Vietnamese Salad with Chile Mint Dressing
|Boneless pork shoulder||1⁄2 Pound, trimmed of excess fat and cut into 1/4-inch-thick strips|
|Garlic cloves||2 Large, minced|
|Soy sauce||2 Tablespoon (Preferably Mushroom Soy)|
|Peanut oil||1 Tablespoon|
|Onion||1 Medium, thinly sliced|
|Cider vinegar||1 1⁄2 Tablespoon|
|Fresh lime juice||1 1⁄2 Tablespoon|
|Fish sauce||2 Teaspoon (Nuoc Mam)|
|Fresh mint||1 1⁄2 Tablespoon, chopped (Plus 1 1/2 Tablespoons, Shredded Mint)|
|Shredded mint||1 1⁄2 Tablespoon|
|Hot chili pepper||1⁄8 Teaspoon, minced|
|White turnips||2 Large, peeled|
|Carrots||2 Large, peeled|
|Romaine lettuce||3 Cup (48 tbs), thinly sliced|
|Cabbage||3 Cup (48 tbs), thinly sliced|
|Unsalted peanuts||1⁄3 Cup (5.33 tbs), chopped|
1) Preheat the oven to 350°.
2) In a medium bowl, toss the pork strips with 1 clove of the minced garlic and 1 tablespoon of the soy sauce. Set aside to marinate at room temperature for about 1 hour.
3) In a medium ovenproof skillet, heat 2 teaspoons of the peanut oil.
4) Add the onion slices and cook over moderately high heat for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions are evenly brown.
5) Place the skillet in the oven and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are dry and deep brown, about 25 minutes. Remove from the skillet and set aside.
6) In a medium bowl, add vinegar, lime juice, fish sauce, chopped mint, remaining minced garlic, hot pepper, sugar, salt and 1/3 cup of water. Whisk all to blend well.
7) In a food processor with the grating disk, shred the turnips.
8) Place them in a small bowl and toss with 3 tablespoons of the dressing.
9) Shred the carrots. Place them in another bowl and toss with 3 tablespoons of the dressing.
10) In a large skillet, heat the remaining 1 teaspoon peanut oil over high heat.
11) Add the pork strips to the skillet in an even layer and cook, without stirring, until browned on the bottom, about 2 minutes.
12) Turn and cook until browned on the second side, about 2 minutes longer.
13) Add the remaining 1 tablespoon soy sauce and stir to coat the meat well.
14) Remove the meat to a plate and set aside to cool.
15) In a large bowl, toss the lettuce, cabbage, shredded mint and pork with the remaining dressing and any accumulated dressing from the turnips and carrots.
16) Arrange the turnips and carrots on opposite sides of each of 4 salad plates and place the pork and vegetable mixture in the center.
17) To serve the salad, sprinkle the charred onions and chopped peanuts over all.
Alternately, place each of the ingredients in a separate bowl and allow guests to compose their own salads.