Vietnamese-Style Pork Skin Tacos with Chipotle Nu’ó’c Mȃm and Toasted Rice

Recipe by Andrew Le of The Pig and the Lady

Photography by Mieko Horikoshi

I love Mexican food and eating with our hands. This is our take on this delicious street food. It’s light, nutty, umami and fresh— easy to make as a creative addition for a gathering of friends.

Yield: 4 tacos

Ingredients

pork skin
toasted rice powder
Chipotle nu’ó’c mȃm (Vietnamese-style fish sauce vinaigrette)
pickled red onions
flour tortillas
roasted peanuts
cilantro
green onions
rau ram (vietnamese mint)
lime

For Chipotle Nu’ó’c Mȃm:

½ C. water
2 Tbs. sugar
3 Tbs. fresh squeezed lime juice (about 2 limes)
3 Tbs. canned, smoked chipotles, chopped
3 clove of garlic, use more or less according to taste
~ 1/8 C. fish sauce, adjust to taste

Combine water and sugar and bring to a boil. Once boiled, remove from heat. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well. Allow to cool and reserve on the side.

For Jasmine Rice Powder:

½ C. jasmine rice, uncooked

Place on sheet pan and toast in a 400° F oven for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. The rice should be browned evenly. Allow to cool to room temperature after done toasting. Grind into a powder using a spice grinder or a blender. Reserve on the side.

For Pork Skin:

10 oz. pork skin. Should be clean, and have no off odor.

Cut off any excess fat from the pork skin; it can be reserved to make lard for another use or stored in freezer for up to three months.

Boil pork skin in 1 qt. of water with a pinch of salt. Cook for 35-45 minutes till soft but not falling apart. Once cooked, remove from water and allow to cool for 4 hours (overnight preferred) in the refrigerator. Once cooled it will be firm and easy to cut.

Thinly slice with a sharp knife; season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle two hefty pinches of toasted rice powder and mix well. If you want more of the nutty flavor of the toasted rice, add more to your liking. Divide into four portions, then reserve on the side.

For Pickled Red Onion:

1 large red onion
½ C. red wine vinegar (or apple cider vinegar)

Using a small knife, remove onion’s papery outer layer and cut in half and slice thin. Put vinegar in pot, and bring to a boil with a small pinch each of sugar and salt. Pour hot vinegar over the sliced red onion and let marinate for 1 hour. Reserve on the side.

For Herb Mix:

¼ C. cilantro, cut in 1-inch lengths with the stem
¼ C. green onion, sliced thin
¼ C. rau ram (vietnamese mint), leaves only

Mix all ingredients together and reserve on the side.

For Flour Tortillas:

4 small tortillas (corn tortillas will work just as well)

Lightly brown both sides in a dry skillet over medium on heat. Wrap in a kitchen towel and reserve on the side.

Garnishes:

¼ C. roasted peanuts, rough chopped
1 lime, cut in 4 wedges

Assembly:

Place tortillas and a portion of the pork skin on each tortilla. Then dress with the chipotle nu’ó’c mȃm. Top with some pickled red onion over the pork skin. Finish garnishing with a pinch of the roasted peanuts, herb mix and a lime wedge on the he side.