These healthy vermicelli bowls are bursting with Vietnamese flavor! They’re made with vermicelli rice noodles, your choice of protein (tofu, shrimp, or chicken), fresh veggies, basil, and a flavorful Vietnamese dressing called nuoc cham sauce. Video.

This authentic Vietnamese dish known as Bun Ga Nuong, was one of our favorites while exploring Vietnam. These 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.

Paired with cool, crunchy vegetables like daikon radish, carrots, bean sprouts, cucumber, and bell pepper. Together with the aromatic herbs and the flavorful dressing or Vietnamese dipping sauce called nuoc cham sauce, this is a feast for the senses—fragrant, lively, and bright!

Why you’ll love them

  • Veggie Forward! What I love about these Vermicelli Bowls is that they are fresh, packed full of nutrients, gluten-free, and very adaptable.
  • Adaptable!  Sometimes I’ll make lemongrass chicken for Brian and lemongrass 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.
  • Summery,  light, and healthy. This has become one of my favorite meals– leaving me feeling energized, healthy and light.

Vietnamese Vermicelli bowls (instructions)

Step 1: Make the lemongrass marinade. 

 You’ll end up with a thick paste for your chicken, shrimp or tofu ( or both).

Step 2: Prep the protein. Once the marinade is made, prepare your chicken, shrimp or tofu. You can cut the chicken in strips or leave it whole. Leave whole if using an outdoor grill.

If using tofu, cut tofu into bite-sized pieces.

Toss the protein with the marinade and let sit for at least 30 minutes or up to 48 hours.

Step 3: While it’s marinating, prep your veggies and vermicelli noodles. Cut all your veggies into thinly sliced, bite-sized pieces. Chop all your herbs. Set all aside. Herbs like Thai basil, cilantro, and mint, all work great here.

Chef’s tip: The best way to cook Vermicelli noodles

  1. Place vermicelli noodles in a wide, shallow baking dish and cover with cold water.
  2. Bring 8 cups of water to a boil.
  3. Drain the noodles, pour hot water over the noodles, and let stand for 2-4 minutes.
  4. Drain well. Rinse with cold water to stop cooking.
  5. To keep them from sticking, you could toss with a small drizzle of oil.

Step 4: Make the Nouc Cham Sauce. Simply whisk the ingredients together in a bowl and set aside.

Step 5: Grill or Sear. 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. If using an outdoor grill, leave the pieces whole for easier grilling.

TIP: You can also use a grill pan on the stovetop or even a skillet. As you see here I’m grilling both chicken and tofu on the stovetop.

Step 6: Assemble the bowls. Divide the cooked vermicelli noodles into the bowls. Divide all the veggies, herbs and grilled chicken or tofu.

Spoon the flavorful Nuoc Cham Sauce over top and serve!

Flavorful Vietnamese Vermicelli w/ lemongrass chicken (or tofu) served over rice vermicelli noodles, w/ veggies and basil & flavorful Vietnamese dressing (Nuoc Cham) . Delicious!! |

Storage and meal prep

Leftovers will keep up to 4 days in an airtight container in the fridge. To prep ahead, marinate the chicken or tofu, and precook the noodles up to 2 days ahead. Dressing can be made 4 days ahead.

More vietnamese recipes

Hope you enjoy this flavorful Vietnamese Vermicelli Bowls! xoxoxo


Vietnamese Vermicelli Bowls | 60-sec Video

clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon
Vietnamese Vermicelli Noodle Bowl!

Vietnamese Vermicelli Bowls

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 4.9 from 12 reviews


Vietnamese Vermicelli  Noodle Bowls w/ lemongrass chicken (or shrimp or tofu) served over rice vermicelli noodles, with veggies and herbs  & flavorful Vietnamese dressing, called Nuoc Cham. Gluten-free. 


Units Scale
  • 11 1/4 lbs chicken breast or thighs (boneless, skinless), tofu or large prawns

Vietnamese Marinade

  • 1/2 cup finely chopped lemongrass ( 3 stalks- white part)
  • 1/2 cup shallots, quartered
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp ground Chinese five spice (essential!)
  • 1/4 cup peanut or olive oil

Vietnamese Bowl Ingredients: 

  • 8 oz vermicelli rice noodles, soaked in boiling water until al dente, drained
  • 1 red bell pepper -sliced into thin strips
  • 1 English cucumber, halved and sliced, or cut into ribbons.
  • 1 cup daikon radish- grated or cut into matchsticks (or sub-regular radish, or skip it)
  • generous handful of fresh basil and mint leaves (Thai basil is great here)
  • optional additions: cilantro, crushed peanuts, bean sprouts, microgreens

Nuoc Cham Sauce: 


