MAINS/ SPRING

Vietnamese Grilled Pork Noodle Bowl

Today I am revisiting a post from Kelly’s Kitchen. Vietnamese Grilled Pork Noodle Bowls, otherwise known as bún thịt nướng, is one of my all time favorite dishes. This is a cold noodle salad loaded with fresh herbs and veggies and hot-off-the-grill pork slices served on top. All of the flavors and textures that make Vietnamese food so good and so satisfying are there: sweet, salty, sour, spicy flavors with crunchy peanuts and vegetables; soft, cold vermicelli noodles; and the bite of grilled meat. This cold noodle salad is easily customized to suit your taste.

Vietnamese Grilled Pork Noodle Bowl

While simple to make, this recipe does require a 24 hour marinade for your pork shoulder. And since this is a cold noodle salad, you can essentially prep everything the day before and then put it all together after you grill the pork.

The typical ingredients for bún thịt nướng are: raw leafy greens, rice vermicelli noodles, sliced cucumbers, pickled carrots, leafy herbs (cilantro, basil, mint), sliced scallions, bean sprouts, chopped peanuts and nước chấm sauce.

Day 1: Marinade

Pork marinade

Mix all ingredients together in a large measuring cup and set aside. I am using a 1.5 pound pork shoulder. Slice your pork shoulder against the grain in ⅛ to ¼ inch thick slices. Place all the sliced meat into a large Ziplock and pour in the marinade. Gently squeeze the air out as best you can and seal up the bag. Lay the bag flat in the fridge overnight.

Day 2: Dressing – Nước Chấm

Nước Chấm sauce ingredients

Start by prepping your dressing, the nước chấm sauce. Nước chấm is a fish sauce that can be used as a dipping sauce or poured over the noodles and greens as a dressing. It’s also used as a dipping sauce for egg rolls and spring rolls.

Mix all ingredients together in a measuring cup. Be sure to taste this sauce and add more of any ingredient to suit your taste. For instance, maybe you’d like it to be more citrusy, so add more lime juice. Perhaps you’d like it more sweet, add more sugar. I didn’t find any Thai chiles at the store, so I added a sliced red Fresno Chile, but you can use a Serrano chile, or jalapeño. To dissolve the sugar more easily, use lukewarm water.

Scallion Oil – Mở Hành

I was planning on using scallions as a garnish for this recipe, then after doing some reading, I discovered that scallion oil is a common condiment for grilled meat in Vietnamese cuisine, so I decided to give it a try, but you can simply use raw, thinly sliced scallions instead of making this onion oil. But it’s so simple and it’ll keep in the fridge to use for other dishes! I made a lot extra – I used an entire bunch of scallions and about ¾ cup of grapeseed oil. Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat for about 30 seconds. Toss in the thinly sliced scallions and cook until soft, just about 30 seconds.

Prepping the Veggies

Vietnamese Grilled Pork Noodle Bowl ingredients

I happen to have Napa cabbage and green leaf lettuce, but feel free to use whatever raw leafy greens you like! The herbs I have are cilantro, basil and mint. If you can find Thai basil, go for that! Tear your herb leaves off their stems, wash them and lay them out to dry. I have cucumbers too! Slice those up. Instead of bean sprouts, I have pea shoots. Chop your unsalted, roasted peanuts.

Vermicelli Noodles

The noodles are often labeled as “Rice Sticks” if you can find them – great! They’re quick and easy: just heat up a pot of water to near boiling. Turn off the heat, add your noodles and cover. Let sit, covered for 10 minutes. Strain the noodles and run cold water over them until they’re cool, and set them aside.

Vietnamese Grilled Pork Noodle Bowl

Time to Grill!

grilling pork

The pork slices will cook fast, so I like to have everything else ready to go before I put the meat on the grill. You will want to use a grill pan or grill grates so the slices don’t fall through. If you don’t have either of those, a wire cooling rack placed on the grill will work just fine. Spray the grill grates with a cooking oil spray because the pork will want to stick. If you’re using a wire cooling rack, spray it before you lay it on your grill. These thin strips of pork will take about 3 minutes on each side to cook.

Assembly

Start with your greens. Then add a big handful of rice noodles. Place your cucumber along one side. Add your carrots to another side. Place your leafy herbs and sprouts to create a little nest of noodles. Lay slices of grilled pork in the center, on top of your noodles. Spoon some scallion oil (mở hành) on top of the pork and sprinkle chopped peanuts on top. Then, pour on some of your nước chấm dressing.

