cooled a bit – I boiled mine for much longer and then had to add more vinegar back into it as it had thickened far too much. Also be careful when tasting as this stuff turns MOLTEN hot.

Pour boiling water over the noodles and leave until cooked al dente. Drain, rinse with cool water and drain again. Dry in a tea towel and drizzle with a little extra oil to keep from sticking.

Cook the pork under a hot grill (or bbq) for 10-15mins until browned and starting to blacken on the outside and just pink on the inside. Try and baste with the marinading liquid as the pork cooks to make the most of all the delicious flavours.

Pork cooked

Once cooked remove from the grill and leave to rest for a few minutes. Meanwhile reheat the noodles in a hot wok – this will only take 30 secs or so. To serve slice the pork into thin slices , place over a bed of noodles with the sticky chilli and peanut sauce on top. Finish off with some extra coriander.

The sauce gives a distinct element of sweetness to this dish and for that reason and all the aromatic flavours that have gone into it I would match it with an off dry Riesling or Pinot Gris.


Recipe adapted from http://www.bbcgoodfood.com

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