Bun (rice vermicelli) is served MANY ways. The vegetable are a foundation for most variations. Some variations include adding beef or pork with lemongrass, grilled pork, beef, shrimp or pork pattie, shredded pork, egg roll, shrimp or shrimp and pork paste grilled on sugar cane and many more. Que Huang brand rice vermicelli was reccomended by a local Vietnamese restaurant. I also tried Jiang Xi but they are thicker than I prefer. You want vermicelli NOT spaghetti size.
- 1 lb rice vermicelli, cooked, rinsed, dried and cool
- 1 English cucumber, julienned (or 2 Persian)
- 4 scallions, thinly sliced
- 3 cups lettuce, cut small (use at least 2 varieties to make it more tasty)
- 1 1⁄2 cups mung beans (VERY fresh and clean or omit)
- 1 cup carrot, shredded
- 1⁄4 cup fresh cilantro, cut (or torn small)
- 1⁄4 cup fresh mint leaves, cut (or torn small)
- 1⁄4 cup fresh basil
- nuoc cham sauce (I like Nouc Mam Cham (Vietnamese Dipping Sauce))
- 1 cup dry roasted peanuts, chopped (or crushed, salted or unsalted to taste)
- garlic, diced to taste (optional)
- black pepper (optional)
- The most important thing to remember about the vermicelli is to NOT overcook them, then shock in cold water to stop the cooking, rinse til water runs clear and then dry. You can keep them in the fridge for a couple hours to 2 days. With the 2 brands I tested I had to cook 1 brand a bit longer and the other a bit less than the directions indicated. Use your good judgement. and start testing the doneness at 4-5 minutes.
- I find it easiest to slice the cucumber into thin rounds and then sticks.
- There are 3 ways to serve:.
- One - Mix all the salad ingredients together and add the Nuoc Cham and mix. Let people sprinkle a teaspoon or 2 of peanuts on their serving.
- Two - Place noodles in the bottom of an individual bowl and then each of the ingredients, separately, Top with Nuoc Cham and peanuts.
- Three - Place the noodles in the center of a plate and place some of each ingredient around the noodles. Serve Nuoc Cham on the side and peanuts in a bowl on the table with a spoon -- OR dress with Nuoc Cham and peanuts, then serve.
- Vary it a little and make it your own. The extra garlic and the black pepper are optional garishes.
- The FRESH cilanto, mint and basil are VERY important to the flavor development,.