Thai & Vietnamese

Vietnamese Rice Noodle Salad with Vegetables and Mixed Herbs

A refreshing cold rice noodle, vegetable, and herb salad. A Vietnamese dish usually made with fish sauce, here it has been veganized for those who avoid fish sauce. Find out how by visiting cilantroandcitronella.com

Thanks to the magic of streaming I’m able to watch cooking programs from all over the world. One of my new favorites is Luke Nguyen, a Vietnamese-Australian chef, and his three series through Vietnam, France, and the UK. His premise is to meld Vietnamese flavours with the local ingredients of each of his destinations while preparing his dishes street-food style. His cooking style is inspirational for those who enjoy experimenting with east-meets-west flavours and techniques while his narrative is simple and direct. Although he’s not a vegetarian chef, I’ve been able to adapt a lot of his recipes and techniques to my own style of cooking.

A refreshing cold rice noodle, vegetable, and herb salad. A Vietnamese dish usually made with fish sauce, here it has been veganized for those who avoid fish sauce. Find out how by visiting cilantroandcitronella.com

I have a faint memory of seeing the following recipe on a program in his Vietnamese series, although I don’t remember which one and I can’t find any reference to it on the internet. In any case, rice noodle salad, known as bún, is a typical dish in Vietnamese cuisine. It’s characterized by vermicelli rice noodles, crisp vegetables, a generous handful of mixed herbs, and nuoc cham – a sweet and sour sauce. This salad can also contain meat, which can be replaced with tofu, or simply left out to enjoy the freshness of the vegetables and herbs on their own.

A refreshing cold rice noodle, vegetable, and herb salad. A Vietnamese dish usually made with fish sauce, here it has been veganized for those who avoid fish sauce. Find out how by visiting cilantroandcitronella.com

The perpetual problem with Vietnamese and Thai cuisine is the fish sauce, and Luke Nguyen puts it in absolutely everything. Nuoc cham normally contains fish sauce, and I’ve got a really great recipe for vegan fish sauce here. However, if you haven’t got the time or inclination to prepare that fish sauce, in this recipe I’ve replaced it with soy sauce, hot pepper flakes, water, sugar and lime juice.

Vietnamese Rice Noodle Salad with Vegetables and Mixed Herbs

Vietnamese Rice Noodle Salad with Vegetables and Mixed Herbs

Yield: Serves 4
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes

Ingredients

For the salad

  • 200 grams (7 ounces) rice noodles
  • 1 large carrot, julienned
  • 1 cucumber, seeds removed and julienned
  • 1 cup (70 grams) bean sprouts
  • 1/4 cup (9 grams) each mint, cilantro, and basil (Thai basil if you can find it, if not normal)

For the nuoc cham

  • 1/3 cup plus 1/2 teaspoon (82.5 ml) lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1/2 teaspoon (17.5 ml) brown sugar
  • 1/2 tablespoon water
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • A pinch of hot chili flakes
  • 1 hot chili pepper, chopped finely (adjust to taste)
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped finely

Instructions

  1. Soak the rice noodles in hot water until soft – 5 to 10 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process.
  2. Meanwhile, mix all the ingredients for the nuoc cham dressing.
  3. Mix the vegetables and rice noodles in a large bowl. Pour over the nuac cham dressing and toss to combine.

Notes

Inspired by Luke Nguyen and http://www.taste.com.au/recipes/23224/vietnamese+prawn+rice+noodle+salad

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 139 Total Fat: 0g Saturated Fat: 0g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 0g Cholesterol: 0mg Sodium: 355mg Carbohydrates: 32g Net Carbohydrates: 0g Fiber: 2g Sugar: 12g Sugar Alcohols: 0g Protein: 3g

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