Vietnamese Grilled Pork Noodle Bowl

Vietnamese Grilled Pork Noodle Bowl

This dish has so much to love! I am a big fan of the “perfect bite” and this type of dish gives you endless opportunities to create new texture and flavor combinations with every bite. This is why this recipe and so many other Vietnamese dishes are incredibly satisfying; it’s a world of variety in a single bowl.

I hope you give Vietnamese Grilled Pork Noodle Bowls a try. This dish is fairly simple – and again, it’s all about the prep. With components you can do ahead, and the freedom to make substitutions, this one is worth the effort.

Catch up with Djalali Cooks, check out my Hot Smoked Salmon Rigatoni. Remember you can find me on Instagram and facebook too! Take care, everyone. Be well, xo Kelly

Vietnamese Grilled Pork Noodle Bowl

Vietnamese Grilled Pork Noodle Bowl

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Dinner, Main Course Vietnamese
By Kelly Djalali Serves: 2-4
Prep Time: 10 Minutes + overnight marinade Cooking Time: 15-20 Minutes Total Time: 30 Minutes

Cold rice noodle salad with savory grilled pork, fresh herbs, veggies and Vietnamese fish sauce dressing. So many flavor combinations and perfect bites.

Ingredients

  • Vietnamese Grilled Pork Marinade
  • 3 tbsp. Shallots, minced
  • 1.5 tbsp. Garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup Brown Sugar
  • 1 tbsp. Fish Sauce
  • 1/2 tbsp. Soy Sauce
  • 1/2 tbsp. Black Pepper
  • 3 tbsp. Neutral Cooking Oil like Canola, or Grapeseed
  • 1.5 lb. Pork Shoulder, thinly sliced (1/8 -1/4" slices)
  • Nước Chấm Sauce
  • 6 tbsp. Lukewarm Water
  • 2 tbsp. Sugar
  • 1.5-2 tbsp. Fresh Lime Juice
  • 2 tbsp. Fish Sauce
  • Garlic, minced – Optional
  • Thai chiles (or other hot pepper)Sliced – Optional
  • Noodle Bowl
  • Leafy Greens
  • 1 package Rice Vermicelli
  • Cucumber, sliced
  • Pickled Carrots (or shredded carrots)
  • Fresh Basil, stems removed
  • Fresh Mint, stems removed
  • Grilled Pork
  • Scallion oil, or raw sliced scallions
  • Nước Chấm Sauce
  • Peanuts, chopped

Instructions

Pork Marinade

1

Mix all ingredients together in a large measuring cup and set aside. Slice your pork shoulder against the grain in ⅛ to ¼ inch thick slices. Place all the sliced meat into a large Ziplock and pour in the marinade. Gently squeeze the air out as best you can and seal up the bag. Lay the bag flat in the fridge overnight.

Fish Sauce Dressing

2

Mix all ingredients together in a measuring cup. Be sure to taste this sauce and add more of any ingredient to suit your taste. For instance, maybe you’d like it to be more citrusy, so add more lime juice. Perhaps you’d like it more sweet, add more sugar. To dissolve the sugar more easily, use lukewarm water.

Vietnamese Grilled Pork Noodle Bowl

3

Grill the pork slices for about 3 minutes per side and remove from grill, set aside and assemble the noodle bowl.

4

Start with your greens.

5

Then add a big handful of rice noodles.

6

Place your cucumber along one side.

7

Add your carrots to another side.

8

Place your leafy herbs and sprouts to create a little nest of noodles.

9

Lay slices of grilled pork in the center, on top of your noodles.

10

Spoon some scallion oil (mở hành) on top of the pork and sprinkle chopped peanuts on top.

11

Then, pour on some of your nước chấm dressing.

Here are some substitution ideas:

Get creative with whichever fresh leafy greens you like.

Feel free to try rice instead of rice vermicelli.

You can substitute fresh julienned or shredded carrots instead of quick pickled carrots.

Top with fresh scallions instead of making onion oil.

Omit sprouts if you like.

Use whichever fresh leafy herbs you like or have.

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  • Sylvia Espinoza
    March 8, 2021 at 11:31 am

    Greetings, Kelly! Still here indulging in every post and every comment. With spring and summer at the door, this dish could be a weekly regular 🙂 We did well in the Texas freeze…until the thaw…kitchen the only place affected and still not back in proper working order. Good thing the archives can be tapped for the recipes I still hope to try 🙂 Keep your posts coming. They feed our body and our soul. Hugs! ~

    • Kelly Djalali
      March 8, 2021 at 11:43 am

      Hi Sylvia, I am so sorry to hear you had some damage from the terrible weather in Texas. I hope you can get your kitchen up and running again soon! Thanks so much for all your wonderful support. It always makes me smile to get to chat with you! Take care, xo Kelly