Lay the sliced pork neck on a chopping board. Cover in Clingfilm and then lightly pound the meat.
Trim the end of the lemongrass and remove the outer layers. Split the outer layers of the lemongrass lengthwise and set aside for later (if using). Finely mince the soft inner cores.
Along with the minced shallots and garlic, put the minced lemongrass cores into a bowl. Add the plain oil, fish sauce, caramel sauce, salt and pepper. Mix to combine the marinate thoroughly.
Now divide the marinate between two bowls – add the minced pork in one and the sliced pork in the other. Using your hands, mix both thoroughly. Cover both bowls and refrigerate for a couple of hours
Once the meat has had enough time to marinate, remove the minced pork from the fridge
Take a handful of the minced pork and place one of the lemongrass strips in the centre of the meat. Using your hands, press the meat around the lemongrass, creating a “sausage”. Lay the pork in the middle of a piece of Clingfilm, fold the Clingfilm over the meat and, using your hands, press the sausage into shape. Place your sausage onto an oiled plate. Continue until you have used up all the meat. Alternatively, form the pork into small patties about 2 inches in diameter. Cover the plate in Clingfilm and return to the fridge to firm up a little
Cook the dried vermicelli noodles as per the instructions. Drain thoroughly (I use a salad spinner for this) and cover with a damp tea towel until needed
Wash the lettuce, beansprouts and herbs. Soak in some cold salted water for 5 minutes, after which rinse and then dry (again, I use a salad spinner)
Place both meats on a meat rack and cook over a charcoal fire (or under a hot grill) until lightly caramelised on the outside and cooked through – this should take about 10 to 15 minutes
Serve the cooked meats with the lettuce, beansprouts, herbs, noodles and a bowl of dipping sauce (1/2 cup per person)
Recipe reprinted with permission of The Muddled Pantry
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