Recipe & Photos by Brianne Dela Cruz, Gather & Grow
There are few meals more satisfying at camp than one that offers loads of crisp fresh vegetables, delectable pork belly cubes, and a spicy chili fish sauce.
Marinate the meat and sauce in advance to make this meal a breeze to toss together quickly at camp. The pork belly cut (the same cut as thick-sliced bacon) is high in fat and flavor, which is exactly what tired bodies need after an all-day adventure outside. Loads of vegetables and rice noodles help to balance out the caramelized pork belly cubes. The chili sauce ties the entire bowl together for a Vietnamese dish that will impress all your campmates.
This recipe was developed to be paired with two other meals:
Vietnamese Egg Scramble and Soy Glazed Shiitake Banh Mi Sandwiches
The paired breakfast scramble and lunch sandwich utilize many of the same ingredients as this noodle bowl to make camp cook-life simple.
The leftover prepared ingredients from this meal will be used to serve the two other meals to four people. However, if you don’t intend to make those two recipes, then this is still an outstanding camp meal for a larger group.
How to Make
Grilled Pork Belly Noodle Bowl
Serving: 6 | Prep Time: 5 min | Cook Time: 20 min | Total Time: 25 min + day for marinade
Pork Belly Noodle Bowl
- 1 ½ pounds pork belly, cut into 1-2" pieces
- 12 ounces dried rice vermicelli noodles
- 2 cups bean sprouts
- 2 cups romaine lettuce
- 4 carrots, shredded
- 1 large cucumber, sliced
- 3 jalapeños, sliced
- 2 cups fresh mint
- 2 cups cilantro, roughly chopped
- 2 cups green onions, diced
- 3 cups Vietnamese chili fish sauce
- 5 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 shallot, minced
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
Vietnamese Chili Fish Sauce
- 2 cups warm water
- ¼ cup fresh lime juice
- ½ cup brown sugar
- 2 Thai chilies, diced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- ¾ cup fish sauce
- Cut the pork into 1-2 inch pieces. Combine the marinade ingredients into a ziplock bag and add the pork, mixing to combine.
- Chill marinating pork in the cooler for at least 3 hours, but try to marinate overnight.
- Pre-make the Vietnamese chili fish sauce and store in the cooler in an airtight container until ready to serve.
- Whisk together the lime, warm water, and sugar until the sugar has dissolved.
- Slowly add the fish sauce, a little at a time until you reach your desired flavor. (Start with 5 tablespoons, then add more (up to ¾ cup) per your flavor preference.)
- Add the chilies and garlic and let it stand for 20 minutes before chilling.
- Heat 30 coals in a fire pit.
- As coals are heating, boil water in the kettle and prepare vegetables.
- Place the dried vermicelli noodles in a mixing bowl and cover with boiling water. Let them soak for 5 minutes, or until they are softened.
- Drain the noodles and set them aside.
- Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large cast iron skillet over the fire.
- When coals are mostly white and cast iron is sufficiently hot, add the pork and marinade to the skillet.
- Stir fry for about 5-7 minutes, or until pork is caramelized on the outside (by the time it gets a crust, it should be fully cooked).
- Transfer half of the batch of cooked pork to a sealable container and set aside for breakfast the next morning.
- Set aside ⅔ of the prepared vegetables and herbs. Store in the cooler until ready to reuse for breakfast and lunch the next day.
- Add the vermicelli noodles to the serving bowls, then garnish with bean sprouts, veggies, and fresh herbs.
- Add a few cubes of pork to each bowl and flavor with the Vietnamese chili fish sauce.
Brianne Dela Cruz is a master gardener, wild forager, campfire foodie, and acclaimed writer and photographer. From her home in Salt Lake City, she teaches online gardening and foraging courses for modern folks and budding naturalists as well as hosts seasonal community gatherings. Brianne's blog and online school, Gather & Grow, is a community of folks exploring the intersection between nature and personal growth by discovering ways to slow down and nourish themselves with nature.