Thursday, May 12, 2016

Bun Chay Vegetarian Vietnamese Vermicelli Bowl

My last post was a recipe for nuoc mam chay (Vietnamese vegetarian 'fish' sauce).  A great way to use that condiment is on vermicelli bowls.  Rice vermicelli bowls are pretty versatile.  Although there are the traditional pork bowls; see recipe here: http://smokedsaltandpepper.blogspot.com/2013/03/bun-thit-nuong-cha-gio-vietnamese.html

I made a vegetarian version of a vermicelli bowl using a combo of tofu, avocado eggrolls, and other delicious things I had in my kitchen.  This was a great way to use the giant cucumber growing in my vegetable garden!

Bun Chay (Vegetarian Vermicelli Bowls)
Ingredients:

  • 1 8oz. package of vermicelli rice noodles, cooked and drained according to package
  • 1/4 c. or about 3 small carrots, shredded
  • 1/3 c. rice vinegar
  • 2 tsp. sugar
  • canola oil
  • egg roll wrappers (banh trang cha gio)
  • 1 large Haas avocado, chopped
  • small shallot, minced
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 block of firm tofu
  • 3 tbs. soy sauce
  • lettuce, fresh mint, sliced cucumber
  • vegetarian 'fish sauce' recipe here: https://smokedsaltandpepper.blogspot.com/2016/05/nuoc-mam-chay-vegetarian-fish-sauce.html

    Directions:

    1. Cook and drain vermicelli noodles as directed on package.  Allow to drain very well.
    2. In a small bowl, combine 1/3 c. water, rice vinegar and sugar and stir until dissolved.  Add carrots.  Allow to quick pickle while prepping rest of the ingredients.
    3. Combine avocado and shallots plus salt and pepper to taste for egg rolls.  Wrap egg rolls (there are some great videos on how to do this or the egg roll wrapper package usually has some instructions).  
    4. In a wok or tall-sided pan, add about 1/3 c. canola oil over medium high heat.
    5. Fry egg rolls until golden brown, about 3 minutes per side.  Remove from pan and allow to drain on a paper towel lined plate.
    6. Cube tofu into 1x2" pieces and drain any excess water.  Using remaining oil in wok, pan fry all sides of tofu.  Cook in batches if necessary.
    7. Drain any excess oil from pan.  Add soy sauce to tofu in pan and allow to heat through on all sides, about 3 minutes.
    8. Assemble the bowls by lining with lettuce, then vermicelli noodles, then arrange all toppings.
    9. Serve with a small bowl of vegetarian fish sauce and Sriracha sauce.

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