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In Vietnam, we learned to make grilled lemon grass pork, or thịt nướng, as part of the dish called bún thịt nướng, a salad of sorts that combines slender rice noodles with grilled pork, pickled and fresh vegetables, tons of herbs and a savory-sweet sauce (nước chấm). To simplify, we focused on the pork along with the pickles and sauce, accompaniments we think are perfect complements to the rich, smoky pork; if you must choose between making either the sauce or pickles, opt for the former. The pork for thịt nướng is not always skewered, but doing so makes it easier to manage the thinly sliced meat on the grill. Lettuce leaves are ideal for wrapping the pork and pickles (dip into the nước chấm before taking a bite) or serve the skewers, sauce and pickles with steamed jasmine rice.
pounds boneless pork shoulder, trimmed of surface fat
medium garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
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