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square image of overhead image of rice noodles in blue bowl topped with lemongrass pork, vegetables, and spring rolls
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4 from 19 votes

Vietnamese Noodle Bowls Recipe (Bun Thit Nuong Cha Gio)

These colorful noodle bowls are deliciously addictive with layers of crisp fresh vegetables, noodles, crunchy spring rolls, and marinated lemongrass pork. Chop everything ahead and marinate the pork for a surprisingly fun meal straight out of Southeast Asia.
Prep Time45 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time1 hr
Course: Main Dish
Cuisine: Vietnamese
Keyword: Asian, noodle bowl, noodles
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 574kcal
Author: Jess Smith via Inquiring Chef
Cost: $12.50

Equipment

  • Small Mixing Bowl
  • Wok or Large Skillet

Ingredients

Lemongrass Pork:

  • 12 ounces Pork Chops, thinly sliced (see note for substitutes)
  • 1 stalk Lemongrass, grated or minced (use only the lower root portion of the lemongrass stalk)
  • 2 cloves Garlic, minced
  • 2 Tablespoons Fresh Cilantro, chopped
  • 3 Tablespoons Soy Sauce
  • 1 ½ Tablespoons Honey
  • 1 Tablespoons Dark Brown Sugar
  • 1 Tablespoons Fish Sauce

Nuoc Cham Sauce:

  • ½ cup Water
  • 3 Tablespoons Sugar
  • 2 ½ Tablespoons Lime Juice
  • 2 Tablespoons Fish Sauce
  • 1 Bird's Eye / Thai Chilis, very thinly sliced (substitute Sriracha hot sauce or red pepper flakes; adjust to taste)

Noodle Bowls:

  • 4 Frozen Spring Rolls (see note)
  • 6 ounces Rice Vermicelli Noodles
  • 2 Tablespoons Cooking Oil (use canola, peanut, or vegetable oil)
  • 1 head Green Leaf Lettuce, chopped
  • 1 medium Carrot, sliced into thin matchsticks
  • 1 medium Cucumber, sliced into thin matchsticks
  • ½ cup Roasted Peanuts, chopped
  • 1 cup Fresh Herbs (cilantro leaves, mint leaves, and / or chopped green onions)

Instructions

  • Marinate pork: Combine all ingredients listed under Lemongrass Pork. Marinate in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes and up to a day.
  • Make Nuoc Cham: Whisk all ingredients for Nuoc Cham.
  • Bake spring rolls: Preheat oven and prepare spring rolls according to package directions.
  • Cook rice noodles: Cook rice noodles according to package direction (most need to soak in very hot water until tender).
  • Heat a wok or skillet over medium-high heat. When oil is shimmering, use a slotted spoon transfer pork to heated oil (be careful - it will splatter when it hits the hot oil). Cook pork on one side until deep golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Stir pork and continue cooking until it is just cooked through, 1 to 2 minutes more.
  • Chop baked spring rolls into bite-sized pieces. Use kitchen shears to chop up rice vermicelli into shorter lengths.
  • Assemble bowls with a bed of lettuce topped with rice vermicelli. Arrange carrots, cucumbers, pork, spring rolls, peanuts, and fresh herbs on top. Serve Nuoc Cham on the side. (I like to toss all of the ingredients together in Nuoc Cham before digging in, but some people like to eat each component separate. It's great either way!)

Notes

Pork - Substitute chicken breast, chicken thighs, tofu, or seitan. 
Spring rolls - Any store-bought spring rolls work well here. I like to use Trader Joe's frozen vegetable spring rolls. If you want to make your own, try these Baked Spring Rolls
Rice Vermicelli Noodles - These very thin rice noodles are different from Pad Thai Rice Noodles (which are thicker). They are sometimes called rice stick noodles. Most can be prepared just by soaking in hot water until tender.
Make Ahead - Marinate pork up to a day ahead. Nuoc Cham can be made up to a week ahead. 

Nutrition

Serving: 1bowl | Calories: 574kcal | Carbohydrates: 75g | Protein: 28g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 59mg | Sodium: 2084mg | Potassium: 826mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 22g | Vitamin A: 9313IU | Vitamin C: 17mg | Calcium: 89mg | Iron: 3mg