Vietnamese Shredded Pork Rice Bowls

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Shredded pork rice bowls are my all-time favorite home-cooked Vietnamese dish not typically found in US restaurants. It brings together an amazing party of flavors, and can be made in large batches ahead of time for dinner parties. Though both my sister and I have learned to make it ourselves, it’s still the first thing we ask my Mom to make every time we come home.

What you’ll need:

Shredded Pork

  • 2 pounds of pork loin, cut into rounds
  • 8-12 cloves of garlic , peeled (1-2 cloves per pork loin round)
  • 3 tablespoons of white sugar
  • 2 tablespoons of cooking oil
  • 3 tablespoons of rice powder (optional)

Fixings

Vinaigrette

  • 1/2 cup of rice vinegar
  • 2-3 tablespoons of fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoons of white sugar
  • 2 limes, juiced

Other:

  • 2 cups of jasmine rice

Directions:

1. Make your shallot oil and fried shallots (preferably ahead of time, as to not tire you out).

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2. Prepare shredded pork

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  • Take peeled garlic cloves and cut in half vertically.  Stuff into pork tenderloin rounds by making small incisions in the middle of each round with a knife, then pushing half cloves into pork. Coat pork lightly with salt, pepper, and white sugar.
  • Pour 2 tablespoons of cooking oil into a heated non-stick frying pan on medium-high heat.  Add garlic stuff pork tenderloin rounds, and turn over once browned. Typically when I make this dish for Americans, I take the pork off once fully cooked to keep the meat juicy. But traditionally, pork is typically browned on both sides, a half a cup of water is added, and pork is then covered and simmered on low heat for 15-20 minutes.  This makes the pork sturdy and perfect for “shredding.”
  • Remove pork from heat and let rest/cool for 20 minutes.  Once cool enough to handle, slice thinly two ways to get a shredded texture.

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  • Add rice flour and toss.

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3. Green onion garnish – finely dice the dark green part of the green onions.  In a small pan warm up shallot oil until smoking and then pour over green onion.  Alternatively, I often do a short cut where I combine green onion and oil and put in the microwave on high for 30 seconds – I am only one person).

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4. Combine all ingredients of vinaigrette until sugar is dissolved – add more sugar if too tart, and add more fish sauce if not salty enough.

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5. Set out all ingredients at room temperature (including prepared cucumber and crushed peanuts), to be served with hot steamed rice.

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6.  Pile steaming rice into a bowl and then add all ingredients as shown in the first picture of this post. ENJOY!

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