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Appetizer for Vietnamese grilled pork vermicelli?

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I just tested the most wonderful recipe for Vietnamese grilled pork vermicelli (bun thit nuong). I'd like to serve it at a dinner party, but can't think of what to serve as an appetizer. Can anyone suggest what we could serve with bun thit nuong to make a multi-course meal? It is really a complete meal on its own… salad, noodles, and meat… but we’d like to serve several courses to make the meal a little fancier. Any ideas? Many thanks!

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  1. Sorry, I don't have any appetizer suggestions for you, but could you point me to or paraphrase the bun thit nuong recipe? Thanks.

    3 Replies
    1. re: rockycat

      This is the recipe: http://www.winespectator.com/webfeatu... Really fabulous!

      1. re: kristen3

        Many thanks.

        1. re: rockycat

          It's seriously delicious. The only caveat I'd give you is that the pork shoulder had a lot of gristle/fat. I'd do a better job of trimming it after grilling next time.

    2. How about a mango salad?

      4 Replies
      1. re: CanadaGirl

        I think tha mango salad is a great idea .. Should have some acid in the starter ..
        Or pickled cucumbers added to the mix .. lends a refreshing note ..
        Can julienned some Thai basil too.

        GL!

        1. re: panjuice

          Thanks, CanadaGirl and panjuice... mango salad sounds perfect! Maybe along these lines? http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

          1. re: kristen3

            Looks perfect! Even without the shrimp, which are probably not needed

            1. re: CanadaGirl

              Along similar lines, this mango, cucumber, and jicama salad is excellent. You can adjust the flavor profile slightly to match your meal (use bird chiles, etc.): http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ty...

      2. Mango salad sounds good. You could also do a thai crab salad served in endive leaves. The recipe should be on Epicurious.

        1 Reply
        1. re: perk

          Yum, thanks!

        2. Cha Gio (fried egg rolls), do chua (pickled carrots & daikon), and finally bahn flan for dessert.

          1. I agree with chả giò, or I've also started with cha tom (sugar cane shrimp). Both are classic starters growing up with a Vietnamese mom. Bun thit nuong is a meal in itself. The plate of fresh herbs and garnishes (I always make the pickled carrots and daikon as part of this) is considered a salad in itself. One of my favorite desserts is fried bananas with vanilla ice cream! http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/5538...

            4 Replies
            1. re: Rubee

              Sounds wonderful. Cha gio, mango salad, or cha tom it is. I'm going to putter around for some recipes now... can't wait!

              1. re: Rubee

                Also, Rubee, I've seen bun thit nuong served with cha gio right in the bowl, on top of the vermicelli. Is that authentic?

                1. re: kristen3

                  Not speaking for Rubee but in my family we are more inclined to eat bun cha gio instead of bun thit nuong. But bun can have basically whatever ingredients you want when it comes to the meet. The most common ones are grilled pork, grilled shrimp, cha gio (egg roll), and cha tom.

                  1. re: kristen3

                    Yes, that is bún chả gio. As vttp926 says, you can top bún with anything. It's a great way to use leftover grilled meat or seafood in our house.

                2. How about serving a steaming cup of pho broth to start? That would complement the meal nicely. Also, maybe shrimp summer rolls? Or baby banh mi?

                  1. I would do a bowl of seaweed, chicken soup with some glass noodles and a mushroom slice or two. One of my favorite first course soups.