thai-style noodle salad with crispy garlic pork

thai-style noodle salad with crispy garlic pork
Another lucky dip day, when I turn spring cleaning the freezer into a food adventure. What do we have today? Er . . . well . . . um . . . it looks like meat. I'm not sure what it is. All my well intentioned plans and new year's resolutions to start labelling what I put in the freezer have gone awry again - clearly the freezer-proof pen that I had used to label the container wasn't actually proof against my hot sticky fingers. The neatly printed label is now merely a smear of black ink. Perhaps I could market it as art - take a photograph and suddenly it's all a bit William Eggleston. Or not!

I think my motto for the kitchen should be "hey ho, let's wait and see". I'm feeling quite Zen at the moment; it must be the sunshine.

As the contents of the Tupperware container defrosted I realised that it was very likely that the unidentified contents looked a bit like cubed pork, which did rather surprise me since, as I have mentioned before, I am not mad keen about pork unless it is charcuterie or very highly-spiced.

Never mind, this suited my plans . . . sort of. What I rather fancied was a version of one of my favourite Thai salads (yum woon sen), that is made with cellophane (glass) noodles, loads of shredded vegetables, a tart and sweet dressing, topped with fried, crisp minced pork.

Sadly it turned out that I didn't have any cellophane noodles; curses! Bog standard egg noodles would have to do. The recipe calls for minced pork but I after a few minutes of fine chopping, I lost interest. I could blame it on the repetitive strain injury which seems to afflict me every time I am doing something I'm not very interested in - usually the vacuuming. Funny that.

So the pork was chopped but not particularly finely. It didn't matter. The end result was perfect; a beautiful noodle salad with fresh, vibrant flavours and topped with garlic infused crisp pork.

Serves 2 greedy people
Skill level: Easy


vegetable oil
2 x garlic cloves, very finely sliced
250g minced pork
250g fine egg noodles
4 x spring onions, sliced into thin rounds, on the diagonal
1 x birds eye chilli, deseeded and very finely chopped
1 tbsp fresh coriander, finely chopped
2 tbsp roasted peanuts, roughly chopped
2 tbsp dark soy sauce
2 tbsp fish sauce (nam pla)
2 tbsp palm sugar (or brown sugar)
juice of 1 x fresh lime
extra chopped roasted peanuts, to serve


  1. Gently heat 2 tablespoons of vegetable in a frying pan and add the sliced garlic. Cook gently until golden brown, before removing the garlic and setting aside.
  2. Turn the heat up to a medium-high heat and when hot, add the pork to the garlic oil. Cook for about 5 to 8 minutes, or until the meat is golden-brown and crisp. (Stir frequently to make sure that the meat doesn't burn; this also prevents the meat from clumping together.) Remove the cooked pork and set aside.
  3. While the pork is cooking, cook the noodles according to the packet instructions. As the instructions on my packet of noodles stated "cook until it is a dish of delicious noodles". Quite! Drain and rinse in cold water. Drain again and set aside.
  4. Combine the noodles with the fried garlic, spring onions, chilli, coriander and crushed peanuts in a large bowl.
  5. Combine the soy sauce, fish sauce, sugar and lime juice and whisk together. Check the dressing and readdress the balance. If you prefer it more zingy, add more lime. Similarly, if you like it more salty, add more soy or fish sauce.
  6. Pour the dressing over the noodles and make sure that the noodles are well coated with the dressing.
  7. Top with the crisp pork and crushed peanuts.


belleau kitchen said...

Nothing goes right but it all works out for the best in the end. Love that crispy pork!

o cozinheiro este algarve said...

Damn it!!!I just chucked out a half opened packet of glass noodles because I thought I would never use them.lo and behold here is the perfect recipe-Sigh!!!I just adore Thai noodle salads and will definitely give this one awhirl.Thank you.

Marmaduke Scarlet said...

Dom - I am learning to love pork! The texture was rather good too :)

Marmaduke Scarlet said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Marmaduke Scarlet said...

Algarve - you know you should never throw anything away, unless it's waving at you. That's Thrifty Scottish Mothers' Rule #1!

BTW, after your lovely post about larb, I now actually own a copy of David Thompson's Thai Food . . . a present from my dear papa. I fear a vested interest from him as he gets to taste my efforts!