|Lemongrass Pork with Table Salad|
|Look at the Crust on this Pork!|
For the table salad, I thinly sliced cucumber and red onion and put that in a bowl with plucked cilantro, Thai basil leaves, and a handful of bean sprouts. Easy, simple, crunchy, and flavorful. The contents of this salad vary each time I make it depending on what I have on hand. I might have thrown some mint into this too, but honestly, I already had enough herbs in the salad by the time I thought of it.
To dress the salad, I made a small amount of nước chấm from lime juice, agave nectar, fish sauce, garlic, and sambal oelek. Always simple, always delicious, nước chấm is one of the great sauces of the world and every cook should have it in his or her repertoire.
Finally, I made another classic Vietnamese sauce, nước màu, a fish sauce caramel to dress the pork with. I have made this sauce my own with the addition of both shallots and black pepper. I make a caramel by melting sugar until golden brown, add minced shallots and ground black pepper, and once the shallots have caramelized (pun intended), I add fish sauce to taste to balance out the sweet bitterness of the caramel. I add water if necessary to thin the sauce to the consistency I want.
I hit a home run last night, no doubt. Ann and Carter wiped the pork out; Carter had thirds. This from the teenager who doesn't normally eat with us because we eat weird food.