This rice and pork dish is quite unique in that you can't find it outside the Vietnamese cuisine. It's interesting that the pork is meticulously julienned to resemble little tooth picks, which is odd since no meats look that way. But it's also ingenious to mix with the pork skin, and those look like tan rubber bands. I used to ask my mom, "can I have rubber band pork today?" Cute. I also remember that I had this dish with soy sauce too! I know... that's sacrilege, but Vietnamese parents don't tend give little ones fish sauce, with the garlic and chili, aka, nuoc mam pha, since it's just too strong and I don't blame them. Well, let's get back with the recipe. I use pork butt for it has the right consistency after cooking for me to julienne. Also, I didn't include the sautéed scallion with crispy bacon fat for topping, which is typical of this dish, as I'm trying to keep the calories and cholesterol on the low.
RECIPE for 4-5 servings
1 lb pork butt, cut into 2 portions
1 package of prepared pork skin, run it under slightly warm water until thawed then drain to dry
5-6 tbs roasted rice powder
2 cloves of garlic, smashed
1 tsp fresh ground pepper
1 cup of water, with 1 cup reserved for later
1/2 tbs salt
1/2 tbs sugar
More sugar and salt to taste
Place pork in wok or pot along with water, garlic, salt, sugar and pepper. Cook meat for 15 mins on high heat, flipping meat over at halftime. Remember to add some extra water to the pan once it's getting dried out during the 15 min.
Cool the pork in fridge completely before you julienne them.
Cut the pork skin, using scissors is best, into 2-3 inch portions.
Mix the pork and pork skin on a plate or shallow bowl. Toss them well and sprinkle the roasted rice powder. Remember to toss evenly so every piece of meat and pork skin is covered with the powder. Add in a pinch of salt and sugar, and some rounds of fresh cracked pepper to this mix.
Serve with rice with some slices of tomato and cucumber, along with Nuoc Mam dipping sauce.