The nice thing about having blog friends who live nearby is always having someone to eat my food. But the nicest part about having Tony of SinoSoul and his better half, in particular, as neighbors is that he makes my food look good and she washes my dishes. And get this, they actually enjoy it! Or well, they insist upon doing it, which works for me. :P
You'll have to forgive me if I become a little vain these days. There are some recipes that have sat in the queue forever just because I've been dissatisfied with the photos. I mean, sure the recipe itself would work, and the photos were adequate for blogging purposes before, but now, my photos are looking gooood! Thanks mainly to my new (used) camera and Tony's much better photography skills.
So I invited them over for dinner recently for some Goi Mit Non Tom Thit Heo (Vietnamese Green Jackfruit Salad with Shrimp and Pork) and Hu Tieu Saigon (Vietnamese Clear Noodle Soup with Chinese Barbecued Pork and Shrimp). I had been craving hu tieu lately and really wanted to post my recipe, but didn't like my previous photos. Plus, they had never eaten green jackfruit before so it was a good a time as any to get this recipe up too.
Jackfruit, is the largest tree-borne fruit in the world, and can weigh up to 80 pounds. While I mainly eat the fruit as dessert, the unripened jackfruit can be eaten in savory dishes. Unripened jackfruit has a meaty texture and is a favorite substitute for real meat if you're eating vegetarian. You can order goi mit (Vietnamese jackfruit salad) at Vien Dong Restaurant - Garden Grove (Little Saigon) or bun mit (Vietnamese jackfruit noodles) at Quan Hy Vietnamese Restaurant - Westminster (Little Saigon).
I used the basic Nuoc Mam Cham (Vietnamese Fish Dipping Sauce) out of deference for my guests, but actually prefer the much smellier Mam Nem (Vietnamese Fermented Anchovy Sauce) to balance the blandness of the green jackfruit and boiled pork. And of course, since there's always a bit of vinegar in dipping sauce, it fits in perfectly with this month's Weekend Wokking challenge of VINEGAR, chosen by MomGateway, host of last month's ginger roundup.
Goi Mit Non Tom Thit Heo (Vietnamese Green Jackfruit Salad with Shrimp and Pork)
For 2 to 4 servings, you'll need:
1 15-oz can of green jackfruit
1/4 lb pork, preferably a butt or shoulder portion with skin-on
About a dozen shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/2 cup chopped rau ram (Vietnamese coriander) or cilantro
Substitute chicken for the pork and shrimp.
Hanh Dam (Vietnamese Vinegared Onions)
Hanh Phi (Vietnamese Fried Shallots)
For the dressing, choose either:
Nuoc Mam Cham (Vietnamese Fish Dipping Sauce)
Mam Nem (Vietnamese Fermented Anchovy Sauce)
Peel and devein the shrimp. Boil the pork and shrimp. Slice pork thinly. Slice the shrimp in half.
I sometimes buy a 1 or 2 pound portion of pork butt or shoulder, with skin attached, and then cut it into quarters. Bag separately and store in the freezer for just such instances as this salad when I don't need a whole lot of meat. Since you're going to all that trouble, you can boil a full portion of the pork and make Goi Cuon (Vietnamese Salad/Spring/Summer Rolls).
Mit non (Vietnamese green jackfruit) can be found in the canned fruits and vegetable aisle of most Asian grocery stores. If you're not familiar with jackfruit, look carefully at the picture. If the jackfruit is yellow, it's ripe and meant to be eaten as dessert. If it's colorless and pale, it's green jackfruit.
Sometimes there's still a seed and the outer covering of the seed. Pick through and discard. Then slice the jackfruit the same size as the pork.
Roughly chop about 1/2 cup of Vietnamese coriander leaves.
Add the pork, shrimp, jackfruit, and herbs into a bowl. Toss with either Vietnamese dipping sauce or the fermented anchovy sauce.
Look closely. Can you tell the difference between the green jackfruit and the pork?
Serve with toasted banh trang me (Vietnamese sesame rice paper) or banh phong tom (Vietnamese shrimp crackers).
I'm submitting this recipe to Weekend Wokking, a world-wide food blogging event created by Wandering Chopsticks to celebrate the multiple ways we can cook one ingredient. This month's secret ingredient is VINEGAR. The host for October is Darlene of Blazing Hot Wok.
If you'd like to participate or to see the secret ingredient, check who's hosting next month. If you've participated in the past and would like to host, please email me.
And since there's simply way too many vinegar recipes to list, how about some of my other Vietnamese salads?
Goi Buoi Tom (Vietnamese Pomelo Salad with Shrimp)
Goi Du Du Kho Bo (Vietnamese Papaya Salad with Beef Jerky)
Goi Ga (Vietnamese Chicken Salad)
Goi Ga Bap Cai (Vietnamese Chicken Cabbage Salad)
Goi Xoai Xanh (Vietnamese Green Mango Salad)
1 year ago today, part 9 of my How to Start a Food Blog series - Design: Layout, Navigation, and "Above the Fold".
2 years ago today, Baked Figs Stuffed with Walnuts, Wrapped in Prosciutto, and Drizzled with Honey.