Citizens, the flavors of Vietnam are complex and utterly delicious – and this is one of my all-time favorite recipes from that country, one enjoyed many times over many decades. 🙂
Bún thịt nướng (rice noodles [with] grilled meat) is a popular Vietnamese cold rice-vermicelli noodle dish topped with grilled pork, fresh herbs such as basil and mint, fresh salad and giá (bean sprouts).
The dish is dressed with nước chấm fish sauce dip. Also, it is typically topped with roasted peanuts, Vietnamese pickled vegetables, nem nướng̣ [grilled garlic pork sausage] or grilled prawns. Bún thịt nướng is popular in all regions of Vietnam, except for in Hanoi, where a related dish known as bún chả is served.
There are several different varieties of this dish, including:
Bún thịt nướng chay (Vegetarian – using tofu in place of meat)
Bún thịt nướng bò (rice noodles with grilled beef)
Bún thịt nướng tôm (with grilled prawns)
Bún thịt nướng chả giò (with spring rolls)
Bún thịt nướng Đà Nẵng (Da Nang style)
Needless to say, we are going with the shrimp version in my recipe! FYI – the base for this recipe was from hungryhuy.com, but I have jazzed it up quite a bit. The ingredient list may look a little daunting, but fear not – it is not a difficult dish to make! Just use the best ingredients you can – I always do!
For example, my personal choice of fish sauce, which adds a needed umami funkiness to the dish in both the marinade and the nước chấm sauce, must be flavorful but not overwhelm. Made from wild-caught black anchovy and sea salt, single-press Red Boat 40°N is barrel-aged using a centuries-old fermentation tradition and is my choice. You can buy it here. I have gratefully cribbed the nước chấm sauce recipe from finecooking.com. I also like 3 Crabs brand of fish sauce, if you want a less pricey version.
The various Vietnamese herbs can easily be subbed out with more easily obtainable ones – and I am wholly confident in my TFD-hood to know unequivocally that you will love this delicious and healthful recipe, Citizens!