21 May 2012

Vietnamese Noodle Bowl

So I used to work at this great cafe that made all sorts of yummy food from fresh, local ingredients, and my favorite was the noodle bowl.  Rice noodles layered with lettuce, herbs, carrots, and chicken and soaked with a sweet/sour/tart/pungent sauce.  YUM.  YUM.  I crave it.

Then I found a Vietnamese restaurant that made a killer noodle bowl (they should, right?) in a deeper bowl with smaller noodles, more finely chopped ingredients and marinated beef.  Oh wow.  I LOVED it!  

Well, too bad that the Vietnamese restaurant closed and I moved away from that town anyhow.  Sigh.  Here in central PA not so much Vietnamese food unless I want to drive an hour.  

As with the Chinese food, it's time to make my own.

Of course, I did what I always do and scoured the internet for recipes then made my own version of a noodle bowl with what I had on hand.  It turned out AWESOME!

Here's what you do:

1. Make the sauce (Nuoc Cham or Nuoc Mam): lime, water, sugar, fish sauce, garlic and a leeetle bit of sriracha

2. Cook the rice noodles, drain & rinse (you end up eating this at room temperature).

3. Cook any meat you want (I marinated some chopped pork tenderloin in a ginger/garlic/soy marinade and pan fried it)

4. Chop, slice, shred, crush, etc. the other ingredients and start layering:

    Lettuce (shredded--I think bok choy would be nice too)
    Cilantro, Mint (and Basil if available!)
    Carrots (shredded)
    Cucumber (shredded)
    Green Onion (sliced--I forgot to add it, and I could tell it wasn't the same!)
    Nuts (I used toasted sesame seed, but peanuts or cashews would be     
          yummy too!)
    Nuoc Cham  (I used this recipe and added sriracha and garlic)

I'm going to make this again sometime this week using marinated venison on top.  And I won't forget the green onions!  Let me know if you try making it and what you think.


  1. Amazing A. Could we (my family and yours) do an asian cookoff sometime? not for the competition, but just for the groove!

  2. Absolutely, Auntie H! I was just asking D last night if he'd be happy to have this once a week through the summer. He thought we could at least give it a try. =) So, Asian is on the menu!

  3. I'm so glad you posted this! The noodle bowl is my favorite dish there and I've been trying to figure out the sauce. From your recipe I was getting close. Thanks for sharing.