Vietnamese grilled bamboo stick pork with noodle
Tuesday, October 11, 2016 - 15:21:02
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A: Hello and welcome to this week’s edition of VOV 24/7’s“Food delight”. We are …. And …, and we are very happy to be here to share our recipes with you.
B: Hello, you guys. Hello, A. Hey A, What food that you’re thinking about?
A: Uhm. In such a beautiful weather, I suddenly wanna treat myself to a big bowl of Bun cha, or Vietnamese grilled pork with noodles.
B: Come on A, I didn’t ask for the dish that you want to eat. I want to know the dish that we gonna make today. Uhm, but I must confess that Bun Cha is a really good suggestion.
A: Yep. Bun cha is one of the most familiar street foods in Hanoi. It’s on the food list that foreigners must try in Vietnam. However, not everyone knows that there are many versions of the dish, for example, “grilled bamboo stick pork with noodle”.
B: Wow. This is an old-style Bun cha. Instead of clamping the pork to the broilers, people use bamboo sticks to create a special flavor for the dish. Pieces of meat are grilled over charcoal, served with dipping sauce, noodle, and fresh vegetables; oh my, this dish will absolutely melt the most frozen heart of even the coolest customer.
A: Great. And I have good news for you. I met Nguyen Phuong Hai, a culinary expert for the Quan An Ngon chain of restaurant, who has spent years preserving the authentic tastes of traditional dishes for eaters to savor and treasure. He will show us how to cook the dish in the traditional way.
|Nguyen Phuong Hai, culinary expert for the Quan An Ngon chain, who has spent years preserving the authentic tastes of traditional dishes for eaters to savor and treasure
(Source: Hai's official FB)
B: That’s fantastic. Let’s get started. “Traditionally, the sellers put bamboo grilled pork with noodles in carrying yokes and walk around the city selling it. The fatty pork strips were thinly sliced and clamped between bamboo sticks to create the special flavor, rather than on the iron broilers you see today. When the dish is ordered, the grilled pork is detached from the bamboo sticks and put in a small flat winnowing basket, which has noodle, green vegetables, and a bowl of sour and sweet dipping sauce in it.”
A: There are two kinds of grilled pork, including “sliced pork” and the “meatball”. In the past, people leveled up the meat by wrapping them in banana leaves for more fragrant.
B: Yep. And, the banana leaves also keep the meat from being burned when grilled over hot charcoal.
A: Exactly. Uhm, B. Do you know what kind of bamboo sticks that people often use for clamping the meat?
B: Oh, easy as a pie. The young bamboo sticks, I guess
A: Ha-ha. Congratulation! You’ve successfully failed. The right answer should be sticks that made from old bamboo because they are harder to catch on fire.
B: Alright. And, after carefully selecting the bamboo sticks, we start with preparing and marinating the meat. There’re many tips to learn. Hai elaborates.“The meat used in cooking this dish are the pork sides. This kind of pork has thin skin and many layers of fat, which helps the meat to maintain its moisture after being grilled. The meat is marinated with some very basic ingredients, including salt, pepper, fish sauce, and chopped onions, then grilled over charcoal. Traditional Vietnamese cooking is greatly admired for its sophisticated combination of different ingredients in one dish. They prefer fresh onions to marinate the pork as they help impart the freshness of the dish.”
|When the dish is ordered, the grilled pork is detached from the bamboo sticks and put in a small flat winnowing basket, which has noodle, green vegetables, and a bowl of sour and sweet dipping sauce in it (Source: amthuc365.vn)
A: Uhm. Many steps to follow, hah. After fully absorbing the seasoning, the meat is carefully clamped between the sticks, and grilled over charcoal.
B: Yes. When grilling, the chef needs to keep the fire at a medium heat, and constantly turn the sticks until they turn lightly brown. The meat is now crispy outside but soft inside, while fully imbued with the gentle scent of bamboo, creating a specific alluring flavor.
A: And, the last step is making the dipping sauce, which is also very important as it brings all the elements together.
B: That’s right. If the sauce is great, the grilled bamboo stick pork with noodle will be more than perfect. I bet that Hai still has some tips for us. Let’s listen. “The dipping sauce is a combination of sweet, sour, salty, and spicy flavor. We don’t have a common formula for making this sauce as people's tastes are different. Instead, the cooks always prepare a vinegar bottle infused with garlic and red chili for the customers to serve themselves if needed. And one more important tip to make your grilled pork just right is adding caramelized sugar in the marinating step to give the meat a beautiful light brown color.”
|The meat is crispy outside but soft inside, while fully imbued with the gentle scent of bamboo, creating a specific alluring flavor (Source: Foodie.vn)
A: This dish truly reflects the style of ancient Hanoi cuisine from choosing the meat to marinating and serving. After being detached from the sticks, the grilled meat should be served hot with noodle and vegetables, including lettuce, mint herbs, perilla leaves, and so on.
B: Wow. Imagine when you dipped each wrap of meat and vegetable into the sauce just before putting the whole bite into your mouth to experience a truly heavenly taste. How cool is that!
A: Sure. What a glorious experience that would be. For now, good bye. We will catch you next time on VOV24/7’s Food Delight on 104 FM