Bun Thit Nuong

Several years ago my Aunt Kim came to visit from Alaska. On the last day of her visit, she wanted to have an ethnic feast. We got Indian and Vietnamese takeout, plus Dim Sum to go. I’d eaten at the Indian restaurant before, and the Chinese place that made Dim Sum. But I’d never had Vietnamese food before; never had Pho, or Vermicelli salad, or spring rolls. My aunt ordered spring rolls and the vermicelli salad and we took it all home and had a feast. I fell in love with the salad. The sweet charred grilled meat, the sweet and salty dressing on crisp vegetables, pickled daikon and carrots. It was heavenly. After I went paleo, it was one of the first dishes I tried to find a recipe for so I could make it paleo-friendly. Then when I went AIP, I had to adjust it again. So here it is, an AIP and paleo friendly version of this classic vietnamese salad.


  • 1.5 lbs. boneless pork “ribs” or pork shoulder.
  • 2-3 stalks lemongrass
  • 2 tbs. honey
  • 2 tbs. red boat fish sauce
  • 2-3 cloves garlic
  • 4-5 scallions – white and light green parts only
  • 1 tbs. molasses
  • 1 tbs. coconut aminos
  • 1 tbs. lime juice


  • 1/4 c. water
  • 1/4 c. oil
  • 2 tbs. honey
  • 1 clove garlic – grated
  • 2 tbs. red boat fish sauce
  • 1-2 tbs. lime juice to taste


  • Shredded lettuce
  • Shredded carrot
  • Julienned cucumber
  • Mung bean sprouts
  • Fresh thai basil, cilantro, and mint (optional)
  • Chopped scallion tops
  • Pickled daikon radish and carrots

Freeze the pork for 4-5 hours until partially frozen, then slice the meat into thin strips against the grain. Cut the lemongrass into 1.5-2” lengths and bruise with the back of a knife. Dice garlic and scallion bulbs. Mix all the marinade ingredients in a gallon zipper bag and add meat. Let marinate for a few hours up to overnight.

Heat grill and chop veggies and herbs. Arrange the pork on a grill basket in an even layer and place on very hot grill. Flip once the edges turn black. Mix dressing ingredients in a bowl and set aside. Serve in a large bowl with lettuce on one side and cucumber and mung bean sprouts on the other, sprinkle with carrots and herbs, then top with hot pork and garnish with scallion tops and pickled daikon and carrots. Serve with dressing on the side.




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