Noodles with soy-simmered pork and herbs are the star in Hoi An’s culinary crown. A gorgeous thing, found nowhere else but in this antique town. The noodles are made from rice that has been soaked with ash in calcium-rich water, which makes them extra elastic. The croutons that top the lot evolved from thrift, as once they were made from the left-over gunk from peanut oil production, but are now made from left-over rice noodles - pork scratchings work well too. Thrift has a ton of good things to answer for in Vietnamese food. Back home I use regular rice noodles to make this. Serve with dinky bowls of rice vinegar floated with sliced chilli, for sprinkling over before eating.
Rub the pork loin with salt, pepper, star anise, cinnamon, lemongrass, chilli and sugar, then fry it in a drop of oil in a pan until it’s lightly caramelized on all sides. Pour in the fish sauce and let this sizzle up around it, then pour in the soy sauce and
© 2004 Alastair Hendy. All rights reserved.