Photo: Jennifer Causey; Styling: Lindsey Lower, Claire Spollen
Hands-on Time
22 Mins
Total Time
22 Mins
Serves 6 (serving size: about 1 1/2 cups spinach mixture and 3 ounces pork)

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.

How to Make It

Step 1

Bring a medium saucepan of water to a boil. Add noodles; cook 3 minutes. Drain; rinse under cold water. Drain.

Step 2

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.

Step 3

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.

Step 4

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.

Ratings & Reviews

Recipe could better better formatted and written

May 05, 2015
The fish sauce should say divided in the ingredient list.  Would have been easier to follow if the 'dressing' portion of the recipe had been broken out in the ingredient list actually.  I'm a fast cook and I think 25 minutes or less is stretching it for the multiple steps involved. I substituted a small head of napa cabbage for the spinach and enjoyed the extra crunch.  Overall it seemed a little bland to me and I adjusted the flavors with some rice vinegar, salt and a sprinkling of a sesame seed seasoning blend. 

Nice warm salad

April 23, 2015
My family enjoyed this.  I ended up doubling the rice noodles (teenage boy) and added some more spinach.  It has a nice Vietnamese flavor.

Very good

December 24, 2015
Went together easily and was very flavorful.  Will make again.  Could've used some chopped dry roasted peanuts on the top.  Next time.

poorly constructed recipe, but good results

August 11, 2015
This was pulled from an article "25-minutes-or-less" -- can't see any possible way for one person to prep & cook & plate in that time.   We followed directions except cut the pork into medallions then into strips.  Used regular leaf spinach torn into smaller pieces.  Great combo of flavors, colors & textures.  If we were to make again, would prep an extra portion of sauce (from step #3) to serve at the table, for those who might like a little more.

Perfect summer supper!

May 30, 2015
Outstanding recipe!  I agree with a previous comment...hands on time is longer than 22 minutes, even with two people sharing the preparation. First, the recipe would leave dinner guests hungry if you planned on serving 6 people...4 would be adequate.  I cubed the pork also...rather than cut in 1" excellent summer evening supper on the porch!!  Step #2 could be rewritten to separate the onion prep from the sauce-pork mix.

A hit all-around

April 28, 2015
Made this tonight but used the end of a pork loin cut into cubes. The flavor was excellent. It was a great summer/spring salad that the whole family (including a 4yr old) really enjoyed.


December 10, 2016
Definitely needs more than 22 minutes to prepare. 

Great salad

October 05, 2015
My husband and I LOVED this salad.  Great flavor and not a heavy meal which is perfect for the hot Texas evenings.  We added crushed peanuts for some crunch. Will be making this again and again.

Really Good!

April 30, 2015
My entire family,including teenagers,were wowed by this recipe. Came together fast,has authentic flavor,and will be added to our regular rotation.