This Vietnamese Rice bowl combines sweet and crispy roasted pork, crunchy veggies, rice, and a sweet and tangy sauce called Nuoc Cham!
One of my favorite dishes in the entire world is a Vietnamese dish called Bún Thịt Nướng. My office is near an area that has several Vietnamese markets and restaurants, and I’ve eaten my way through each of their menus over the last six years. This dish, a combination of delicious marinated grilled pork, crispy (and pickled) garnishes, and rice noodles in a sweet and vinegary dressing, is a complete punch to the taste buds. The pork is sticky and sweet, and a bit caramelized and crunchy. The garnishes add either sour (if pickled) or fresh crunch (if not). The sauce, called Nuoc Cham, that you pour over the top is hard to describe. I thought for a long time that it was a vinegar based sauce, but was surprised to find that there isn’t a stitch of vinegar in it! It’s made of water, lime, juice, sugar, and fish sauce. Garlic and diced chiles are added for extra flavor. Basically, this is heaven in a bowl, and I’m hard pressed to order anything else when I visit one of these restaurants! At home, I typically make rice for the family, since my son loves it. So, I came up with these Vietnamese Pork Rice Bowl as an easy weeknight meal that the whole family will enjoy!
The pork in this Vietnamese Pork Rice Bowl does need to be marinaded for at least 45 minutes. You can either do this the night before, and keep it in the fridge, or do it first thing when you start cooking. Please don’t skip the marinade, as it’s what gives the pork such incredible flavor. When slicing the pork, get it as thing as you can, less than 1/4 inch slices if possible! I used pork tenderloin for a leaner cut, but pork shoulder works just fine too.
For the rice, I used a rice that I absolutely LOVE, VeeTee. You may recognize this brand of rice from one of my OTHER favorite weeknight dishes, this Asian Chicken Rice Bowl, which is one of my most popular recipes! For this particular Vietnamese Pork Rice Bowl, I would recommend either using VeeTee Jasmine Rice, or VeeTee Thai Lime and Herb, which is what I used. VeeTee is absolutely perfect rice ready in the microwave in just 2 minutes. Seriously! I’m always so sad when I run out, because it makes weeknight rice so easy for us, with the weird texture that the pouch rices have.
- 2 lbs pork tenderloin or shoulder, sliced thinly
- 3 cups cooked rice (I used VeeTee Thai Lime and Herb, 2 packages)
- 1 shallot, finely minced
- 2 tbsp garlic, finely minced
- 1.5 tbsp fish sauce
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 1/2 tbsp pepper
- 3 tbsp vegetable oil
- 3/4 cup water
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup lime juice
- 1/4 cup fish sauce
- chopped garlic
- chopped thai chiles
- 1 carrot, sliced into coins or matchsticks
- 2 radishes, sliced into coins or matchsticks
- 2 green onions, diced thinly
- cilantro, to taste
- crushed peanuts, to taste
- Add pork and marinade ingredients into a large mixing bowl. Mix to coat. Cover, and allow to marinate in the fridge for an hour, or overnight.
- Meanwhile, mix up the dipping sauce. Add lime juice slowly, tasting continuously until the taste is to your preference. Cover and place in fridge.
- Preheat oven to 350F. When the pork has marinated long enough, remove from the fridge and place on a lightly greased baking sheet.
- Bake pork for 15 minutes, then switch oven to broil on high. Allow to broil for 3-5 minutes, or until the pork begins to caramelize.
- Layer rice, pork and garnishes in a bowl. Pour cold dipping sauce over the top, to taste.