Vietnamese Grilled Pork with Basil and Fresh Lime Dressing
1 1/2 pounds boneless pork tenderloin, trimmed of fat and gristle
Marinade (combine in a small bowl)
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons rice wine or sake
1 1/2 tablespoons chopped garlic
6 ounces thin rice stick or vermicelli noodles, softened in boiling water for 10 minutes and drained
1 1/2 tablespoons olive spray or canola oil
3 cups Boston or leafy lettuce, stems trimmed and leaves cut into thin shreds
2 cups shredded or grated carrots
2 cups bean sprouts, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, cut into shreds or ripped into small pieces
1/4 cup coarsely chopped dry-roasted peanuts (optional)
Vietnamese Dressing (combine in a small bowl until the sugar dissolves)
Juice of 4 to 5 limes or 2 1/2 lemons (about 2/3 cup)
1/3 cup fish sauce, or more to taste
1/3 cup sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, or to taste
1. Place the pork in a shallow dish, add the Marinade, and rub to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and let stand while preparing the other ingredients. Mix the Dressing.
2. Bring 3 quarts water to a boil in a large pot. Add the rice noodles, swishing them around in the water for a minute or so, then drain in a colander. Refresh under cold running water and drain thoroughly.
3. Prepare a medium-hot fire for grilling and brush or spray the grill rack with the oil, or heat a skillet and heat the oil in the pan until hot, about 15 seconds. Grill or pan-sear (covered) the pork for 9 to 10 minutes on each side, or until the internal temperature registers 160°F. Transfer to a cutting board and let rest for 5 minutes. Cut into thin slices about 1/4 inch thick.
4. Place the noodles in the bottom of a large serving bowl or platter and arrange the lettuce, carrots, and bean sprouts in separate concentric circles on top. Sprinkle the pork evenly over the vegetables and top with the shredded basil and chopped peanuts, if using. Pour some of the Vietnamese Dressing over the top and serve the remainder in a bowl or saucier on the side. Serve at room temperature or chilled.