Fresh and delicious Vegan Banh Mi Noodle Bowl (aka Bun Chay) with Sriracha Tofu (or chicken or shrimp!), rice noodles, pickled carrots and radishes, crunchy cucumber, cabbage and a creamy vegan Banh Mi dressing!
So long as the inner life is enslaved to external conditions, it will remain in a precarious condition. ~Sadhguru~
Hello friends. Here’s a Vietnamese-style bowl, called Bun Chay, very loosely inspired by one of the best things we ate while in Vietnam. Banh Mi! We actually tracked down the very banh mi stand featured on Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations, in the town of Hoi An, and ended up eating there every day.
Truly one of the best food experiences I’ve had. I remember, it was so hot and humid there, and we were so sweaty, and the sandwiches were so incredibly hot and spicy, yet we just couldn’t stop eating them -they had so much depth and flavor. The most delicious torture!
I got a hankering for one yesterday and decided to make a vegan version, in a bowl with noodles instead of bread . So here you have it. This vegan Banh Mi Noodle Bowl features noodles instead of bread, spicy sriracha tofu, rice noodles, pickled carrots and radishes, shredded cabbage, crunchy cucumber, fresh mint and jalapeño slices.
The first thing I do is pour boiling water over the rice noodles. Then I don’t have to really think about them. Just drain and rinse.
At the same time, I make quick carrot and radish pickles. These are essential and make the bowl!
These are watermelon radishes, but regular radishes and daikon, both work well too! A good Banh Mi, always has something pickled. Remember that. 🙂
So I just heat this up on the stove for a couple of minutes in a mix of vinegar water, salt and sugar, then place them in a bowl in the freezer, to chill them fast.
Today I’m trying out this Sriracha tofu. But regular plain tofu will do and I show you how to spice it up. Then it’s just a matter of slicing up the veggies, and making the dressing. Super easy!
Make the dressing- you can also use This Peanut Sauce if you prefer.
Assemble the Banh Mi Noodle Bowls. Divide everything among two bowls and sprinkle with fresh torn mint leaves, thinly sliced jalapeño and be sure to serve with a lime wedge! A nasturtium is a nice touch. 😉
Colorful and full of healthy crunchy veggies the flavors really satisfy! Pour the dressing over top and start mixing. The more you mix, the better it will taste!
I hope you enjoy these fresh, flavorful Banh Mi Noodle Bowls!
- 2 ounces dry rice noodles
- Boiling water
Quick pickled veggies:
- ⅓ cup rice wine vinegar
- ⅓ cup water
- 1 cup matchstick carrots (or grated)
- ½ cup sliced radishes (or try daikon or watermelon radish-like in the photos)
- 1 teaspoon sugar (or alternative equivalent, honey, maple, coconut sugar)
- ¼ teaspoon salt
Creamy Sriracha Dressing: ( or make Peanut Sauce)
- 4 tablespoons Veganaise or vegan mayo (or use regular)
- 1 tablespoon water
- 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon sriracha sauce (or Sambal, or Chili Garlic Sauce)
- 1 teaspoon sugar or alternative sweetener
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon soy sauce or vegan fish sauce (or regular fish sauce)
- 6 ounces tofu, patted dry, cut into ½ inch cubes ( or chicken, see notes)
- 1 cup thinly sliced cucumber
- 1 cup thinly sliced cabbage
- ½ a red bell pepper, thinly sliced
- ¼ cup fresh torn mint leaves
- ½ a jalapeno, very thinly sliced
- lime wedges
- optional additions- sprouts, avocado, daikon, grated beet, cilantro,
- Cook the Noodles: Pour boiling water over rice noodles and let sit 5-6 minutes, or until softened, drain, rinse and set aside. (I use a shallow baking dish for this)
- Make the Pickles (don’t skip!) At the same time heat ⅓ cup water and 1/3 cup vinegar on the stove in a small pot, add sugar, salt, radishes, and carrots and bring to a simmer, and toss to coat well. Turn heat off. Place them in a bowl and chill ( I’ll put this in the fridge or freezer for few minutes)- these can be made ahead.
- Make the Creamy Sriracha Dressing: place ingredients in a small bowl and whisk.
- Make the Crispy Tofu: Heat oil in a skillet, and season the oil with salt and pepper. Add the tofu and sear over medium heat until all sides are crispy. Stir in a little sriracha for heat at the end.
- Prep your veggies. Slice the cucumber, bell pepper and cabbage (using a mandolin is nice, or just very thinly slice).
- Assemble the Bowls: divide the noodles and arrange all the veggies around it. Grab the chilling pickled veggies and divide. Add the tofu to the bowls and Spoon the flavorful dressing overtop.
- Garnish the bowls with fresh mint, jalapeño slices and lime wedges.
You could use leftover rotisserie chicken in this, or quickly sauté cubed chicken or shrimp, seasoned with salt and pepper until golden and cooked through, then toss with a little sriacha.
Keywords: healthy bowl, bahn mi recipe, bahn mi bowl, vegan bahn mi, bahn mi noodle bowl, vegan buddha bowl