Grilled Pork and Noodle Salad with Basil, Cilantro, and Mint
Spicy pork tenderloin gets tossed with delicate rice vermicelli and a medley of fresh herbs in this noodle salad, which is satisfying yet surprisingly light.
- 2 teaspoons sambal oelek (Asian chili paste; ethnicfoodsco.com)
- 3 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons nam pla (Asian fish sauce; ethnicfoodsco.com)
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon safflower oil
- 1 pork tenderloin (about 14 ounces), trimmed
- 1/4 cup fresh lime juice (from 2 limes)
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh red Thai chile
- 5 ounces rice vermicelli
- 2 cucumbers, preferably Persian, very thinly sliced lengthwise, preferably on a mandoline
- 1/2 large carrot, peeled and cut into matchsticks
- 1 small shallot, very thinly sliced lengthwise (about 1/4 cup)
- 1/3 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
- 1/3 cup coarsely chopped fresh mint
- 1/3 cup coarsely chopped fresh basil
- Garnish: cilantro, mint, and basil sprigs
Rub sambal oelek, 2 teaspoons nam pla, and 1 teaspoon oil over pork to coat completely. Let marinate in refrigerator, covered, for at least 1 hour.
Heat grill to high. Grill pork, rotating often, until charred on all sides and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center reaches 140 degrees, about 20 minutes. Transfer to a platter, and tent with foil. Let rest for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, whisk together remaining 3 tablespoons nam pla and tablespoon safflower oil, the lime juice, sugar, and chile in a large bowl until sugar dissolves.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cook noodles according to package instructions until al dente. Drain, and rinse under cold water. Drain very well, and add to bowl with sauce.
Thinly slice pork on the bias, and add to bowl along with cucumbers, carrot, shallot, and chopped herbs. Toss well to coat, and arrange on a platter. Garnish with herb sprigs.