You can find fish sauce, dark soy sauce, and lemongrass at most Asian markets. Use only the firm, tender, yellowish-green core of the lemongrass stalk; discard the rest (or use it to flavor stock).
|1½||pounds boneless pork shoulder|
|3||large cloves garlic, chopped|
|2||medium shallots, coarsely chopped|
|2||fat stalks lemongrass, trimmed and coarsely chopped|
|¼||teaspoon ground black pepper|
|1||tablespoon canola oil|
|2||tablespoons granulated sugar|
|2||teaspoons dark soy sauce|
|2||tablespoons Asian fish sauce|
|Extra canola oil (for sprinkling)|
1. Cut the pork across the grain into strips, each about 4 to 5 inches long, ¼-inch thick, and 1-inch wide. Transfer to a bowl.
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2. In a food processor, combine the garlic, shallots, lemongrass, black pepper, oil, sugar, soy sauce, and fish sauce. Work the mixture into a semi-coarse puree. Pour it over the pork, and with your hands, massage the mixture into the meat. Thread the pork onto skewers, covering most of each skewer. Give each skewer a gentle squeeze so the pork hugs the skewer. Set on a plate, cover, and marinate at room temperature for at least 1 hour. (For best flavor, refrigerate the skewers overnight or up to 24 hours; let sit out at room temperature for 45 minutes to remove some of the chill before cooking.)
3. Turn on the broiler. Slide an oven rack about 6 inches from the element. Sprinkle the skewers with canola oil. Cook for about 10 minutes, turning often and basting with oil, until the pork is slightly charred and cooked through (cut into a piece to check). Watch carefully to make sure exposed tips on the wood skewers do not burn. Cool for a few minutes before sliding the meat off the skewers. Keep as nuggets or thinly slice them to better distribute in sandwiches. Adapted from “The Banh Mi Handbook”