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.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta according to the package’s directions.
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.
Add the pork, onion, cabbage and lime leaves, mix well and serve.
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.
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