Many Vietnamese dishes are traditionally low in fat. Fresh vegetables and herbs grace the table in healthy abundance. (Serves 6-8)
No-fat fish sauce, lime, and chili are the backbone of refreshingly lean sauces and dressings. Well-trimmed meats, in modest portions, make effective additions to vegetable and noodle dishes.
Game plan: A day ahead, season the pork, make the fish sauce, and toast sesame seed for salad. Up to 6 hours ahead, complete the chicken salad and prepare the ingredients for the soup.
Finish the soup and keep it warm while the skewered pork grills. Serve the soup first, or present it with the whole meal. Brew the dessert coffee during dinner.