Goi Ngo Sen – Lotus Root Salad
The first day of summer arrives in a few days, so this week’s Mom’s 52 recipe is a refreshing dish to help combat the hot days to come. Goi Ngo Sen – Lotus Root Salad is technically considered an appetizer in Vietnamese cuisine, and if you’ve ever attended a traditional Vietnamese wedding, a variation of this dish is usually the first course served at the wedding feast. Personally, I love having Goi Ngo Sen as an entree, served with rice and Nuoc Mam Cham dipping sauce because it’s a light and healthy choice for any meal. Mom likes to serve Goi Ngo Sen with shrimp chips or toasted banh trang rice paper (Dad’s favorite!) for an added crunch.
Pickled lotus rootlets add a light flavor and slightly crunchy texture to this dish. Each rootlet is thinner than the width of your pinky and will be divided into an even smaller size for this Goi Ngo Sen recipe.
A mandolin slicer is helpful for this recipe, but not a requirement.
Goi Ngo Sen – Lotus Root Salad
INGREDIENTS – makes 4 servings
- 1 lb. pork loin, quartered
- 1/2 tsp. + 1 tsp. salt
- 1 (24 oz.) jar pickled lotus rootlets, rinsed & drained
- 1 C. carrots, shredded
- 1 C. cucumber, julienned (If using a standard cucumber, cut the cucumber in half lengthwise and scoop out some of the seeds before slicing. Otherwise, Mom recommends more narrow cucumber varieties such as Persian, Japanese, or English.)
- 1 C. white vinegar
- 2 C. water
- 1/2 C. sugar
- 1/2 lb. large shrimp, boiled & peeled
- 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
- 1/4 C. Nuoc Mam Cham
- 1 C. your choice of fresh herbs (i.e. mint, rau ram, cilantro), coarsely chopped
STEP 1: COOK THE PORK LOIN FOR GOI NGO SEN
- Fill a large pot 1/3 of the way with water. Use high heat to reach a boil.
- Add 1 tsp. salt to the boiling water, followed by the quartered pork loin. Boil the pork loin for 40 minutes to fully cook before thinly slicing. Meanwhile, move on to Step 2.
STEP 2: PREPARE THE VEGGIES FOR GOI NGO SEN
- Divide the rinsed & drained lotus rootlets into quarters by pulling them apart in half, and then, in half again.
- In an extra large bowl, mix together 1 C. vinegar, 2 C. water, 1/2 C. sugar, and 1 tsp. salt. Add to this the quartered lotus rootlets, shredded carrots, and julienned cucumbers. Allow these vegetables to soak for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, return to the pork in Step 1 above (finish boiling, cool, and thinly slice).
STEP 3: ASSEMBLE GOI NGO SEN
- To assemble Goi Ngo Sen, drain the soaked vegetables from Step 2 above. Rinse. Using your hands, tightly squeeze the drained vegetables in batches, to remove excess liquid. Place the drained vegetables into a large bowl.
- Add to the vegetables 1/2 lb. of boiled & peeled shrimp, 2 Tbsp. EVOO, 1/4 C. Nuoc Mam Cham, and 1 C. of coarsely chopped herbs. Toss well to combine. If desired, refrigerate before serving.
- Plate and serve Goi Ngo Sen alongside your choice of rice, shrimp chips, or banh trang rice paper, and with a side of Nuoc Mam Cham for dipping.
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