takeout experiment #2: pork bun

i really love the vietnamese bun with pork and vermicelli noodles (#34) from four sisters restaurant in merrifield, va. but four sisters is about 20-minute drive from our house. each way. if there is no traffic. and i needed to do another takeout experiment recipe anyway so here we are. i found real simple's very loose version of a bun when i was scouring the web for easy dinner recipes on a wallet and time budget. hot saturday night i tell you.

real simple does not even call this a bun, but it pretty much has the essence. i love that real simple always has a short ingredient list with clear directions. it really is simple. sigh, i know, i know. no puns for buns? anyway, when you're starting dinner at 6 p.m., slicing a pork loin with a dull knife and you have a toddler under foot, it's very comforting to have puns for buns.

i made a few modifications, of course.  i swapped rice noodles for vermicelli noodles, jalapenos for chili peppers and i added box choy and sri because i love them. the whole meal came together in under 20 minutes and is easily adaptable for a toddler plate where no food can touch. just portion out the noodles and pork and add carrot sticks and oranges (my kid would not go near the greens) before you mix all the ingredients for the my-food-can-touch-other-food group. like most things, this is even better cold the next day for lunch. with a little additional sri, of course.

Recipe: Pork Bun (recipe adapted from real simple)

  • 6 ounces rice noodles
  • 1 1 1/4-pound pork tenderloin, thinly sliced
  • kosher salt and black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1/2 English cucumber, sliced
  • 2 bunches box choy, chopped
  • 2 scallions, chopped
  • 1 jalapeno chili pepper, diced
  • 3 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 3 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon srirachi

  1. Cook the rice noodles according to the package directions.
  2. Season the pork with ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper.
  3. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. In batches, brown the pork, 1 to 2 minutes per side. Transfer to a large bowl.
  4. Toss the pork with the noodles, cucumber, bok choy, scallions, chili pepper, vinegar, sesame oil, srirachi and ½ teaspoon salt.
Related: takeout experiment #1: chicken tikka masala


  1. Replies
    1. thanks, lady. that means so much coming from you, your photography is beautiful.


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