Think of this refreshing salad as a deconstructed spring roll: cool rice noodles, crisp vegetables, and a sweet-and-spicy vinaigrette instead of a dipping sauce. Top it all off with savory stir-fried pork.
4 ounces thin brown rice noodles (such as Annie Chun's)
1 cup sliced red onion
5 tablespoons fresh lime juice, divided
2 tablespoons fish sauce
2 teaspoons minced fresh garlic
3 tablespoons sugar, divided
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 (1-pound) pork tenderloin, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
1/4 cup hot water
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
5 ounces baby spinach (about 7 cups)
1 1/4 cups matchstick-cut carrots (4 ounces)
1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves
2 tablespoons canola oil
How to Make It
Bring a medium saucepan of water to a boil. Add noodles; cook 3 minutes. Drain; rinse under cold water. Drain.
Place onion in a bowl of ice water; let stand 10 minutes. Drain. Combine 2 tablespoons juice, 1 tablespoon fish sauce, garlic, 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar, and black pepper. Add pork; toss.
Combine remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar and 1/4 cup hot water, stirring until sugar dissolves. Add remaining 3 tablespoons juice, remaining 1 tablespoon fish sauce, and crushed red pepper. Add noodles, onion, spinach, carrot, and cilantro; toss.
Heat a wok or large skillet over high heat. Add oil; swirl. Add pork mixture; stir-fry 4 minutes. Divide spinach mixture among 6 plates; top evenly with pork.