  1. Make the marinade: Chop lemongrass into thin slices and place in a food processor and pulse repeatedly until very finely chopped. Add the remaining ingredients- shallot, garlic, salt, sugar, five spice, and pulse until very finely chopped, add the oil and pulse to create a paste.
  2. Prep Protein. If using an outdoor grill, leave chicken in whole pieces and cut after grilling. If using a grill pan, cut into bite-sized pieces. 
  3. Marinate. Massage the chicken thighs (coat tofu or shrimp) with the marinade.  Let marinate 30 minutes, several hours or up to 48 hours for the most flavor!
  4. Cook noodles.  Pour boiling water over the vermicelli noodles in a bowl or baking dish to soften, for 2-3 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water. Toss with a little oil to prevent sticking. 
  5. Prep the Veggies: slice the bell pepper, cucumber, and daikon radishes.
  6. Make Nuoc Cham Dressing– mix lime juice, fish sauce, water, sugar until sugar dissolves then top with a few sliced chilies in a small bowl. Set aside.
  7. Grill Preheat grill to medium-highGrill the chicken until deep grill marks appear, lower the heat, and cook all the way through. Place in a warm oven until ready to use. Slice.  Alternatively, you can cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces and cook on a grill pan or frying pan or skillet over medium-high heat, until golden brown. 
  8. Assemble bowls. Place cooked noodles, fresh veggies, fresh herbs, grilled chicken, grouped together in a wide bowl, and spoon a little of the dressing over the noodles and veggies. Enjoy!! 


Feel free to sub tofu or shrimp for the chicken, grilling on a grill pan.

This can be served warm or chilled- I prefer everything chilled, except the chicken, served hot. 🙂


  • Serving Size:
  • Calories: 564
  • Sugar: 8.3 g
  • Sodium: 1661.2 mg
  • Fat: 16.5 g
  • Saturated Fat: 2.6 g
  • Carbohydrates: 59.6 g
  • Fiber: 3.2 g
  • Protein: 14.4 g
  • Cholesterol: 43.8 mg

Share this with the world!

to get recipes via email

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe rating 5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star


  1. Perfect balance of fresh, delicious flavors! I love spicy food so I added an extra chili to the sauce…and lots of mint to balance it out!

  2. Hi tried this with tofu – what’s the best way to incorporate tofu? – overall the flavour was nice but not as strong as I hoped for, thanks

    1. Hi Romy- I would marinate the tofu the same way and pan fry, grill, or use a grill pan. It needs a little extra salt to bring out the other flavors.

  3. One of our absolute favourite recipes. Thank you. Unfailingly good! Made it again last week and will make sure I have the ingredients with me when we head out to the maritime this summer.

  4. Thank you for this it’s my favorite at restaurants and now I know how to make it myself.
    Tree Trimming Fort Collins

  5. I made this based on the recipe and it was really good. I had cashews though instead of peanuts so used them. The Thai basil makes this dish! My recommendation is to double or triple the sauce but that’s a personal preference though.

  6. Sylvia, They absolutely love your recipes. They are so creative and delicious and have never failed me. I do have a question about this one regarding the level of sodium. Is that the amount of sodium per serving? I will probably take steps to reduce it if that is the case. Thanks so much for sharing all that you do.

    1. Most of the salt here is in the dressing- with the fish sauce. You could just use less of the dressing. I’d keep the proportions. You could cut back some in the marinade as well. 🙂

  7. Me and my will have a dinner date tommorow and this one will be an addition to our table. Thank you so much for sharing the tips! Denver Arborist

  8. I really love this recipe It’s really delicious. Thanks a lot for sharing this! Concrete Boulder Colorado

  9. I came across your recipe on Pinterest and made it for my family just now. They loved it! My daughter said that it tasted just like it does at one of the local restaurants and my son just kept saying “omg, yes!”. It’s definitely a keeper.

    1. Awww… I love that you shared this..thanks! Nothing makes me happier than knowing that the recipes shared here, bring nurturing to others, thanks so much!!

  10. Thanks for the great recipe. Tried it for the first time, yesterday. Hubby said he would eat it again! I did dilute the sauce as the lime juice was strong. Lovely meal.

  11. Amazingly delicious recipe! I made with tofu. Instead of grilling I fried it in coconut oil to get it crispy. Thank you!

  12. I am going to Marseille next week looking up what I was told is a real good Chinese Food Emporium (very hard to find in this part of the world) and I seriously hope to find all ingredients for this so very beautiful dish there.

  13. Reading this has been a real education. I will look for the frozen lemon grass next time I go to my Asian market. Thank you.

    1. You are welcome…it does come in pretty handy. Sometimes I’ll thaw the large packages, and divide into smaller packages and refreeze.

Our Latest Recipes