Someday I want to visit Vietnam. In fact, I want to take a culinary tour around Southeast Asia. I envy Anthony Bourdain. I was just watching one of his shows and he talked about how visiting Vietnam changed his culinary viewpoint.
In the summer time, I love eating the Vietnamese rice noodle salad Bun. You can have Bun with lemon grass chicken, pork, beef, shrimp, or any delicious meat topping. Basically its a cold noodle salad with meat, fresh vegetables, lettuce, and tons of fresh herbs. Here is a New York Times article describing the Bun salad. The key to a delicious bun is the nuoc cham sauce.
I made a chicken bun with leftover grilled chicken, cucumbers, tomatoes, chopped spinach (didn’t have lettuce), and herbs from my garden. I used Thai basil, cilantro, mint, and shiso, a Japanese herb that my mother has growing in her garden.
Here is a picture of my nuoc cham sauce. I used a recipe from AllRecipes.com. It was simple to make – fish sauce, vinegar, lime juice, garlic, hot peppers and Stevia (instead of sugar).
For the vermicelli, I used a black bean spaghetti that I picked up from Costco. The spaghetti has a rubbery texture to it. I don’t think it would be a good Italian pasta substitute – the al dente texture is what makes pasta so delicious.
Overall, the dish was okay. It wasn’t as good as the Vietnamese restaurants up North, like Nha Hang Viet Nam, but it was satisfying enough.