Dinner Tonight: Vietnamese Noodle Salad (vermicelli bowl)


My favorite Vietnamese dish is a vermicelli bowl, also known as a Vietnamese Noodle Salad. I first had one at the now-defunct Noodle Ranch in Belltown about twelve years ago when Bryan took me there on a date. Currently the best vermicelli bowl I know of in the area can be found at Green Leaf, also in Belltown (pictured above).

Tonight we made our own version for some friends who came over, and it was a big hit! I combined two recipes – one for the marinade and one for the dressing.

This is a chilled salad, so I can’t wait to eat this all summer long!

The marinade came from a recipe here:

  • 1.5 lb pork butt or shoulder, thinly sliced just under 1/4 inch or so (not too thin as you do not want it to dry out when grilled.
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tbs fish sauce
  • 1 tbs ground pepper
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced (use more according to taste)
  • 2-3 shallots, minced (I used green onions)
  • 3 tbs sesame oil
  • 1 tbs Yoshida’s (I used soy sauce & honey)
  • 3 tbs roasted sesame
  • flexible grilling basket or indoor grill

Combine the shallots, garlic, sugar, fish sauce, pepper, Yoshida’s, sesame oil. Add pork and marinade for at least 1-2 hours.

Grill the meat until nicely golden brown and slightly charred. Remove from grill onto platter or bowl and toss with roasted sesame.

The dressing recipe came from (here):

  • 3 TBL fish sauce
  • 3 TBL rice vinegar
  • 2 TBL sugar
  • 2 cloves garlic crushed
  • 2 TBL freshly squeezed lime juice

Assembling the salad:

  • cooked vermicelli noodles, cooled
  • carrots, julienned
  • green onions, chopped
  • cucumbers, julienned
  • shredded cabbage
  • bean sprouts
  • Basil
  • Cilantro
  • chopped peanuts

This is a chilled salad, so make sure the noodles are cooled. Combine ingredients in a bowl with the rice noodles on the bottom. Add the grilled pork, stir in the dressing, and eat!

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