23 October 2011

vietnamese bun cha. {grainfree & dairy-free}

23 October 2011

I have been on a real Vietnamese & Thai food kick lately. This meal is relatively simple, light & packed with lovely favors. I found this recipe in Saveur Magazine, but adjusted it a bit. Traditionally Bun Cha is made with pork, but since I do not eat red meat I made it with ground organic dark turkey meat & added grated ginger for a little extra flavor.

Vietnamese Bun Cha.
serves 4

for the meatballs.

2 TBL sugar or palm sugar
5 TBL water
1 lb. organic ground turkey
1 large shallot, minced as small as possible
3 TBL fish sauce
¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper

for the sauce.

2 TBL fish sauce
2 TBL rice vinegar
1 tsp brown sugar
1½ c. water
1 clove minced or grated garlic
1 red Thai chile, minced
parsley for garnishing
1 package of rice noodles (optional)
  1. In a small saucepan, combine the sugar with 3 tablespoons water & cook over high heat until a dark brown caramel forms, about 8 minutes. Remove from the heat & add 2 tablespoons cold water, swirling the pot.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the turkey, shallot, fish sauce, caramel sauce, pepper. Marinate in the refrigerator for 1½ hours (it really lets the flavors meld while establishing a great texture).
  3. Meanwhile, combine all ingredients for the sauce in a mixing bowl (I let it sit out on the counter for an hour or two so it was room temperature when it was time to eat).
  4. When the turkey is through marinating, remove from the refrigerator & shape into small balls or patties, about 15 to 20 in all. Put them on a lightly oiled baking sheet. Heat a broiler to high.
  5. Bring a pot of water to a boil & cook the noodles according to the directions on their package. Drain, then rinse under cold water to halt the cooking process. 
  6. Meanwhile, broil the meatballs until fully cooked & slightly browned, about 4 minutes per side.
  7. Spoon the sauce into four bowls, then place the noodles onto the sauce. Then the meatballs on top of the noodles. I included some sauteed spinach in our bowls. Spinach is super nutritious & a zip to cook up. 
happy eatings & cheers.

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