This authentic Vietnamese dish is known as Bun Ga Nuong, was one of our favorites traveling through Vietnam and is very adaptable. It can be made with your choice of protein, marinated in a flavorful lemongrass paste, then grilled (or use a grill pan or skillet) until hot and crispy.
Vermicelli Noodle Bowls | 60-sec Video
Are Vietnamese Vermicelli Bowls Healthy?
Yes! What I love about these Vermicelli Bowls is how fresh and packed full of nutrients they are. They are also very adaptable.
Sometimes I’ll make chicken for Brian and tofu for myself, by simply dividing the marinade. Vermicelli rice noodles are traditional in the dish, but for an easy low-carb option, try substituting daikon “noodles”. (See below).
The bowls can also be completely vegan, using tofu and Vegan Fish Sauce.
This has become one of my favorite meals– leaving me feeling energized, healthy and light.
It starts with fresh ingredients.
Make the Lemongrass Marinade:
Add the rest of the marinade ingredients and pulse to create a thick paste.
The secret ingredient that really gives this marinade its authenticity– is Chinese Five Spice. Though it’s called Chinese Five Spice, it is often used in Vietnamese Cuisine–for example, it’s commonly in the broth of Vietnamese Pho. I believe it’s because of their proximity to one another…..Southern China borders Northern Vietnam. When it comes to food, there really are no borders.
Prep the protein:
If using tofu, cut tofu into bite-sized pieces.
Toss with the marinade and let sit for at least 30 minutes or up to 48 hours.
Prep all your veggies:
While it’s marinating, prep your veggies.
How do you cook Vermicelli Noodles?
- Place vermicelli noodles in a wide shallow baking dish.
- Bring 8 cups of water to a boil.
- Pour over the noodles and let stand 5 minutes.
- Drain well. Rinse with cold water to stop cooking.
- To keep from sticking, you could toss with a small drizzle of oil.
Are Rice Noodles and Vermicelli the same?
Vermicelli is a type of rice noodle, fine and thread-like. There are many sizes of rice noodles– flat and wide, linguini-shaped, all the way down to Vermicelli which is the thinnest- perfect for bowls and salads. You can typically find Vermicelli in the Asian section of most grocery stores or at a local Asian Market.
Is Vermicelli healthier than rice?
Because rice is considered a whole grain, and the vermicelli noodles are in essence “processed” rice is probably a little healthier than rice noodles.
Can I use Vermicelli Noodles for Pho?
Though Pho, is typically made with rice noodles, Vermicelli rice noodles may be too thin to hold up to the broth without breaking. Vermicelli noodles need only 2-3 minutes to boil. Rinse and set aside.
Low-carb (Keto) Option for rice noodles:
Try using Diakon Noodles or Kelp Noodles.
Grill the Protein:
Heat your grill or grill pan to medium heat, and when hot, sear each side 5-7 minutes until good grill marks appear, then lower heat and cook all the way through. Set aside.
Make the Vietnamese Dressing:
**Please don’t let the fish sauce prohibit or scare you, it really is delicious and adds depth and flavor. But if you are vegan and would like to substitute it, see below for a vegan fish sauce recipe. Or sub a little soy sauce!
Assemeble the Vermicelli bowls!
Divide the cooked vermicelli noodles into the bowls.
Divide all the veggies, herbs and grilled chicken or tofu. Spoon the flavorful Nuoc Cham Dressing over top and serve.