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Vietnamese pork marinade

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Used to have a wonderful Vietnamese restaurant nearby that served a delicious pork dish. The marinade was yummy and a bit sweet. Does anyone have a recipe that might be close?

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  1. Could you expand more on this dish? Vietnamese food uses a lot of pork so it's a bit vague. What cut of pork was it? Was it roasted or seared, etc? Was it served with rice or noodles? If you know this could be really useful in identifying it. Expand more on the flavor too please.

    1. The pork was grilled and on vermicelli. Think I could taste fish sauce, maybe orange juice or other citrus, guessing it may have had 5 spice? It has been several years as the owners were killed in ahead-on collision.It was a bit carmelized after grilling so I am assuming honey or other sugar. It was in slices, so I have no idea what cut of pork it was. My mouth is watering, so any help would be appreciated!

      1. That sounds like Bun Thit Nuong, one of my favorite dishes. This is the closest recipe to what I know. Thit Nuong is sliced and really delicious but there's also Suong Nuong which is basically the same but it's actually a whole chop, albeit a thin piece of one. The important flavoring comes from the grill and the lemongrass. The recipe mentions nuoc cham which basically the marinade that you made, just make sure you make extra not marinaded. The sauce is basically lime juice, sugar, garlic, fish sauce and water, pour this over the vermicelli. I've always had this topped off with sauteed scallions. http://www.vietnamese-recipes.com/vie...

        1. Oh I forgot to metnion, no lemongrass in the nuoc cham. Lemongrass is on the pork but not in the nuoc cham. And the marinade for the given recipe calls for chicken seasoning, you could really do without it, I think it's there to replace the MSG.

          1. I THINK THIS IS IT!!!! I am so excited. Thank you so much!

            4 Replies
            1. re: nosey

              What would you use as the "chicken seasoning powder"? Someone mentioned that it might be poultry seasoning, but I don't think that taste is what we are looking for. Could it mean boullion granules, or is it something else?

              1. re: nosey

                Truthfully, I have no clue what chicken seasoning powder is. I grew up on thit nuong and whenever someone has made it, I've never seen that. Everything else is correct, just ignore that chicken powder.

                1. re: nosey

                  Yes, I believe it means chicken bouillon. My family doesn't really use it for marinades, but Alice Patis includes it in her chicken marinade for her claypot method: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/28168...

                  I'm sure you could omit it if you wanted.

                  1. re: Carb Lover

                    I agree. It's chicken bouillon. You can buy Vietnamese brands in asian markets.

              2. Grind a few stalks of lemongrass in f. processor.
                Add an onion.
                When pulped add a good handful of garlic.
                Grind black pepper until your arm is sore. Twice. Add it.
                Now Viet fish sauce, coriander, sweet soy, palm sugar, or brown sugar, Sriracha hot sauce or fresh chilis, sesame oil.

                This paste needs a couple of days to work on the meat. Add some fresh lemon juice if you need it to work faster.

                Tried it mixed into some ground pork for Viet sausage crepinettes, worked really well.

                Don't overdo the grilling. Too long or too hot and the aroma goes up in smoke.

                1. The most basic, simplest Vietnamese marinade is also the best.
                  1 cup high quality fish sauce.
                  1/2 cup palm sugar.
                  1 small onion, finely minced.
                  2 Tbsp coarse ground black pepper.
                  Combine and stir 'till sugar is dissolved.
                  Marinate pork pieces/cops/ribs 4 hours or overnight (best).
                  Grill over charcoal or broil under a skanking hot broiler.
                  Serve over rice with sweet pickled carrots, scallions and dipping sauce.
                  Dipping Sauce
                  1/2 cup Fish Sauce
                  1/4 cup rice vinegar
                  1/4 cup palm sugar
                  1/4 to 1/2 cup water (your preference)
                  1/4 cup coarse grated carrot
                  2 cloves garlic, thickly sliced
                  2 small, nasty hot red chilies, split lengthwise
                  a few sprigs cilantro
                  combine & stir 'till sugar is dissolved
                  Let rest an hour or 2 to develop flavours
                  Da Cook

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: Da_Cook

                    would brown sugar be the best sub for palm sugar if necessary?

                    1. re: alex8alot

                      For catering and commercial purposes, I always use brown sugar, pre-ground pepper and the cheap Laughing Fat Baby brand fish sauce that comes in the gallon jugs. When I'm cooking at home I use palm sugar, 3 Crabs brand fish sauce and toast my pepper corns before grinding 'til my wrist hurts.
                      Da Cook

                  2. I've had Bun Thit Nuong with char siu which is made with 5 spice and maltose. If you can buy it, it's a much easier alternative. I also have a recipe for homemade char siu.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: vsoy

                      Oooh, I'd love your char siu recipe :) Thank you in advance

                    2. My new go-to source for all vietnamese cooking questions is Andrea Nguyen's website, www.vietworldkitchen.com. Full of recipes, food info, and general good stuff.

                      1. I got this from a friend, not sure where she got it from.
                        Char siu recipe:
                        a couple lbs of pork shoulder, cut into manageable hunks (separated at the seams and trimmed of excess fat).
                        5 Tb light soy
                        3 Tb dark soy
                        5 Tb maltose (comes in a white tub with a pink or red lid)
                        2 Tb white sugar
                        4 Tb Chinese cooking wine
                        4 Tb hoisin
                        1 tsp five spice powder
                        a couple drops of red food color (I just leave it out)

                        1.Mix everything except the pork shoulder in a small pot, simmer on low for 5 minutes. Allow to cool to room temp.

                        2. Add marinade to pork, refrigerate overnight. Turning the meat the next morning.

                        3. If using gas grill, preheat grill on high heat. Put meat on and lower heat to medium. Don't throw away your marinade. Grill for 15 minutes. Take marinade, turn pork over and baste. Let roast another 15 minutes, then flip meat again, and allow another 15 minutes of roasting. You will have roasted approximately 45 minutes by now. Depending on the size and thickness of your hunks of pork they might be done now, they might not be. The maltose and sugar marinade will want to burn.

                        5. Once you're sure your meat is ready, let it rest on a cutting board for 10 minutes before cutting it into thin slices, against the grain.

                        6. If using charcoal, I think the indirect method of grill would work well and if you're using an oven, preheat your oven up to 425 degrees (~220 C) and set up a metal pan halfway full of water with a rack on top and cook as described above. I've only used gas grill, so I'm not sure how the charcoal and oven method works out.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: vsoy

                          The most basic, simplest Vietnamese marinade is also the best.
                          1 cup high quality fish sauce.
                          1/2 cup palm sugar.
                          1 small onion, finely minced.
                          2 Tbsp coarse ground black pepper.

                          the above is way too strong and saltry, even marinated 2 hours