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!Print
The Hirshon Vietnamese Grilled Pork and Shrimp With Rice Noodles – Bún Thịt Nướng Tôm
- Total Time: 0 hours
- 1 pound pork shoulder, sliced against the grain about 1/8” thick – it helps to slightly freeze it
- 1/2 pound medium-sized, peeled and deveined prawns, butterflied along the back
- 1 package rice vermicelli (small or medium thickness), cooked according to package instructions, drained, chilled and reserved
- 5 spring onions (white part only), finely sliced, and pounded in mortar and pestle to a paste (or just use a blender or food processor)
- 1 lemongrass stem, lower 1/3 only, remove outer leaves, slice very thinly and pounded in mortar and pestle to a paste (or just use a blender or food processor)
- 2 1/2 tablespoons garlic, finely minced
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce – TFD strongly prefers Red Boat 40°N brand
- 1/2 tablespoon thick soy sauce – TFD prefers dark soy sauce flavored with mushrooms
- 1/2 tablespoon freshly-ground white pepper
- 3 tablespoons neutral cooking oil
- mint – (rau thơm)
- Vietnamese perilla – tiá tô – if unavailable, try shiso leaves or just use more mint
- Vietnamese balm – kinh giới – if unavailable, use Thai Holy Basil but it has a very different (but tasty) flavor!
- cucumbers, peeled, cored and sliced into matchsticks
- Pickled daikon and carrots – đồ chua, made from:
- 1 1/2 cups peeled and finely grated carrots, about 2 carrots
- 1 1/2 cups peeled and finely grated daikon, about 1 daikon
- 1 3/4 cups white distilled vinegar
- 1/2 tablespoon salt
- 1 head red leaf lettuce, sliced into bite size pieces
- Giá – Bean sprouts
- 4 tablespoons fried shallots – cook minced shallots in hot oil until crisp, then drain
- 4 tablespoons crushed roasted peanuts
- Vietnamese Scallion & Oil Garnish (Mỡ Hành), made from 4 stalks scallion (green onion)
- 1/4 cup oil (neutral one such as vegetable, canola oil)
- Dipping Sauce – nước chấm:
- 1 clove garlic
- 2 to 3 Thai bird chiles (or 1 small jalapeño or serrano chile), cored, seeded, and minced; more or less to taste
- 1/2 tsp. ground chile paste; more or less to taste
- 2/3 cup hot water
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup fish sauce – TFD strongly prefers Red Boat 40°N brand
- 2 Tbs. fresh lime juice
- 2 Tbs. shredded carrots (optional)
- For the pickled carrots and daikon:
- Place the carrots and daikon in a medium bowl. Add the salt and sugar. Pour in the vinegar, then stir to combine.
- Cover with plastic wrap, then refrigerate for one hour (it will keep for at least one month).
- For the nước chấm: in a mortar and pestle, pound the garlic and fresh chiles to a paste. In a small bowl, combine this garlic and chile mixture with the chile paste, hot water, and sugar. Stir well. Add the fish sauce and lime juice and combine. Float the carrots on top. Let sit for at least 15 minutes before using.
- For scallion and oil garnish: wash and thinly slice scallions. Heat oil over medium heat. After 30 seconds, test heat by dropping in one piece. If it sizzles, it’s ready.
- Add all the sliced scallions, mix scallions in the pan for about 30 seconds or until softened. Reserve.
- Combine lemongrass purée, garlic and scallion paste. Mix them in a large bowl with sugar, fish sauce, thick soy sauce, pepper, and oil until sugar dissolves. Add in pork slices and prawns. Marinate for 1 hour, or overnight for better results.
- Bake the pork at 375F for 10-15 minutes or until about 80% cooked. Finish cooking by broiling in the oven until a nice golden brown color develops, flipping the pieces midway. At the broil phase, you can add in the shrimp – watch them carefully so they don’t burn or overcook them!
- Assemble your bowl with veggies, meats, noodles, and garnish. Pour in scallions and oil, then mix the whole bowl up and pour the nước chấm sauce on top. Eat immediately.
- Prep Time: 0 hours
- Cook Time: 0 hours
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