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Thai Pork Jerky Pasta Salad

Time 30 minutes
Yields Serves 6 to 8
Thai pork jerky pasta salad
(Mariah Tauger / Los Angeles Times)
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This salad is delicious with any pork or beef jerky, especially Asian-flavored varieties. For the tastiest version, seek out freshly made, deep-fried pork jerky at your local Thai market. While you’re there, get fresh Thai lime leaves. They deliver an herbaceous bite without the risk of wilting like most leafy herbs. If you can’t find them, substitute the freshly grated zest of a lime or two very thinly sliced fresh bay leaves.

1

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta according to the package’s directions.

2

While the pasta cooks, whisk the chiles, vinegar, fish sauce, sugar and olive oil in a large bowl. Drain the pasta in a colander and rinse under cold water until just warm. Shake dry in the colander, then immediately transfer to the sauce. Toss until well-coated.

3

Add the pork, onion, cabbage and lime leaves, mix well and serve.

Variations:
Roast Pork Pasta Salad: Substitute char siu (Chinese roast pork) for the pork jerky.

Tofu Pasta Salad: Substitute Thai marinated and deep-fried tofu for the pork jerky.

Gluten-Free Pasta Salad: Substitute cooked rice noodles for the fusilli.
Make Ahead:
The pasta salad can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to three days. Bring to room temperature to serve.