The texture of rice noodles and pork is impervious to the Thai-inspired dressing. In fact, the longer this sits, the better its flavor. This one-fork main-dish salad requires no separate packing.
1 (8-ounce) package uncooked rice sticks (rice-flour noodles) or vermicelli
1 (3/4-pound) pork tenderloin, trimmed
2 tablespoons grated peeled fresh ginger, divided
1 teaspoon salt, divided
1 garlic clove, minced
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups light coconut milk
2/3 cup fresh lemon juice (about 4 lemons)
2 tablespoons sugar
1 jalapeño pepper, minced
1/4 cup chopped fresh mint
1/4 cup chopped peanuts
How to Make It
Cook rice sticks according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain and rinse with cold water, and drain well. Place cooked noodles in a large bowl.
Slice pork lengthwise, cutting to, but not through, other side. Open halves, laying pork flat, and rub with 1 tablespoon ginger, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and garlic. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add pork; sauté for 7 minutes on each side or until done. Cool slightly. Coarsely chop pork; add to noodles in bowl.
Combine the coconut milk, juice, and sugar in a small saucepan, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer until reduced to 1 1/2 cups (about 10 minutes). Stir in 1 tablespoon ginger and 3/4 teaspoon salt. Remove from heat; cool.
Add the coconut dressing, jalapeño, mint, and peanuts to noodles; toss well to combine. Chill until ready to serve.
Note: To keep the peanuts fresh, toss them with the salad just before serving. Seed the jalapeño for a milder salad.